By Jose Miguel Pascual Labrador
Madrid, Nov 28 (EFE).- Spain’s Juan Matute Guimon, 24, who suffered a stroke and spent 25 days in intensive care 18 months ago, was delighted with his podium finish Saturday in the Dressage World Cup in Madrid given that nobody knew at the time the lasting effects of his injury.
After a steady progression in 2021, the rider is euphoric and assures that the stroke is “a closed chapter” from which he has learned a lot and has given him extra motivation to fight for a place among the equestrian elite.
The third place in Madrid, in the third round of the Dressage World Cup Western European division, is Matute Guimon’s best result in the competition organized by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
PODIUM FINISH WITH TWO OLYMPIC VETERANS
The Spaniard shared the podium with two experienced riders, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, both Olympic medalists.
“It has been a long road, not necessarily of roses, a road with many ups and downs, with many moments that have been challenges that I have overcome and here I am, stronger than ever and happy to continue working and moving up the rankings,” he told EFE.
“IT BURST WHEN IT HAD TO”
During the interview, the athlete explained that the stroke was due to a congenital arteriovenous malformation, which, in his own words, “burst when it had to,” but thanks to the doctors and the support of his family he was able to recover.
Matute Guimon, son of rider Juan Matute, who has participated in three Olympics, said that it is “an experience that he would not change for the world” and that allows him to be grateful for every moment, including the bad days.