Yvonne Losos de Muñiz Claims Individual Bronze Medal at Pan American Games
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic successfully defended her Individual Bronze Medal at the 2007 Pan American Games taking place July 12 to 29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Having earned a score of 69.30% for third place in the first of two rounds of individual competition on Monday, Losos de Muñiz returned to Deodoro Stadium for Wednesday's Musical Freestyle competition, which sees athletes choreograph required technical movements to the music of their choice. Compiled by Klassic Kur, Losos de Muñiz's Freestyle program features Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' performed by Argentinean flamenco guitarist, Gustavo Montesano, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic. Riding Bernstein Las Marismas, Losos de Muñiz was awarded a score of 69.70% by the panel of five international judges.
Averaging the two individual scores, Losos de Muñiz's final total of 69.50% gave her the Individual Bronze Medal, staying just ahead of Canada's Tom Dvorak whose final total was 69.45% riding Beaumarchais. Christopher Hickey of the United States earned a total score of 70.725% riding Regent to claim the Individual Gold Medal while Lauren Sammis, also of the United States, won the Silver Medal after scoring 69.925% with Sagacious HF.
"It was a really good competition because we were all neck-and-neck coming into the final day, there was no clear cut winner and we had to ride for everything," explained Losos de Muñiz.
Of her partner, Bernstein Las Marismas, an 11-year-old Hannoverian stallion by Banditentraum that she has been riding for the past three years, Losos de Muñiz said, "today was not one of his better days, he was a little slow and behind my leg. He gave me more than I expected during the first two days of competition, but today he was feeling the length of the competition. But overall at the Games, he was brilliant and surpassed my expectations."
In 2003 in her hometown of Santo Domingo, Losos de Muñiz made history by becoming the first equestrian athlete to win a medal for the Dominican Republic at the Pan American Games. Through funding from her national equestrian federation and national Olympic committee, Losos de Muñiz was able to successfully defend her Individual Bronze Medal in Rio de Janeiro.
"Two in a row on two horses! I am so proud to win another medal at the Pan Am Games riding a different horse, it is very satisfying," said a smiling Losos de Muñiz whose partner in 2003 was Inatana Las Marismas. "Bernstein is a very exciting horse, and I am looking forward to Grand Prix. With Inatana, the Pan Ams came at the end of her career whereas with Bernstein, he is just starting his international career. And it's not a bad way to start!"
Living in Santo Domingo, Losos de Muñiz has spent the past three years traveling to Germany to train with Jean Bemelmans, renowned for leading Spain to individual and team medals at the 2002 World Equestrian Games and the 2004 Olympic Games.
"He was very happy, he congratulated me on my ride today and was pleased that I kept going and got through it even though my horse was tired," said Losos de Muñiz of her coach's reaction. She also noted that the support of her family, especially her husband, Eduardo Muñiz, has been paramount to her ability to train in Germany and, ultimately, be successful at the 2007 Pan American Games.
"Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic rode Bernstein Las Marismas to the Individual Bronze Medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."
Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley
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