Lauren Billys Shady Takes Special Gold for Puerto Rico in San Salvador

Puerto Rico took their first-ever international gold medal in thrilling style at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador.

Two-time Olympian Lauren Shady stormed to eventing gold with Can Be Sweet, finishing ahead of Mexico’s Luis Ariel Santiago Franco and Fernando Parroquin Delfin.

Mexico took Team Gold ahead of Colombia and the Centro Caribe Sports representative team at the multi-sport event in El Salvador, which comes just weeks before the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.Lauren is originally from California but has represented Puerto Rico for more than a decade. The 35-year-old qualified to represent the tiny Caribbean island via her grandmother, who she thanks for encouraging her to take up the opportunity.

Lauren took to Instagram to mark the occasion: “I want to freeze this moment in time. It’s a place that I could live in forever. The joy of competition despite all the challenges. The moment when my horse and I want it equally as bad.

“This is my first win at a championship. I have so many to thank: my federation, the Olympic committee, my owners, my teammates who helped me warm up and stood by me, Amy Spink groom extraordinaire, Emily Sandler, Tamie Smith for her inspiration and coaching via WhatsApp, my husband, my family, my barn family at home, sweet Charlie for stepping into the role of champion effortlessly and confidently, and my grandma for encouraging me to do this 13 years ago.” photo.

There was home joy for El Salvador as Juan Manuel Bolaños Barrios & Zilouet Mystic Rose took Jumping gold. They finished just ahead of Mexico’s Alberto Sanchez-Cozar and Venezuela’s Luis Fernando Larrazabal. There was also success in the Team event for Sanchez-Cozar, however, as Mexico took the top spot ahead of Colombia and Venezuela.

Yvonne Losos De Muñiz rolled back the years to take Dressage gold some 21 years after achieving the same feat in the same city. The Dominican Republic athlete took Individual gold for a third time at the Central American and Caribbean Games, this time with Idwinaretto.Colombia’s Juliana Gutierrez Aguilera took silver and helped her country to Team gold ahead of México and Costa Rica. Carlos Maldonado Lara of Mexico took individual bronze.

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