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HSJ’s interview with Maya de la Joya


On the way to the Europeans

We had the privilege to interview the talented Spanish young rider Maya de la Joya. She won team gold and individual silver for juniors back in 2019 on her horse Un Lorde du Rozel, and has since then regularly performed on a high note delivering constant results on a national and international level. This year we will see her compete in the Young Riders division on her horse Cassio 31.

Hi Maya, please tell us about yourself and your string of horses?

“ Hi. This is Maya de la Joya , a 20 year old Spanish show jumper. I was just recently selected for the European championships with Cassio 31. At the moment, I have two other horses which are Un Lord and Gallipett. And my initial plan this year was to jump the Europeans with Jackson, but He went lame in April, so we decided to retire him. And so now all hopes are on Cassio. This is a horse that really gives me all the confidence in the world.”Especially to jump big tracks because he’s very brave and powerful.

How does it feel to have been selected for the Europeans this year?

So I’m really excited to be jumping this championship with him and it’s what I’ve been working for all season. But to be honest, I don’t have any sort of expectation. I just want ride to the best of my ability and enjoy each round, and If I get to the final, then that would be a blessing. But really, my goal is to to enjoy each round and and be able to ride these difficult courses. 

This not being your first championship, what are your feelings towards entering such an important competition weekend? How do you cope with pressure?

I also really want be supportive of my teammates and create this team spirit that I can. So, you know, that at least if the results don’t don’t go our way, then we can look back and have great memories in each of each other’s company. And, you know, I  want think that I have less pressure, but, of course, I’m sure that’s going ot change as soon as I’m walking into the arena. 

How are you getting yourself and the horse ready for this championship? Is there a specific program that you are going through?

As for the preparation of, you know, my horse Cassio 31, I’m trying to keep him on the best shape possible working alongside my and trainer to do this. 

He’s actually quite a hot and anxious horse, so there’s not that much that we can do at home, you know, except keeping him flexible and calm and doing simple exercises like cavillates and pull work.

. And as for me, I’m also training and doing my own thing and I actually started training with Diego from rider Balance who will hopefully help me to restructure my body  and balance to be a better rider, but I still have a long way to go and then I’m also doing some visualization exercises so that I’m able to navigate through the nerves that will most likely arise when jumping. But I mean, I do really have a team around me that gives me a lot of confidence starting with my groom Mario and my trainer, Ricardo Horado, Olympic rider whom I started training with in April. And, really, he’s such a a positive and easy going person, and he he really has so much experience from from all his years jumping at the top level.

So yeah. I’m really looking forward to the the Europeans’s week and and hoping that that it all goes well. Thank you. 

Thank you Maya, we wish you the best of luck on this journey and on the road to the Europeans 2023.

Photo provided by Maya de la Joya – credits Moises Basallote (c) Sunshine Tour

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