Juan Manuel Galeano Cerezo, rider from head to toe from Extremadura, Santa Amalia (Badajoz). He spent more than ten years in Yeguada Centurión (Segovia), where he gathered most of his success on horseback.
We benefit from your visit to this issue of SICAB 2022 to get to know you better; and as you will already judge from this informal conversation, “Curro” (as his friends call him) is a clear example of the result of such components as natural talent, perseverance at work and humility.
For those who still haven’t found this athlete from Extremadura, Juan Manuel Galeano should commend his outstanding sporting achievements, including being twice selected for the Young Dressage World Championships, followed by numerous competitions. of course, significant sporting achievements at the national level.
Good day, Juan Manuel. We are so grateful that you spent some time with us to let Extremaduran fans get to know you a little better. To begin, we would like to know what your first contact with the equine world was like:
– My first contact with horses was at home with my father. It was always amateur and we had horses, but we did not practice any particular discipline.
Tell us a little about your professional career: who did you train with, what side jobs did you have, etc.
– I met Carlos Nieto when I was 16. So he was working on vinyl Because I wanted to learn “about horses” but was clear that I had limited resources, I offered to work for him in exchange for teaching me how to ride. I became his shadow: I accompanied him to the competitions, I groomed his horses, I knitted, in short, he trusted me a lot over time. It was a big effort because I had to take the bus to Mérida very early from Santa Amalia. When Carlos Yeguada transferred to Cuba, I accompanied him because we formed a good team. That season I was working there in the mornings in Yeguada Cuba and in the afternoons taking lessons from Antonio Díaz Porras at the Fundación Escuela de Equitación de Madrid. Since Carlos Nieto and I started working at Yeguada Centurión, a little more is known about the last part of my professional career.
How were your beginnings at Yeguada Centurión?
– I started separating the colts first and as I learned more they gave me more opportunities. What made a big difference for me was being able to learn from professionals like Johan Zagers or Isidro Maldonado.
We ask who is his reference, and again he does not hesitate to name Isidro Maldonado.
– I really think the person I am a rider is Isidro. In the beginning he taught me two or three times a week, so we have a close relationship. I started racing with him and I love that he reads horses.
And a special horse for you?
– How could it be otherwise, Solano de Centurión. The horse with which I had the most sporting achievements.
Regarding the second. What sporting achievement are you most proud of? Juan Manuel showcases the humility that characterizes him:
– My first bronze medal at the Spanish Championship in 2017. It was the reward of hard work after a long journey and moreover, I wasn’t expecting it! The following year I was able to declare myself runner-up in Spain, but it was different anyway… My debut on the Championship podium was special.
How do you deal with athletic achievements? And when are they not so good?
– The good ones, I’ll face them happily (Sherry). I congratulate them along with my family, who are part of my achievements. I try to criticize myself with bad results. Anyway, I always review the results based on the feeling I’m getting off the track.
Tell us what you value most when riding PRE horses at a festival of Pure Spanish Breed in this unique setting.
– I really appreciate that they have three good walks: walk, trot and gallop. Of course, I also value the character, but then I get to know them better.
You, who ride a lot of young horses, how important is bullying to you?
– I no longer break foals because the workload of the stud farm sometimes takes me to 11 horseback rides. However, I really appreciate the work my colleagues are doing because that’s the foundation from which I started working.
What do you enjoy most when you set out with a new horse?
– What I like most is that the horses understand what I want from them because that means I am communicating properly. For me, and I think for all riders, it’s very gratifying because understanding yourself with the horse is very important.
In your experience, what do you think the referees penalized the most in PRE?
– Not because they punish… Sometimes I think it should be difficult to judge different breeds of horses in the same event, because the mechanics of the movements are a little different.
How do you think PRE breeding can be improved in Extremadura?
– As with any breed, I believe the selection should be strict. Characters, performances, etc. It is essential to ride the stallions and mares that they will be bred in order to have first-hand information about them. Only in this way can livestock be developed everywhere, not just in Extremadura.
What do you think is important in training new dressage riders and riders?
– Surrounded by good professionals from whom they can learn from.
How about riders and riders who want to start the world of dressage?
– I would tell them that if they truly love and are passionate about it, they should work because they are good fans, because it is possible. It is important to look for good opportunities and know how to take advantage of them.
Finally, Juan Manuel, what are your sporting goals for 2023?
– I want to make the leap to the Grand Prix with Solano and Océano. With 7-year-old Brillante and another 5-year-old I’m riding, I’d love to qualify them for the World Championships.
Thank you very much for your time, Juan Manuel. It was a pleasure to meet you and talk a little bit about horses.
– That satisfaction is mine. I will always be willing to share my experiences with people in my country.
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