Juan Matute Guimon’s Personal Best Score on Don Diego in Wellington Gives Rider Chance of Las Vegas World Cup Start
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The personal best score for Juan Matute Guimon and Don Diego on their return to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida gave the Spanish rider a shot at earning a ticket to his first World Cup Final and another trans-Atlantic trip, to Las Vegas.
The 22-year-old Juan, who left his family home in Wellington two years ago to go to college in Madrid and immerse himself in developing his riding and training skills in Europe, boosted himself into eighth place in the World Cup Western European League. Four of the riders ahead of him, with three more qualifiers remaining, are Germans as is defending champion Isabell Werth that actually moves him higher in the standings. A maximum of three horse and rider combinations from any one nation are permitted in the lineup of the Final’s 18 pairs, nine reserved for Western Europe.
Juan has competed both Hanoverian geldings, Don Diego, aged 17, and Quantico, 14, in two qualifiers–three in Europe and one in Florida–aiming for a place in Las Vegas April 15-19.
He rode Quantico on the Spanish team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon that earned his nation a start at the Olympics in Tokyo in July.
As the second highest ranked Spanish rider on Don Diego and eighth on Quantico, Juan is also a contender for Tokyo in July.
Juan is coached by his father, Juan, a three-time Olympian for Spain and who also owns both horses.