Julio Mendoza Loor Has ‘Feeling of a Lifetime’ en Route to New PB and Nations Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle Win at AGDF 7
Ecuador’s Julio Mendoza Loor capped an epic week of personal bests to close out the Stillpoint Farm CDIO3* Nations Cup™ during Week 7 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Mendoza Loor claimed the gold medal in the CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle with an almost 80% test on his own 12-year-old gelding, Jewel’s Goldstrike. The son of Bretton Woods x Watermill Scandic scored three nines for his halts on the way to 79.325%, with three of the five judges awarding the pair over 80%. AGDF 2023, which hosts seven weeks of CDI competition and weekly national competitions, runs through April 2.
The 26-year-old Anna-Cristina Abbelen (GER) continued her sparkling form at her first ever Wellington show season. She recorded another career high score, of 77.16%, on her own and Silke Abbelen-Mooren’s 16-year-old Samarant gelding Sam Donnerhall to finish in silver. Caroline Darcourt (SWE) snuck into third with Caroline Darcourt (Lord Django), just 0.28 percentage points ahead of compatriot Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (Devanto).
Mendoza Loor, who is 43, also won the CDIO3* Grand Prix Special on a new personal best earlier in the week. The pair had tremendous small tour success at the Bolivarian Games in 2022 — winning all three tests and leading Ecuador to team gold — but this is only the horse’s fourth big tour CDI.
He said of his AGDF 7 freestyle, “It was the feeling of a lifetime, the ride was unbelievable. He is a horse who wants to perform, he wants to be there and to always try harder. He is willing to do everything and more than what I’m asking. I’m so proud of him for how young he is — he’s an unbelievable horse. Last year was the first time I competed him here in Wellington, and he won the CDI, and this time he really showed me what he can do and made me so proud.”
Mendoza Loor, who is based in Columbus, NC, has owned Jewel’s Goldstrike for three years and has discovered the key to the gelding: ample turnout.
“At home he’s a horse to leave in his field 24/7. He loves to be in his field, even if it’s raining, snowing, sunny, cold, he just loves to be outside — and to hack,” added Mendoza Loor, who has his sights set on the Pan Am games in Santiago, Chile in the fall, and then perhaps the 2024 Olympics. “At home I’m working on improving each movement, to make every one stronger and better, and keeping his mind calm and mind and body fit.”
‘He’s a hot tamale to ride’