Spain’s Teenage Star Juan Matute, Jr. on Dhannie Ymas Take Wellington Nations Cup Int. Freestyle Gold in Sweep of Small Tour
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WELLINGTON, Florida, April 1, 2016–Juan Matute, Jr., the Spanish teenage star based in Florida, won the CDIO3* Nations Cup Intermediate Freestyle on Dhannie Ymas Friday to capture individual gold after leading his team to the bronze medal when finishing atop the Small Tour.
Juan, the 18-year-old son of three-time Olympian Juan Matute, dominated the Freestyle with a score of 74.550 per cent with Austrian individual and adult amateur Katharina Stumpf on For My Love second on 70.925 per cent and Colombia’s Raul Corchuelo on Beckham third on 70.900 per cent.
The Small Tour individual final of the Nations Cup with the Grand Prix a separate competition with another set of medals appeared popular with the crowd that filled the stands at the Adequan Gobal Dressage Festival.
The result of three combinations from three different nations underscored the aim of the organizers at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex to create a format for future Pan American Games at which countries aside from the United States and Canada that dominate the continental championships have a chance to be on the medals podium.
“For me, it’s very special because when the idea came up at the FEI General Assembly last year to split the Intermediaire I Freestyle from the Grand Prix Freestyle, I immediately jumped on board. This is also to have that idea included in the Pan American Games for 2019 and now there is a chance for other countries, outside of the USA and Canada, to go for medals,” he said.
The Wellington CDIO Nations Cup has become a vital–and only–test of formats for the Pan Ams that are the championships every four years for nations throughout the Americas. Effort are being made to raise the level to Grand Prix while encouraging development of the sport by allowing Small Tour.
A footnote: all three horses were sold by Juan Matute, the three-time Olympian for Spain and father of the winner.