Juan Matute & Don Diego Post Personal Best in Wellington’s Global World Cup Grand Prix
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 14, 2016–Juan Matute, Jr. and Don Diego Ymas posted a personal best score at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Thursday at the same time as organizers of the world’s richest lineup of dressage competitions criticized the Spanish federation for displaying “disrespect” to judges.
Juan, the 18-year-old son of three-time Spanish Olympian whose family has been based in Florida for the past seven years, and Don Diego Ymas scored 70.540 per cent for fifth place. Three of the five judges were from Western Europe, one from Colombia and one from the United States.
The Grand Prix was won by six-time Swedish Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén on Don Auriello with 2015 U.S. Grand Prix Championship pair of Laura Graves and Verdades second, Canada’s Leah Wilson Wilkins on Fabian JS was third and Danish Olympic, World Games, European Championships and World Cup rider Lars Petersen on Mariett was fourth.
The Infanta Elena de Borbon two months ago presented Juan with the award for Spain’s best equestrian athlete for 2015 after he won the European Junior Championship Freestyle gold medal on Dhannie Ymas. Juan is ranked No. 2 on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings for Juniors; No. 14 at Young Riders; No. 42 on the Under-25 world rankings and No. 155 on the senior standings and with Don Diego the 11th ranked Spanish combination as of the end of 2015.
The Spanish federation has made clear it will not count any CDI results in Wellington toward Juan’s efforts to earn a place on Spain’s Olympic team insisting that only results in specified European competitions will count.
Thomas Baur the Sports Director of the Global Dressage Festival of a lineup of three months of international and national shows, including seven CDIs with total prize money of almost $700,000 over winter said he will ask the Spanish federation for an explanation for the decision that places Spanish riders in Florida at a disadvantage.
“We are quite upset,” he told a news conference to launch the fifth year of the Global festival that is a companion to the long standing Winter Equestrian Festival of jumpers and hunters at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
“We have seen during the past two years that scores are more or less the same as in Europe,” he said. “We don’t see any reason why these scores should not be counted.
“I will touch base with the technical director of the Royal Spanish federation as soon as possible to sort this out. It is not the right way to do it. All the other European federations take into consideration these results.
“We have a lot of of European judges. This is a lack of respect to them.”