Juan Matute’s Campaign for Spain’s Team at Tryon World Equestrian Games
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June 3, 2018
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
With his first Spanish Championship senior medal performance, the 20-year-old Juan Matute Jr. moved a step closer to making his first world championship team for Spain on horses he first competed as a junior in Florida seven years ago.
While he’s not sure how his campaign on Quantico Ymas and Don Diego Ymas to be selected for Spain’s team for the World Equestrian Games will turn out, he texted dressage-news.com, “that’s what is SO exciting and fun.”
So far, the results are promising after two of three events that will weigh heavily in deciding on the four riders and horses to go to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in three months.
“I’m very proud and thankful,” he said. “This is only the beginning!
“I proved to be very consistent with Don Diego Ymas and Quantico Ymas throughout the championships. With both of my horses I had a few very expensive mistakes the three days, but overall we showed huge progress and improvement from my previous two adult championships.
“Not sure what will happen… that’s what is SO exciting and fun. All I know is that with a horse that I started competing in Juniors and Young Riders some years ago I have been able to win a medal in the adult field.”
On Quantico, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, he placed third in the Grand Prix and first in the Special at a CDI3* in Segovia three weeks ago and fourth in the Grand Prix, fifth in the Special and third in the Freestyle at the Spanish Championships. The results on Don Diego, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, have been similar.
The deciding event will be the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany July 17-22, as it will be for teams and individuals from several nations in addition to the home country and the United States.
Juan has spent more time living in Wellington, Florida with his family and is an American citizen though continues to rider under the flag of his native Spain. He has been a charismatic figure competing several horses every winter-long Global Dressage Festival. He is in the first year of an online college course that he undertakes while follows his equestrian goals on both sides of the Atlantic.
Quantico and Don Diego, under the coaching of his father, Juan Matute, a three-time Olympian for Spain, have followed similar routes to become Juan’s Big Tour mounts, including showing at Europe’s top shows.
Don Diego began at national junior team classes in 2011 and Quantico at the same level two years later. He competed Don Diego in the 2012 and 2013 European Junior Championships and the inaugural European Under-25 Championships in 2016.
He partnered with Quantico for the 2017 European Under-25s where the pair placed third in the Grand Prix a week after sweeping a high profile invitational Under-25 competition held alongside the senior European Championships of dressage and jumping in Gothenburg, Sweden.
This year, instead of spending only the summer in Europe, he planned to stay until the end of the year, returning home to Wellington for the 2019 winter circuit. That may change if he makes the Spanish team.
“We have a chance and I’m going to fight for it,” he said. “If luck and good health for my horse and me are by my side then I might see the spectacular venue that Mr. Bellisimo has put together very soon…”
Mark Bellissimo heads up the group that owns and operates Tryon International Equestrian Center.