Wellington, Fla. – March 2, 2018 – At the press conference following the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle during the eighth week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival [AGDF], Spanish rider Juan Matute Guimon announced his newly acquired United States citizenship.
Matute, who is Spanish by birth, has spent more than half of his childhood in the United States riding and training in Florida.
“It was a big decision and I actually became a U.S. citizen two weeks ago! It’s one of the decisions that I guess will be determining the future of my career. It’s very difficult,” Matute explained. “Of course I love my country and I feel very attached to Spain for numerous reasons, but at the same time, I did grow up in the United States – at this point for more than half of my life. I have really developed a bond with this country.”
Throughout his riding career, Matute has achieved great accomplishments on both American and Spanish soil. He began competing in Wellington, Florida, in the national ring in 2010 and made his international debut in 2012 riding in the CDI Junior division. Over the years, Matute has moved up the levels to represent Spain in international Grand Prixs, while also competing multiple mounts in the Young Rider and Under-25 divisions.
In 2015, Matute Guimon won the gold medal in the Junior Rider Freestyle at the Youth Continental/Regional Championships in Vidauban, France aboard Dhannie Ymas. In 2017, Matute Guimon and Quantico Ymas won the CDI 4* Grand Prix in Wellington and earned the bronze medal at the European Championships in the U25 division in both 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Matute and Quantico Ymas swept the Lövsta Future Challenge International Under-25 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
So far in 2018, he rode Quantico Ymas to a second place finish CDI5* Grand Prix and fourth in the CDI5* Grand Prix Special. He also placed third in a competitive CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle behind top American riders Laura Graves and Adrienne Lyle.
In the immediate future, Matute is unsure if he will switch from representing Spain in international competitions.
“I think for this year nothing will change,” Matute continued. “We will see in the coming years. Right now I’m in a position where I have enough opportunities to compete on both sides of the Atlantic – in the European venus and here [in Florida] as well to continue improving as a rider and learning every single time that I get to go into the ring, but soon enough the day will come where I have to make a decision.”