Spain Assures Wellington’s Global Scores Will Count Toward Olympic Selection

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Juan Matute on Don Diego Ymas. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Juan Matute on Don Diego Ymas. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 19, 2016–The results of Spanish riders in Florida will count in the selection procedures for the country’s Olympic team, the Spanish federation advised the organizers of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival that welcomed the assurance.

Luis Lucio, Dressage Technical Director of the Spanish Equestrian Federation wrote to Thomas Baur, the Global Sports Director, that for Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special, “… scores of the CDIs there in Wellington and all over the world count towards the qualification of Spanish riders for our teams.”

Riders and horses will compete at the Spanish championships in June and then go to top shows in Europe ahead of the final selection at the World Equestrian Festival CDIO in Aachen, Germany in July, three weeks before the Olympic dressage competition in Rio de Janeiro.

Beatriz Ferrer-Salat on Delgado, ranked No. 4 in the world, and Jose Daniel Martin Dockx on Grandioso are expected to fill two of the four slots on the Spanish team with the other two places to be decided by the European competitions.

“We appreciate the assurance of the Spanish federation that recognizes the results of the riders representing Spain that are competing here in Wellington,” Thomas Baur said, “as well as respecting the integrity of the judges.

“The large number of combinations from many nations competing at the Global Dressage Festival underscores the significance of this circuit.”

The Spanish statement addresses concerns that Spain’s Olympic requirements stressing European results placed extra hurdles in the way of Spanish riders, including the 18-year-old Juan Matute, Jr. competing Don Diego Ymas in Florida.

In the World Cup Grand Prix last week, Juan, the son of a three-time Spanish Olympian based in Florida for the past seven years, and Don Diego Ymas scored a personal best 70.540 per cent in the World Cup Grand Prix.

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.

At the end of 2015, he was ranked No. 2 on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings for Juniors; No. 14 at Young Riders; No. 42 at Under-25 and No. 155 on the senior standings and with Don Diego the 11th ranked Spanish combination.