Mendoza Loor Scores Personal Best to Win on First Day of World Equestrian Center April Dressage CDI3*

Mendoza Loor Scores Personal Best to Win on First Day of World Equestrian Center April Dressage CDI3*

Internationally rated dressage returned to World Equestrian Center – Ocala (WEC) with the WEC April Dressage CDI3* sponsored by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage on Thursday, April 13, 2023. Riders and horses were welcomed to the atmospheric Stadium Arena for the first Fédération Equestre International (FEI) competition of the year, and classes will run through Sunday, April 16. Topping the highlight class of the day, the Grand Prix for Freestyle CDI3*, was Julio Mendoza Loor (ECU) on his own Jewel’s Goldstrike. Up-and-coming U.S. talent Christian Simonson took the top two spots in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI1* with Son of a Lady and Zeaball Diawind.

Mendoza Loor and Jewel’s Goldstrike had a personal best score of 74.261% in the Grand Prix for Freestyle CDI3*, with top scores coming in the piaffe movements. The CDI judges include Michael Osinski (USA), Cara Whitham (CAN), Sandra Hotz (USA), Cesar Torrente (COL), and Kerrie Swan-Bates (AUS). Second place went to Ashley Holzer (USA) and Valentine, her own 13-year-old Hanoverian mare by Sir Donnerhall x St.-Ludwig’s Ragazzo. They scored 72.152%. Kerrigan Gluch (USA) and Mejorano HGF, a 12-year-old PRE gelding by Grandioso x Galan XVI owned by Hampton Green Farm, were third with 67.913%.

Mendoza Loor has ridden Jewel’s Goldstrike, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Bretton Woods x Watermill Scandic, for three years. He has developed the partnership and noted that previous owner Eliane Cordia-van Reesema thought Mendoza Loor would be a good partner for the gelding.

Jewel’s Goldstrike prefers to live outside in a field no matter the weather, and Mendoza Loor has found the key to keeping his horse happy. “From the moment that I sat on him the first time it’s been a dream,” he noted. “He’s a horse that wants to work and he never says no.”

Mendoza Loor expressed, “For me to win, means the world. It’s a dream for every rider to win a blue ribbon, but for me it’s the partnership with my horse that means more. We had a couple bobbles today, but I am looking forward to fixing them and see how I can better my score tomorrow. He was a little tense today; he’s been stuck in his stall for two days, and the weather hasn’t been great. He was wondering where his field was.”

This is Mendoza Loor’s first competition at WEC, and he was suitably impressed by the venue.

“It’s Disneyland for horses. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Everything is immaculate, unbelievable and beautiful. Everyone has to come compete here. The facility has plenty of room for everyone, it’s built for the horses and I think it’s the best place in America.”

Mendoza Loor will contest the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* next on Friday evening.