Maria Caetano Sweeps the Board at the 2024 CDI Camarma de Esteruelas

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 15:17
2024 CDI Camarma de Esteruelas
Maria Caetano and Hit Plus win the GP and GP Kur at the 2024 CDI Camarma de Esteruelas :: Photo © Lily Forado

- Text and Photos © Lily Forado, edited by Eurodressage

From 9 - 12 May 2024 the CDI3* and CPEDI3* at Las Cadenas equestrian centre in Camarma de Esteruelas became the epicenter of international dressage in  Spain. The event was crucial for riders aiming to secure necessary scores for their future participation in the prestigious summer championships.

Portuguese Maria Caetano led the charge in the big tour, claiming three victories in the Grand Prix level classes ahead of a huge Spanish delegation.

Maria Caetano Sweeps the Board

On Friday 10 May 2024 the Grand Prix began in the afternoon. With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, the conditions were hot and heavy for the 16 riders coming down the centerline.

Portuguese Maria Caetano presented two of her three contenders for this Olympic year. She is a regular competitor on Spanish soil and boasts an impressive sporting resume of Spanish victories. Aboard  the 12-year old  Hit Plus (by Bretton Woods x Peralta Pinha), she impressed with powerful extensions in trot and canter, as well as good collection from behindin the canter pirouettes. Being the first and only one to surpass the barrier of  70%, her score was 72.218%. The judging panel, consisting of Holler, Judet, Ringmark, de Wolff, and Lopardo, unanimously placed her in the first position.

Alejandro Sanchez on Onuba TR
The second place went to a freshly debuted pair, Alejandro Sánchez del Barco with the C.D.E cross bred mare, Onuba TR (by Marinero XXXVIII x Don Frederico). She displays great ability to collect in passage and piaffe. Her journey in Grand Prix has just begun, and at 10 years old, she shows great potential, promising a bright future. Her second place score was 69.369%. 

The third position was taken by a horse that never fails to impress, Poeta de Susaeta. The P.R.E gem (by Cacique IXx  Oficial XXIX)  mesmerizes, not only with its beauty but also with its quality of movement. After a year without competing due to injury, this stallion came back stronger.  Under Guillermo García Ayala, the stallion was rewarded with several eights in piaffe. His lack of practice and experience in the  arena  was reflected in the one-tempi changes with a slight lack of straightness. His final score was 69.304 -%

Weekend Action

Daniel Pinto on Licor da Toula
The following days, Maria Caetano continued with her winning streak. On Saturday afternoon, she danced with 12-year old Lusitano Horizonte (by Rico x Icaro) in the musical freestyle test, earning  72.245%. The second place went to Yvonne Losos de Muñiz with her 19-year old Dutch mare Aquamarijn (by United x Gribaldi), scoring 72.055%. Pedro Triviño rounded out the podium with Azor de Massa, achieving a score of 67.495%.

On Sunday, Maria concluded her conquest with another victory, sealing a Hattrick. Aboard Hit Plus she won the GP Special was 71.234%. The second place went to Claudio Castilla with Hi-rico Do Sobral, scoring 69.383%. The Lusitano stallion (by Rico), who was the Spanish champion in 2019 at the age of 7, presented a piaffe with great lift , as well as very collected pirouettes. The top three was completed by Daniel Pinto with his new promising buckskin Portuguese horse, the 9-year old Licor Da Toula, scoring 69.191%.

Antonio Jose Vazquez on Quappuccino van de Nethe
The Small Tour smelt liked coffee as Antonio José Vázquez Quintero rode the Belgian bred  Quappuccino Van De Nethe to two first places: in the Prix St Georges with a 68.971 and in the Intermediaire I Kur with a 70.920. Rafael Heredia with Dimancier SN took the victory of the Intermediaire I (68.059)

“Dragon khan” Scores in Young Horse Division

The young horse classes kicked off the competition on Thursday afternoon, featuring a large number of participants, including several medalists from the 2023 Spanish Young Horse Championship. The scores were like “The Dragon Khan,”  a roller-coaster from one of the biggest theme parks in Spain: Port Aventura (Barcelona). The loops with  constant  ups and downs were a mirror of the scores in Las Cadenas.  The fluctuations observed highlight the need for standardisation and accuracy in (young horse) judging, ensuring that the best performers are accurately recognised and rewarded. Most of the riders were seeking the “mandatory scores” for the trials towards the World Young Horse Championships. 

The five-year-old class was one to watch. Rafael Heredia, riding Baltik Star opened the arena and delivered a clean and fluid test, scoring  75.800%. Out of the 23 participants, the winner was Claudio Castilla with the Lusitano horse Pendragon Tineo, scoring 77.600%. The second place went to José Alejandro Alcaide with Diamond First (76.200), and Rafael Heredia rounded out the podium. The next day, the winner was Olvido CAD from Yeguada Mendoza Cadema, ridden by Raúl Arcos. They clinched victory with a score of  78.600%. 

Juan José González de Las Cuevas an Fragolino
The reigning Spanish champion of five-year-olds, Juan Manuel Acosta with Saltes TR FRH, made a strong comeback. Breaking the ice and being the first to enter the centerline, his test displayed great elasticity in trot, beautiful extensions, as well as uphill flying changes. Saltes TR FRH made a grand debut with his new prefix “FRH” by winning with a score of 82.000%, the only one above 80%. The second place went to the Portuguese rider Frederico Mexia with Ofley Plus (77.400%). In the Final test, Alejandro Oliva, riding Dintel de Centurión, moved from the bottom of the rankings in the preliminary test to winning the final with a score of 77.600%. 

In the seven-year-old category, Juan José González de Las Cuevas Pimienta achieved a double victory with the Oldenburg horse Fragolino, scoring 74.900% and 72.043%

Tetris Youth 

Once again  the Spanish Federation will have to solve a puzzle for team selection for the summer European Youth Championships. At the CDI in Camarma the youth riders were very closely ranked, so the “Masters” at the upcoming Spanish Championships will be decisive for team selection.

Alejandro Navarro on Inquieta FSR
In the Children’s category, the excitement was high. Every day there was a different winner. The first day, In the Preliminary B test, Alejandro Navarro and the mare Inquieta FSR (by Malagueño LXXXIII) won with 72.250%.In the team test Cristina Wagemans' student Mar Pena Rios and Brandour B rose to the top with 76.200%. In the individual test Francisco Antonio González Szarvas and the 17-year old Guaro V aced the class with 76.014%

In the pony division, Mariam Gurtskaya,  the Georgian rider based in Cataluña and trained by Lauro Aguiló, mesmerised everyone with her gorgeous pony Steendieks Champ of Glory (by FS Chambertin x The Breas My Mobility). She won the team test on day one with 71.7100% and the Kur with 75.334%. Ixone Lacunza Vázquez and Pippin's Playboy (by Molenhorn's Lucky Boy x Aester El Nino) won the Individual test with 71.036%.

In the junior division Claudio Castilla's student Hugo Melida rode the schoolmaster mare Goya A (by Tornado x Uvamente Sl) and won the team test (68.233) and individual (71.863). The freestyle went to the Catalan rider, Clàudia Pomer Soler, riding the Dutch warmblood Hinojo with 74.070. 

Mar Pena Rios on Brandour B
At Young Riders level, Javier Guillén won the team test on Resuelto AS (69.216), but in the Individual test, Teia Hernández's student Mireia Luz Konovalova and Royal Thunder snatched the victory with 68.039%. In the freestyle Javier Guillén returned to the top spot with 72.375. 

In the Under 25 division, Beatriz Ferrer-Salat's assistant rider and student Júlia Álvarez secured a double gold with the 14-year old Dark Rose De Fangar (by Dancier x Rubin Royal) without dropping below 68% in the Intermediaire II and GP U25 . Tania Rodriguez Quintela and the 11-year old Don Index (by Don Index x Weltruhm x Grandseigneur) won the U25 freestyle with 66.458%.

The Next Stop

The next stop for the Spanish riders will be the Spanis Championships, the Masters counting for team selection (Youth and Young Horses) and Para-Dressage Championshipss.

The entry list is growing day by day and already surpassing 35 combinations in Grand Prix, so the excitement is palpable. German based professional riders such as Borja Carrascosa and Severo Jurado will travel to Spain to fight for the coveted title. 

Related Links
Scores: 2024 CDI Camarma de Esteruelas
Beatriz Ferrer-Salat Is Back and on a Winning Streak at 2023 CDI3* Las Cadenas
Beatriz Ferrer-Salat's Double at the 2021 CDI Las Cadenas, Dockx Impresses
Olaia Aguilar Marimon and Exposition Boy at Forefront of the Game at 2019 CDI Camarma de Esteruelas