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Yvonne Losos de Muņiz Claims Gold for Dominican Republic at 2002 Central American Games

Losos de Muņiz - ŠBetty Cooper
Yvonne Losos de Muņiz claimed two individual gold medals in dressage and led the Dominican Republic to the team bronze at the 2002 Central American Games.

Held every four years, the 2002 edition of the Central American Games were staged November 23 to December 7 in El Salvador. Riding Inatana Las Marismas, her 12-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood mare by Latano, Losos de Muņiz led the Dominican Republic to the team bronze medal after winning the team test with a score of 68.15%.

In the individual competition, using the Young Rider Individual test, Losos de Muņiz posted an incredibly high score of 70.95% to earn the individual gold medal, beating out Mexican riders Joachim Orth and Guido, who scored 70.11% to earn the silver, and Bernadette Pujals whose score of 69.74% aboard Vincent earned her the individual bronze. Orth and Pujals were teammates at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, where Mexico earned the silver medal and Pujals won the individual bronze.

With victories in both the team and individual competitions, Losos de Muņiz was awarded the coveted overall gold medal. Orth again earned silver while Pujals claimed the bronze medal.

“I’m thrilled with winning the individual gold and the Dominican Republic Team’s performance,” said 35-year-old Losos de Muņiz who owns and operates Las Marismas, a show jumping and dressage breeding and training facility, in partnership with her husband, Eduardo Muņiz. “We accomplished what we came here for and, as a Dutch Warmblood breeder, it makes me extremely proud to have a dressage team composed entirely of Dutch horses.”

George Arsenio Fernández - ŠBetty Cooper
Celebrating the team bronze medal with Losos de Muņiz were teammates George Arsenio Fernández riding Joris Las Marismas, an 11-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood gelding by Uniform, Vanessa Lee Doyle on Hulster Las Marismas, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Ulster, and Diana Ramos de Tejeda aboard Arabella, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Blanc Rivage xx. Riding horses owned by Las Marismas, Arsenio Fernández, 23, placed seventh overall individually while Doyle, at just 17 years of age, was tenth.

Well-known Dutch trainer, Diederik Wigmans, coached the Dominican team to the bronze medal. Known for his association with Anky Van Grunsven and Sjef Jansen, Wigmans, in partnership with Marcel Timmermans, operates Stal TW located in Stramproy, NED, just meters from the Belgian border. Wigmans has been retained as the coach of the Dominican team through to the 2003 Pan American Games.

Losos de Muņiz is sure to be the hot favourite, as the 2003 Pan American Games will be held in her hometown of Santo Domingo. As she did at the Central American Games, Losos de Muņiz plans to compete in both the dressage and show jumping disciplines at the Pan American Games, a rare feat for any equestrian athlete. Unfortunately, Losos de Muņiz was forced to withdraw from the show jumping portion of competition at the Central American Games when her horse, Jilou Las Marismas, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Emilion, suffered a slight injury on the first day of competition.

However, teammate Hector Florentino riding Maretty Las Marismas, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Ferro, was the Dominican Republic's top finisher, placing 15th overall.

“This is the first time that our country has had a show jumping rider in the top 25 at the Central American Games and we are extremely proud of Hector’s performance with Maretty Las Marismas,” noted Losos de Muņiz. “The Dominican Republic Equestrian Teams are on track and one step closer to successfully representing our country when it hosts the Pan American Games next summer.”

Dominican Republic Dressage Team
Earlier in 2002, Losos de Muņiz and teammates Fernández and Ramos de Tejeda led Dominican Republic to its first-ever win of the FEI World Dressage Challenge sponsored by Performance Sales International (PSI). In July, partnered with Fernández, Losos de Muņiz won the team bronze medal in the advanced division at the 2002 FEI Dressage Championships of the Americas held in July in Blainville, Canada.

Losos de Muņiz is no stranger to Canada, as the small town of Vankleek Hill, located between Montreal and Ottawa, is home base for Las Marismas’ Canadian operation that specializes in Dutch-bred sport horses for all disciplines with guidance and support from renowned Dutch horsemen, Paul and Emile Hendrix. In addition, Las Marismas is a well-known producer of Andalusian horses, a historic Spanish breed, which are bred and raised at both the Canadian and Dominican Republic operations.

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