Gold Medals for Martin Dockx, Moron Basoco and Roldan Narvaez at the 2024 Spanish Dressage Championships

Mon, 06/03/2024 - 13:16
2024 Spanish Dressage Championships
Jose Daniel Martin Dockx and Malagueno Lxxxiiii win the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix Championships  :: Photos © Lily Forado

-- Text © Eurodressage - Photos © Lily Forado

Senior Grand Prix rider Jose Daniel Martin Dockx became the winner of the 2024 Spanish Dressage Championships held in Barcelona on 29 May - 1 June 2024. In the Under 25 division Sergio Moron Basoco and Adrian Roldan Narvaez were the gold medallists.

The Stakes are High

The Spanish Championships served as a first official Olympic team selection and observation trial, which forced several foreign based Spaniards to make the trip home in order to be assessed. Five German based Spaniard - Severo Jurado Lopez, Borja Carrascosa, and new comers Juan Rodriguez Carvajal, and Santiago Damil  - travelled to Barcelona, while U.S based Pablo Gomez Molina does his annual commute between Wellington for the winter and Spain for the summer.

With so much at stake, the mandatory participation in the Championships ensured that the highest level of competition at a Spanish Nationals, ever, took place in Barcelona this year.

Incomprehensible Change of Medal System

For the 2024 Spanish Championships the national equestrian federation made a rather incomprehensible change in the medal system. 

The trot up at the start of the Nationals
While some say, "don't fix what is not broken," in Spain they prefer the opposite and test a system that seemed doomed for failure, or at least incomprehension from the spectators.  Instead of rewarding one set of medals for the top three over three rounds - equally rewarding technical and artistic skills and putting consistency in the balance - the Grand Prix counted for nothing, so to speak, and there were two sets of medals: one for the Special and one for Freestyle.

The Grand Prix, which is always the most important test at any major championship because it determines the rest of the competition (for the Olympics it is as a qualifier for the team competition (GP Special) as well as Individual finals (Kur)),  was now part of a new "team competition between Seniors and Under 25 riders." Nowhere in the world is this done, but Spain wants to be a trendsetter in weird cross-division team competitions. 

Also the Under 25 championship had two sets of medals instead of an overall podium.

Emotions Run High

As usual, the Spanish temperament of the home riders flared up from the start with the vet check being held an unlevel V-shaped surface made of rubber mats that weren't evenly flattened, according to complaining riders.  Judges freely passed the horses but then in the Grand Prix had to eliminate three due to fitness issues (Romero de Trujillo, Lacoste, Lidador) and one for blood (Poeta de Susaeta). 

Borja Carrascosa and Frizzantino in the Kur
Also the judging in the Grand Prix was eye-brow raising to say the least. Three Spanish judges (Pauline Dekker-Cremers, Juan Carlos Campos Escribano, and Francisco Guerra Díaz (the latter making a come back after two years of no judging due to health issues) sat alongside foreign 5* judges Mariette Sanders-Van Gansewinkel (NED) and Henning Lehrmann (GER). The latter German judge just flew in from Denmark, where officiated at the Danish Championships

In the Grand Prix major score discrepancies led to a lot of confusion about what is being asked. Third place Borja Carrascosa and Frizzantino had scores going from 69.783 (Sanders) to 76.522% (Dekker). Beatriz Ferrer saw scores between 68.696 (14th - Lehrmann) and 73.152 (4th - Dekker), Soto Rosado had marks between 66.848 (Guerra) and 72.283 (Dekker), Jimenez on Quarter (66.196 (Sanders) and 71.304 (Dekker), Severo Jurado on Incrivel got 64.783% (29th - Guerra) and 72.391% (7th - Dekker). Interesting how these big fluctuations mainly happen with the "big name" riders as if the judges struggle between judging what they see and adulating the reputation these riders have built it.

Santi Damil, a rather unknown face at GP level, also suffered from it. 65.435% (Sanders) and, guess what, again Dekker as the highest at 72.391%. At the bottom of the ranking in the Grand Prix, 6% point difference were not usual, but the last ranked rider had a 55.217 and a 64.348%. Ai carramba!

Martin Dockx Takes Double Gold

A new panel of judges, consisting of Arancha Flores Resta, Marta Condeminas Triggs, Henning Lehrmann, Mª Teresa Alonso-Miñon, and Mariano Santos Redondo assessed the Grand Prix Special on Thursday 30 May 2024.

The Kur podium: Jimenez, Dockx, Carrascosa
With the form of the day deciding the medals, Olympian Jose Daniel Martin Dockx piloted Francisco Santiago Ruiz' PRE bred Malagueno LXXXIII (by Joyero XXIV x Dominante XVI) to his first of two gold medals that week. He scored 75.362% for the class high scorer and the top place on the podium. Three judges had him first, two second. The pair lost some points in the two tempi changes and right pirouette, but the piaffe scored high as well as his two halts. 

GP Special silver was for Borja Carrascosa on his own 9-year old Hanoverian Frizzantino (by Finest x Quaterback). This time the panel was slightly more in unison with a 3% difference between judges. They scored 74.234% for second place.

The bronze went to evergreen Juan Antonio Jimenez about Lorena Morales' 15-year old Lusitano Euclides MOR (by Riopele x Gingao). They posted 73.702%.

The Nationals came to a conclusion on Saturday with a marathon day of competition. At the end of the day the Grand Prix freestyle was held with the last rider to go into the arena at midnight (!!). The class started at 21h00 and round the time the last set of riders were going in, a thunder storm took place with lightning and flash rain, which messed up the sound system. Jose Antonio Garcia Mena's music stopped and the rider had to restart his test, much to his disgruntlement.  Fortunately the arena drained well and the crowds, which came in droves for this spectacle, were supercharged with emotion, unable to contain their enthusiasm with the last riders. The packed house started clapping with each final centerline and cheered for the riders, or booed when they disagreed with the judges. 

Juan Antonio Jimenez on Euclides MOR
Martin Dockx continued his reign on Malagueno and with 80.685% secured his second gold medal. Jimenez and Carrascosa swapped placed with the Madrid based Jimenez taking silver on a score of 78.390%, while Carrascosa got bronze on 77.845%. 

The fourth place went to Jose Antonio Garcia Mena on his 13-year old Lusitano Gladiador do Lis (by Peralta Pinha x Spartacus). Mena's 2021 Olympic rider Divina Royal (by Desperados) has not been shown internationally in a year and she has not come out nationally either this season. Another big absentee was Alejandro Asencio's number one horse, Sezarion, who is not fit. He showed his second horse Gaviao dos Cedros. They were 7th in the Kur. Spanish 2022 and 2023 team rider Alejandro Sanchez Del Barco and Quincallo de Indalo could not climb into a top three spot to be a strong contender for Olympic consideration. He landed 6th and 5th place in the Championship. Routinier Olympian Beatriz Ferrer-Salat landed fifth and sixth place.

Under 25: Moron and Roldan Win Gold

A similar medal system was followed in the Under 25 with the Inter II serving for the cross-division team competition and two sets of medals for the Short Grand Prix and Kur. 

Under 25 Kur gold for Adrian Roldan
Sergio Moron Basoco is back in Spain for the summer after having spent an extended period of time training in the U.K with Carl Hester. He won gold on his long-time equine partner, the 14-year old Farnham L (by Furst Rousseau x Hochadel) in the Short Grand Prix with 70.949%. The silver went to Adrian Roldan Narvaez aboard his 14-year old KWPN bred Floyd (by Rousseau x Farrington). He was right on Moron's heels with his 70.179% score. The bronze went to Germanbased Adrian Munoz Jurado aboard the Werndl family's Danish bred Future Jazz Dancer RV (by Jazz x Sezuan) with 69.282%.

In the kur to music Roldan and Moron swapped placed with Roldan taking gold after scoring 74.920% and Moron on the silver step of the podium with 74.465%. Andrea Ruiz Junco worked her way on the ladder and finished third aboard the 12-year old Quicksilver (by Quaterback) with 71.870% to grab the bronze.

Small Tour Championships?

There was no real small tour championship this year even though the three small tour classes were ridden and an overall ranking made. However, there was no podium or medals for them.

The winner of the 'criterium' was the Dutch based Antonio Laiz Zando on the 8-year old KWPN gelding Love You (by Sir Donnerhall x Dde Nir), owned by the rider and Saskia Poel. He scored 71.441% in the Prix St Georges, 72.177% in the Intermediaire I and 75.13% in the Inter I Kur. Juan Antonio Jimenez was second on Susana Rico Cepeda's 14-year old mare Lanya el Coso, whole Jose Antonio Garcia Mena and the 8-year old stallion Loriot (by Trafalgar) finished third.

Three para dressage championships were held. The winner in Grade V-VIa-II was Felix Gomez Gonzalez on Merlin, in Grade VIb it was Tania Vidal Frigola on Handsome, and in Grade IV it was Iker Baeitia Astondoa on Belizzo. No pedigree info was made available on the para horses.

Complete results:

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