Juan Matute, Jr. To Compete in Four International Divisions in Single CDI

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Juan, Jr. and Paula Matute hacking through the magnificent Yeguada de Ymas estate in Wellington, Florida. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Juan, Jr. and Paula Matute hacking through the magnificent Yeguada de Ymas estate in Wellington, Florida. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 5, 2015–Juan Matute, Jr., the 17-year-old son of the Spanish Olympian, will compete in four international divisions from senior Grand Prix to Junior Riders, in what may be a world’s first when the Global Dressage Festival gets underway Wednesday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex.

Juan, Jr., who has established himself as a talented and popular star in Wellington, the equestrian community that his family adopted as their home five years ago, is entered on Mistico TM in Juniors, on Dhannie Ymas in Young Rider, on Quantico Ymas in Small Tour and Don Diego Ymas in senior Grand Prix at the World Cup event. The schedule does not include the Under-25 Grand Prix because it could not fit in to the schedule.

Paula, his sister who turns 19 years old in two weeks, in 2014 rode Grand Prix ahead of her brother, and will compete on Tarpan Ymas in the senior Grand Prix and Firmamento Ymas in Young Rider this week.

The Matute teenagers are competing on two horses owned and sponsored by Yeguada de Ymas which operates large breeding and competition centers in Spain and Florida and the others owned by the Matute family.

Juan Matute on Don Diego Ymas completing the Under-25 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany last year. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Juan Matute on Don Diego Ymas completing in the Under-25 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany last year. He will ride horse in the senior Grand Prix in the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The Florida facility is a magnificent estate of two farms spread over a pristine golf course-like grass dressage arena and hacking trails and two sets of stables and houses on 39 acres (15.8Ha) in the heart of horse country in Wellington, home of the Global Dressage Festival and its companion Winter Equestrian Festival that have become the winter destination for high performance dressage and jumping.

The Wellington estate was created in the past couple of years to extend the competition and breeding operations of Sandaraca Vince, S.L. that in 2005 took over the Toledo, Spain property and all the P.R.E. horses of D. Francisco Beresaluze that had been developed since 1977. The owners have also been actively involved in creating dressage education programs.

The owner, who had received dressage lessons from Juan Matute several years ago, sponsored Wie Atlantico de Ymas for Juan to ride at the 2008 Olympics but that did not pan out. When Juan moved with his family to Wellington for what was to be a break from Europe for a year or so the ownerx were invited to Wellington and fell in love with the community and lifestyle.

One of the Yeguada de Ymas stables and homes. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
One of the Yeguada de Ymas stables and homes. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Initially, they supported the children at European junior and young rider championships.

Their own daughter, Natalia, aged 13, is an enthusiastic Junior rider.

The family supports the Global shows as a sponsor and attends competitions where their horses are performing, but is low key about the extent of their involvement.

Now, it has become a major commitment of horses and support of the Matute family to compete in Wellington in winter and Europe during summer.

Paula Matute on Tarpan leaving the competition arena with fans waving Spanish flags after their Wellington Nations Cup ride. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Paula Matute on Tarpan leaving the competition arena with fans waving Spanish flags after their Wellington Nations Cup ride. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Success in the show ring by Juan, Jr. and Paula has led to the schedule of competing in so many different divisions at the Global Festival but looking toward the Olympics and senior championships.

“This is the best sponsor in the world,” Juan said, “who believes in the dream and wants to support it.”