Juan Matute Jr. and Jamaicano de Ymas III qualified for the ultimate competition for a young horse, the 2014 FEI World Breeding Dressage Championships in Verden, Germany, Aug. 6-10, and are busy training to continue their success. Juan and Jamaicano de Ymas III, a 5-year-old chestnut stallion (Estanquero de Ymas x Jamaicana IV), made a big splash at the 2014 CDI3* DRESSAGE Festival in Madrid in May when they placed first in the Young Horse Final with an 83.60 percent. “Jamaicano is a really special 5-year-old stallion with many qualities in the ring and at the barn,” he said. “Even though he has an alpha attitude, he understands respect and loyalty. His ambition and desire to improve in the ring rapidly fades away as soon as he steps in the barn and that's when his sweet teddy bear like phase kicks in.”
Juan said that some of Jamaicano de Ymas III's strengths are his capability to quickly understand and process new information and his ability to handle competition pressure with ease, adding that these are key attributes for competing on the high-performance stage.
“Jamaicano and I get along very well; we understand each other,” he said. “We know our strengths and weaknesses. We work together to make our strengths stronger and our weaknesses weaker.”
Yeguada de Ymas breed, raise, and train horses that continue to shine in all the levels earlier in the year at the Wellington, Florida, winter circuit and now, throughout the summer, in Europe. With core strength in strong breeding lines, talented horses with expression, and a foundation building training program, Cristina Danguillecourt and Javier Bacariza’s horses show great success in the international dressage arena. Their horses grow into strong youngsters in sight of scenic European mountains, with a state-of –the-art breeding laboratory, and a training spa to ensure the horses reach the correct development. Their horses are started and trained to unparalleled success in Spain and Wellington, Florida overseen by three- time Olympic athlete, Juan Matute. The time, effort, and passion of Yeguada de Ymas (translated to mean: Stud Farm of Ymas) causes a ripple effect on the sport of dressage on a national level for the USA, an international level for Spain, and an overall inspiration through the international success of the young, rising star Matute family.
European Young Riders Championships and Aachen 2014:
Juan also competed for Team Spain onboard another Yeguada de Ymas horse, Dhannie Ymas (Don Crusado X Welina), at the FEI European Young Rider and Junior Championships in Italy. Like his sister, Paula Matute, Juan was thrilled to be a part of the European Young Riders and, coincidentally, Dhannie Ymas is the brother of the horse Paula rode in the European Championships, Firmamento Ymas.
“The European Young Riders was amazing,” he said. “There were top riders and top horses. It was a lot of fun and a great experience. Dhannie Ymas, who is only 7, and I did pretty well and we made it to the final among the best 18 riders in Europe.”
The pair scored a 72.630 percent in the Young Rider Freestyle and a 69.895 percent in the Junior Individual.
Never ones to rest, the family headed to Aachen the following week where Juan rode his father’s 11-year-old gelding, Don Diego Ymas (Don Fredrico x Wie Platine), to a third place finish in the Under 25 Grand Prix with a 68.442 percent and placed sixth in the Under 25 Grand Prix Freestyle with a 70.950 percent to help Spain place second overall in the competition.
“It has been a busy summer!” he said.” A lot of traveling! Organization and planning ahead of time is key to make our tight schedule work out. We only had one day between Arezzo and Aachen! As soon as we unloaded the horses coming from Arezzo, the following day we were already making our way to the North with our second pair of horses.”
While only 16, Juan is already a seasoned competitor who said that Aachen, the holy grail of European dressage competition, is his favorite show of all time.
“It is such an unbelievable place,” he said. “The BEST of the BEST riders from every country around the world go there to show what they are made of. It was our first time competing there so our mentality was just to learn, get more experience and above all, have FUN!”
He added that his father, Juan Matute, advised his children to experience all Aachen had to offer and, above all, to have fun. The younger Juan said it was an emotional time for the family, as it was the site of his father’s last big show before he competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Like his sister, Juan counts his blessings when it comes to his family, his horses and Yeguada de Ymas.
“I am really thankful to have such a great sponsor like Yeguada de Ymas,” he said. “They support us 100 percent and, best of all, they believe in us!”
His sister 18-year-old Paula has been riding Tarpan Ymas for only six months but the relationship between the rider and the 14-year-old KWPN chestnut gelding (Waterman x Iriantha) owned by Yeguada de Ymas continues to blossom.
“Tarpan and I have a REALLY special bond,” she said. “We have some things to adjust, but in only six months it has gotten to the point where I don't need any aids for some exercises. It’s like he can read my mind!”
The pair competed at the CDIO Aachen, Germany, in the Under 25 division in mid-July and helped the Spanish team win the overall silver medal in the event. Paula and Tarpan placed 10th in what was only the gelding’s third Grand Prix test with a 66.047 percent in the Under 25 Grand Prix. They came back the next day to place seventh in the Under 25 Grand Prix Freestyle with a 69.90 percent, and a nod from the Dutch judge with a 73 percent. The music for the freestyle is from the movie “Tarzan,” a favorite of Paula’s from childhood.
“I find a similar relationship between Tarzan's story and the story Tarpan and I want to tell,” she said. “The absolute trust between two different species and how two different creatures can become one.”
Paula said that, although there were some expensive mistakes the first day, Tarpan Ymas has the heart of a champion. “It’s really a one-in-a-million feeling,” Paula said. “Tarpan gives me the chills. Personally, I believe that the strongest muscle an athlete has is the heart, and this is Tarpan’s strength and the reason why he got to where he is.”
The gelding began his career as a driving horse, but the young rider saw something special and begged to ride him. “A good horse will always be a good horse no matter what,” she explained. “He is the type of horse that would work his heart out just to please me.”
The duo competed in the small tour as recently as mid-March at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (GDF) series F series in Wellington, Florida, and then jumped up to large tour at the final show and placed second in the Young Rider Grand Prix there.
She said she is grateful to Yeguada de Ymas for sponsoring her and allowing her to ride Tarpan and plans to compete with him in the open CDIs at the Grand Prix level for the 2015 GDF season.
“Tarpan is my 18-hand teddy bear,” she said. “He is the most sensitive horse I’ve ever met: sensitive to every move, any noise or even the way you approach him. Perhaps he’s a bit insecure which, as a rider, makes you work in order to gain his confidence.”
She said the gelding thrives on kindness, adding that instead of punishing him after he makes a mistake, she just tries again. The first day the pair competed in the intense atmosphere at Aachen, he spooked and Paula immediately patted him and he continued like nothing happened. “With Tarpan, I cannot be nervous, not one second,” she continued. “Otherwise, he will be too. So, I just focused on being his partner all along the test, leaving the crowd completely aside and making sure he enjoyed it as well.”
She also qualified for the FEI European Young Rider and Junior Championships held July 9-13 in Arezzo, Italy, and rode her father’s 7-year-old Firmamento Ymas (Don Crusador x Rika), earning a 68.432 percent in the Junior Team test and a 68.00 percent in the Individual Team test as a member of Team Spain.
A Scholarship Program:
Yeguada de Ymas offers a training course for future riders of dressage. A knowledge of Spanish is not required. The applicant must send a video of eight minutes of duration where he/she is seen walking, trotting and cantering. Optionally, one can send an additional video of a test. This video can be sent in DVD or mp4 format to the following address:
Yeguada de Ymas C/ Leréz nº2 , 28002-Madrid, España.
Please include your contact information in this packet. Riders will compete in Spain and there may be an option of continuing six months training in Wellington, Florida, USA. The riders selected will have a five- year contract, which includes the two years of training (housing is provided during these two years at Yeguada de Ymas).