Juan Matute Guimon of Spain on Quantico Captures Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle for 1st Victory Since Returning “Home”

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Juan Matute Guimon on Quantico in the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida , Mar. 4, 2022–Juan Matute Guimón riding under the Spanish flag won the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle in Friday Night Stars in his first victory in six starts since returning to compete at his family home in Wellington for the first time in two years.

The 24-year-old Juan who has dual Spanish and American citizenship rode Quantico to a score of 80.190%, the best result in more than two years for the partnership that has included a freestyle gold medal at the 2017 European Under-25 Championships and on Spain’s team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Juan admitted he was “going all out” to be in top sport with Quantico, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding, the reason for moving to Spain from Wellington where he grew up with his Spanish Olympic rider father.

“I want to do it all,” he declared after the musical performance that was accompanied by clapping from the crowd to accompany the final centerline.

“I want to go to all of the shows, all of the big shows… European Championships, all the big games, world championships, World Cup Final, everything. And who knows, Quantico will most likely be able to do most of those, but if not with him, who knows with who. But I know I want to be in the top sport, and I must take every opportunity I can.”

Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California on Bellana, the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare that the U.S. 2012 Olympian describes as the best horse he has ever ridden, was runner-up on 75.520% in only the second Big Tour Freestyle.

Jan said that Bellena, owned by Ann Romney, “is a freakish talent. She is a horse that can do stuff other horses just can’t. Amazing athlete, and I’m very lucky to have her. Very lucky that Ann Romney is letting me ride her.

“Originally the horse was not bought for me, it was bought for her, and when we saw what she was like, ‘Okay, I think she’s yours.’ So it’s an amazing horse.”

Jan Ebeling and Bellena i the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Germany’s Christoph Koschel on Dünensee, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding that had never shown in an international dressage competition before this event, placed third on 75.355%.

Christoph passed on competing in the Palm Beach dressage derby that is a highlight of this event because he won for the previous five years and didn’t want to feature again in the horse-swapping competition.

To prepare on short notice for the competition with Dünensee, owned by Terri and Devon Kane of Wellington, Christoph used music from his medal-winning 2010 world and 2011 European championship freestyles with Donnperignon.

Christoph Koschel of Germany in the first freestyle on the American-owned Dünensee at the Global Dressage Festival. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I just decided a few days ago to ride the freestyle tonight, so I needed music,” he said. “So I tried it with that one, and for sure we have to practice it a little bit, but I think it fits quite well to the horse. And I felt really comfortable in it, so yeah, maybe we try it again with the same music.”

Results:

CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges: Katrina Wüst Kari McClain Cesar Torrente Christof Umbach Elisabeth Max-Theurer
Place Scores Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 80.190 ESP Juan Matute Guimón Quantico 79.925 81.45 78.85 80.55 80.175 81.355 (1)
2. 75.520 USA Jan Ebeling Bellena 76.45 75.975 74.85 76.325 74 74.710 (3)
3. 75.355 GER Christoph Koschel Dünensee 77.15 76.675 74.225 75.025 73.7 74.950 (2)
4. 74.095 ESP Pablo Gómez Molina Ulises de Ymas 74.825 76.975 75.05 75.025 68.6 72.819 (5)
5. 72.305 CAN Ariana Chia Fiderflame 68.9 74.775 72.425 73.25 72.175 73.245 (4)
6. 71.985 USA Jessica Jo Tate Derby 71.3 75.425 71.45 71.975 69.775 70.939 (7)
7. 71.435 GBR Lisa Marriott Valucio DH Z 71.3 72.95 69.075 73.675 70.175 71.741 (6)
8. 71.015 ESP Paula Matute Guimón Delagronge 69.8 74.95 70.25 72.25 67.825 69.714 (9)
9. 68.730 CAN Evi Strasser Disney Tyme 67.05 72.9 67.325 70.975 65.4 70.691