Juan Matute Guimón Makes Triumphant Return With Plus-80% Score in AGDF 8

Saturday, March 5, 2022
Posted by Alice Collins for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.



Momentous Day

Spain’s Juan Matute Guimón marked a momentous day with a plus-80% victory in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by IDA Development, on Friday, March 4. His win came in the atmospheric evening session in the Global International Arena under lights in week eight of the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. AGDF, which hosts seven weeks of CDI competition, runs through March 27.

It was clear from Matute Guimón’s reaction at the final halt how much this performance meant to him. Aside from the pandemic hobbling competition and training opportunities for more than two years, the 24-year-old suffered a brain bleed in May 2020 followed by pneumonia and a long road to recovery.

Photo - Juan Matute Guimón (ESP) claimed the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4* under lights with over 80% riding Quantico, marking his return to top form following a brain bleed. (©susanjstickle.com)

Winner of the qualifying grand prix, Jan Ebeling (USA), had to settle for second with his talented 12-year-old mare Bellena. He posted 75.52% with some green mistakes. Germany’s Christoph Koschel slotted into third with Dünensee, chalking up 75.355%.

Emotional Comeback

“It’s been quite an emotional comeback,” said Matute Guimón, “because the last time I was here was in 2020 with Don Diego trying to qualify for the Las Vegas World Cup Final. And then we all know what happened after that. Now I’m back, and I’m going all out. I want to do it all. I want to go to all of the shows, the European Championships, World Championships, World Cup Final, everything. I want to be in the top sport, and I must take every opportunity I can.”

Click to watch Juan Matute Guimón’s winning test. ©richardsequinevideo.com

Matute Guimón, who rides for Spain but holds U.S. citizenship as well, could hear the crowd clapping along at the end of his highly technical freestyle test, which he rode to music by Juanes and Bruno Mars that received a score of 80.190%. Quantico, a 16-year-old gelding by Fighting Fit, lit up.

Jan Ebeling
Jan Ebeling rode Bellena, by Belissimo M, into second place with 75.52%. (©susanjstickle.com)

“With horses as sensitive as Quantico they get really electric,” enthused Matute Guimón, who had only ever logged one score over 80% before. “And for the passage and piaffe, this is what we want to see, lots of activity. I had so much fun already, and to earn an 80% on top of that is mind-blowing. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep increasing the scores. That is always the goal. 81 or 82 or 83, who knows? But clean tests with more power, more cadence.”

Freakish Talent

“A freakish talent” is how Jan Ebeling describes Bellena, the 12-year-old daughter of Bellissimo M who he rode into second place. Originally bought for her owner Ann Romney to ride, Ebeling picked up the ride when they realized how talented she was.

“She’s a horse that can do stuff other horses just can’t,” he explained. “She’s an amazing athlete. Karen Robinson helped me with the choreography and the music, which is Piano Boys. It’s a relatively easy freestyle because she’s a green horse, and I don’t want to push her too much. But I’m thinking about adding in pirouettes in the piaffe and all that other stuff, because I gotta catch up with Juan!”

Third-placed Koschel was riding Dünensee, Diamante Farms’ 13-year-old gelding by Dancier, at his first CDI, performing their first freestyle and making their debut under lights.

“It’s all so new so he was a bit shy and a little nervous, but I think we handled it very well,” he said. “And I used [former top horse] Dom Perignon’s freestyle, which is really difficult, so I think we have to practice it a little bit more. I’m very happy that he behaved so well, because I didn’t know how we would do under the lights.”

Judge Cesar Torrente (COL) was impressed with what he saw: “The first three places were really good,” he said. “Juan’s freestyle, the difficulty was amazing. Jan did a wonderful canter tour. Ballena is an amazing, powerful mare. Watch out, because that one has a lot of power and is a really high quality mare. And Christoph, of course, is a wonderful rider, and he performed to the best of his abilities. It was very good to see such high standard. I would say the choreographies were all good and the music was good, so it was very pleasant to judge.”

Dressage resumes on Saturday, March 5, with a full day of action, including the feature class, the Grand Prix Special CDI4*, presented by Mission Control. Competition also includes small and medium tour classes, young horse classes, an under-25 grand prix, as well and junior and young rider contests. 

Christoph Koschel
Christoph Koschel (GER) and Diamante Farms’ Dünensee (©susanjstickle.com)

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by IDA Development 

Place, rider, nationality, horse, horse information: judge E%, judge H%, judge C%, judge M%, judge B%, final score 

E, Katrina Wüst (GER); H, Kari McClain (USA); C, Cesar Torrente (COL); M, Christof Umbach (LUX); B, Elisabeth Max-Theurer (AUT)

1. Juan Matute Guimón (ESP) on Quantico, Juan Matute Azpitarte’s 16yo Hanoverian gelding by Fighting Fit: 79.925, 81.45, 78.85, 80.55, 80.175, 80.19

2. Jan Ebeling (USA) on Bellena, Ann Romney’s 12yo Hanoverian mare by Belissimo M: 76.45, 75.975, 74.85, 76.325, 74, 75.52

3. Christoph Koschel (GER) on Dünensee, Diamante Farms’ 13yo Hanoverian gelding by Dancier: 77.15, 76.675, 74.225, 75.025, 73.7, 75.355

4. Pablo Gómez Molina (ESP) on Ulises De Ymas, Javier Bacariza, Cristina Danguillecourt & Yeguada de Ymas S.L.’s 12yo PRE gelding by Seni Indio: 74.825, 76.975, 75.05, 75.025, 68.6, 74.095

5. Ariana Chia (CAN) on Fiderflame, her own 12yo Oldenburg gelding by Fidertanz: 68.9, 74.775, 72.425, 73.25, 72.175, 72.305

6. Jessica Jo Tate (USA) on Derby, Cackie Vroom’s 16yo Oldenburg NA gelding by Donnerwerth: 71.3, 75.425, 71.45, 71.975, 69.775, 71.985

7. Lisa Marriott (GBR) on Valucio DH Z, her own 13yo Zangersheide gelding by Va-Vite: 71.3, 72.95, 69.075, 73.675, 70.175, 71.435

8. Paula Matute Guimón (ESP) Delagronge, her own & Julie McAllister’s 14yo Oldenburg stallion by De Niro: 69.8, 74.95, 70.25, 72.25, 67.825, 71.015

9. Evi Strasser (CAN) on Disney Tyme, her own 14yo Oldenburg gelding by Diamond Hit: 67.05, 72.9, 67.325, 70.975, 65.4, 68.73