Wellington, FL - It was a set of new leather reins for everyone as the Neue Schule Best Hands Award made an unprecedented decision to break from tradition and recognize not one rider, but all of Team Spain competing in the only CDIO competition in the Western Hemisphere, the Stillpoint Farms CDIO 3* Nations Cup, February 19-23, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. “The team atmosphere was the highlight of the day,” chimed squadmate Juan Matute, Jr. Team Spain achieved an Bronze medal podium finish with a squad composed of almost entirely small tour horses, earning a total score of 412.632 behind Team USA-1 for Gold and Team Canada-1 for Silver, thanks to Juan Matute Jr. riding Don Diego Ymas, sister Paula Matute on Tarpan Ymas, Carlos Munoz riding Klouseau, and Marta Renilla with Presumido.
Paula Matute, whose Tarpan Ymas joined her training program only a month before coming to Wellington, called the experience, “More than a dream. To be here with this horse in this short a time shows how amazing his future could be.”
“I had that awesome feeling of my horse being absolutely with me,” said Munoz, referring to Karen Blank's 17-hand bay Trakhener gelding, Klouseau. “It's important to have a good feeling with the mouth of the horse. If the horse is not happy in their mouth than we cannot do too much,” the two-time Wellington Nations Cup veteran said.
Mette Larsen, of Metlar Saddlery in Riverhead, NY, and authorized U.S. dealer for the UK-based Neue Schule and its ergonomic bits, said choosing the team over one rider was easy: “The strength of their connections to their small tour horses, who rose to the occasion when it was needed, was obvious in the results. They should be proud of both awards, the Best Hands and the Bronze!”
In Wellington and around the world, Neue Schule mouthpieces are giving dressage riders new choices in better fitting bits, including Comfy Contact Eggbutt and Comfy Contact Baucher bits, whose soft side-to-side action softens polls and jaws and encourages contact.
Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery specializes in superior quality equipment and prestigious accessories inspired by the equestrian lifestyle, with a focus on progressive and creative innovation, comfort and high standards.
Learn more about Metlar and Neue Schule at www.metlar-us.com or call (631) 252-5574.