Go to Pratoni! Highlighting Mexican rider Daniela Moguel | Eventing Nation
“If we don’t, who else will?”
Anyone who has met Daniela Moguel knows she has a fiercely positive attitude. As Mexico’s first ever five-star rider, she specializes in overcoming barriers. When I spoke to her last month about her ideas on diversifying our sport, she was quick to point out the problems but was also committed to finding solutions.
If you scroll down the results list for an FEI event, you usually won’t come across many Mexican flags. The nationalities of most runners in the US are American and Canadian (sometimes with a rogue Aussie thrown in there!) despite the fact that Latinos represent almost a fifth of the American population. Daniela would like to change that. She wants to “open up the vision” to include people from different backgrounds in eventing, from the grassroots to the top of the sport.
For Daniela, this must start with “changing the vision and changing the stereotypes”. When you hear the words “Event Rider,” the image that comes to mind is probably of a white woman or man. If you don’t fit that stereotype, it’s hard to see you in the sport, let alone at the top. “Exhibition is a big part of that,” says Daniela.
“The resources are there” to support greater inclusion in sport, especially from a financial perspective. Daniela thinks this is true, but more organization and leadership is needed to put these resources to work. For example, she raises the idea that professional riders could commit to reducing their clinics so that one or two riders can ride for free. This would mean that those who usually can’t afford to ride with a top professional could have access to a great educational opportunity. And you never know – a young cyclist who meets a professional at a clinic may end up becoming their student or full-time employee. Opportunities begin when the door opens.
Daniela also explained how eventing in Latin America is still a military sport. In Mexico, she realized that the sport was largely for men. For example, at the Pan Am Games almost all runners are military and almost all are male.
“As you level up [of eventing in Mexico], there are fewer and fewer girls and women in competition,” notes Daniela. She cites the military influence as creating a gender stereotype, as well as the fact that many women are getting into show jumping instead of eventing because there are more opportunities in the sport. Daniela came to America from her native Mexico in 2018. She had reached a point in her country where she could no longer progress in levels. For a long time, in fact, she was the only woman to compete at the top levels of eventing in Mexico.
Since then, Daniela has competed several times in the three-day Land Rover Kentucky event, as well as the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Later this month, she will compete at the World Championships in Pratoni, Italy, on the horse with which she achieved all those previous goals: Cecelia. “My preparation went well,” says Daniela, citing her show jumping outings in Wellington, Florida, and a recent good finish in the River Glen CCI3S. Cecelia is 19 this year, so Daniela tried to keep her fresh and not over-compete her, but she says she got the horse into top form with the hilly championship venue outside Rome at the start. spirit.
“Let’s look at the big picture,” insists Daniela. “That’s what we can give back to the sport and to the world.” Daniela hopes her success will encourage more Latina girls to take up eventing. “Women need to support each other,” she says, “we need to encourage each other.” She notes that she brought a student into her program who said she wanted to go to the Olympics, but now she thinks that goal is too ambitious. Daniela wants everyone to have big dreams, even if it’s unclear how attainable they will be. “No goal is too high, you just have to work for it.”
Daniela sells t-shirts to help fund her trip to Pratoni. Designed by Britt Gillis and Sally Spickard, they display the slogan “Mex-I-Can” in a nod to her country and its optimism. If you would like to support Daniela’s journey, please follow this link to order a shirt or this link on his GoFundMe page for the world championships. The EN team will certainly cheer him on.