Juan Matute, Jr. Captures Spanish Under-25 Championship, Reserve Small Tour–1st National Dressage Title for Teenager

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Juan Matute, Jr. and Don Diego Ymas. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

MADRID, June 3, 2017–Juan Matute, Jr won the Spanish Under-25 Championship Saturday for the first national dressage title for the Florida-based teenager. He was reserve in the small tour.

Juan and Don Diego Ymas, 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, took the Under-25 Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday on 76.675 per cent to complete a sweep of the division after posting victories in the Int. II and U-25 Grand Prix.

Juan and Dhannie Ymas, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, captured the Prix St. Georges and the Int. 1 but placed 11th on 68.425 per cent in the Freestyle to become reserve champion. Juan Antonio Jiménez Cobo on Euclides Mor took the small tour title after posting a Freestyle score of 74.059 per cent.

“I had a great week,” Juan told dressage-news.com, “many great results, many great feelings.

“The horses have improved a lot and I feel much more mature in the ring. I’m riding much more technical but at the same time I’m also taking more risk in different parts of the tests but maintaining the control, which I didn’t fully have in the past.”

He described the gold medal ride on Don Diego as “amazing.”

“It was emotional,” he said, “I was riding with goosebumps for pretty much the entire test.”

He said he thought the atmosphere affected Dhannie in the horse’s first competition in an indoor arena.

Overall, he said, “bittersweet” with victories in two of the three small tour championship classes.

The national title was the first in dressage for Juan, 19 years old, who previously won gold on ponies in eventing before switching to dressage.

Juan is the son of Spain’s multi-Olympian Juan Matute, the winner of the most Spanish Championships,  who moved to Wellington, Florida six years ago.

Juan, Jr. just graduated high school and will begin online college in the next few weeks, expecting it to take longer than the usual four years as he intends to pursue his equestrian career at the same time.

Juan competes extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, with success in youth championships in Europe and at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival of seven CDIs in Wellington over winter where he was ranked seventh in prize money earnings this year.

He also competes at Big Tour but opted to focus on the Under-25 division where he plans to compete in the European Championships in August.