Breeders that have had a Significant Impact on the

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Breeders that have had a Significant Impact on the
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Chapter II-6
Breeders that Have Had a Significant Impact on the Breed
This chapter title puts somewhat of a noose around my neck, because so many
conscientious breeders have contributed to the development of the Chilean Horse breed over
the 460 years that have elapsed since its inception. In Chapter I-4, I touched on what little is
known about Chile’s first horse breeder, Father Rodrigo González Marmolejo. Aside from
being the first livestock breeder, he merits mention because his progressive mindset did so much
to help Chile develop a solid genealogical foundation, which resulted in a faster rise to the
pinnacle of horse breeding in South America. In other chapters, I also made mention of the
political leaders that promoted quality horse breeding because of their personal passion for the
horse, as well as their influential roles in the historical progression of this fine country. All these
personalities in Chile’s history have contributed in giving rise to a tradition that has honored
Chilean hippologists and challenged Chilean Horse breeders throughout time.
Once the Chilean Horse breed was defined in a formal registry, a great many breeders
aided the progress of the breed. I say this without meaning to overlook the fact that families like
García-Huidobro and others provided excellent foundation stock over 115 years before the
breed was officially registered. Still, in talking about breeders that had a significant impact on
the breed, it is reasonable that we should only deal with those that have had a direct influence
when the breed was recognized as such. The two breeders that I will touch on that were no
longer living when the registry was started were certainly present in spirit as the pages of the
registry were filled with the bloodlines they selected, crossed and raised while gaining the
respect and recognition of their peers. Even today, “Quilamutano” and “Cuevano” bloodlines
are mentioned with great pride in the genealogy of modern Chilean Horse breeders.
Knowing full well that many excellent breeders will be left out of this chapter, I must
clarify that the ones I have chosen to write specifically about are ones that I consider to have
made a resounding difference in raising the level of achievement, and, in turn, the degree of
expectations, of the breed. Each one did it for different reasons that has much to do with the
history behind their lives, their eras, their personal objectives, and both the skill and luck that
gave rise to the memorable horses that crossed their paths. Breeders of any kind of horse would
do well to study carefully the summaries of these interesting breeding establishments, as an
assortment of valuable human qualities and crucial priorities can be found within these lines to
guide them down that elusive road that leads to success.
Hacienda Quilamuta
Although the stock horse type was present everywhere at the time of Chilean
independence, their most important breeding grounds were in main settlements that existed
between the northern and southern latitudes of this new nation. A more specific definition of
what should embody the upsurging Chilean Horse breed was born in the Department of
Rancagua. In the mid 19th century, the Province of Santiago was divided into five departments
that, from north to south, included Quillota, Santiago, Casa Blanca, Melipilla, Victoria and
Rancagua. The latter three were reputed to have the better horse breeding establishments in the
country, but due to the location of some exceptional horse breeders, Rancagua had the best
reputation.
This southernmost department extended from the foothills of the Andes, crossing the
Camino Real (the Royal Road which is now the Pan-American Highway) east to west all the
way to the Pacific shoreline. More or less in the middle of the portion of the Department of
Rancagua that lies west of the Camino Real was an area known as Quilamuta-Alhué. The name
stood for two sectors in the area each of which had a ranch bearing its namesake. It is this area
that would give birth to the extraordinary qualities that would be slowly diffused amongst the
developing population of Chilean Horses.
The proximity to the Department of Melipilla assures us that most of the horses from this
region would have a strong influence from the original horses from Chárcas that Father Rodrigo
González Marmolejo introduced to his Royal Grant in Picó, Chile. Melipilla had been the crux
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of livestock breeding for the settlement of Santiago because of the natural protection offered by
the surrounding hills and the peaceful nature of the Native American tribes in that area. It is no
coincidence that the best breeding establishments of the 19th century were all found in this
vicinity. In fact, the majority of the breeders were generally found along an old road that
connected the northern city of Limache with Santiago and then headed southwards out of the
capital all the way to Parral and Peumo, in the proximity of the Cachapoal River.
The original Hacienda Quilamuta was integrated with the Haciendas Carén and Pinche
and was owned by Santiago Valenzuela between 1790 and 1813. During those 24 years, it
started to create an unusual reputation for the quality of its horses. This standing continued until
1843, when it was the property of José Cutiño and Jose María Torres. The Toro brothers, who
already owned the neighboring Hacienda Alhué, were the next to buy the farm and owned it
until 1853. They are most credited for taking the “Quilamutanos” to national fame.
The horses from Quilamuta-Alhué were known to have many remarkable qualities. They
were indisputably the source of the greatest thrashing mares in the country. Ramón, Pedro and
Santiago Toro, the owners of Hacienda Quilamuta, were known to have two groups of 100
mares each and another two groups of 50 mares each that were petitioned by the most important
wheat and barley producers in the province. They were known not only for being able to handle
a larger workload than other mares selected for this purpose, but they also had so much energy
that they never needed to be encouraged to maintain the desired pace for the job. It is this drive
that can be harnessed in a variety of manners that any good representative of the Chilean Horse
breed offers today.
This lineage had a preponderance of duns and an abnormally high number of grays also.
Black, dark bay and grulla can also be remembered, but the classical representative of a
“Quilamutano” horse is the yellow line backed dun. The male products of these thrashing mares
earned a reputation as invincible rienda horses, excellent corraleros and sprint runners
extraordinaire. As their numbers started to ripple out into the surrounding areas, the region
earned a reputation as a producer of horses with tons of energy, excellent trainability, agile
movements and a docile temperament.
As a general rule, the “Quilamutanos” were considered short in stature, as they were
raised on hillsides with no supplementation. On the other hand, the stallions were selected on
the basis of their merits as stock horses that worked in the mountainous region, and this was
probably biased to the smaller size. In fact, so convinced were the Toro brothers that bigger was
NOT better, that whenever an unusually tall horse (1.47 m or 14.2 hands or bigger, and some
reached heights of 1.58 m or almost 15.3 hands) was raised, it usually was castrated. These
horses were sold for specialty uses such as a carriage horse, or if it had a high-stepping, spiking
or distinctive paddling motion it was sold as a parade horse.
A hip that was higher than their short wide withers accompanied the small stature. This,
along with the large girth, the broad chest, the heavy shoulders, the straight pastern angles, the
slight sickle hocked conformation and the hard hooves, were all typical traits of mountain-bred
horses the world over. Interestingly, these qualities are also advantageous for the quick and fast
movements that are required in working cattle. Although I risk sounding redundant, the
phenotype describing the earliest Chilean Horses clearly concentrated the genes of the
mountain horses of northern Spain, as opposed to the marshland horses of southern Spain or the
desert horses of northern Africa.
As the neighboring farms sought to include this exceptional blood in their breeding
programs, other breeders also played an influential role in propagating the reputation of the
“Quilamutano” horses. The Hacienda Popeta had an unbeatable gray sprinter known as Tordillo
Popetano that had to appear incognito to find contenders. The progressive rancher, Estanislao
Arlegui was also a great promoter of this lineage. Pedro Prado, Ángel Ortúzar and Juan D. de
Correa, all owners of Hacienda de San José at different times, each identified strongly with the
“Quilamutano” bloodlines. In time, some ranches established a reputation of their own as
lineages known as “Popetanos” (from Hacienda Popeta), “Bravinas” (from Lorenzo Bravo),
“Naltaguinas” (from Mr. Arlegui), etc.
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Figure 150 (a) & (b)
Melipilla was the home of the first horse breeder in Chile, Bishop Rodrigo Gonzalez Marmolejo. For centuries the majority of
the serious breeders were located between the Departments of Rancagua and Quillota . As can be seen by the detailed portion
of the map below the areas of Aculeo, Alhue, Bucalemu, Comapañia, Doñigue, Linderos (home of La Posada) and Parral
(home of Lo Cuevas) were all located in the Department of Rancagua which became the prime breeding ground for the best
Chilean Horses of its day. Excellent breeders are still associated with the region today, which also hosts the National
Championship Rodeo in “La Medialuna de Rancagua”.
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Although these breeders had an impact in their day, they have been long forgotten by
most present day owners of Chilean Horse breeding establishments. Modern breeders are
probably hard pressed to identify with any specific influence of Quilamutano horses in
contemporary bloodlines. Most students of Chilean Horse history have heard of the stallion
Codicia that brought fame to both Hacienda Aculeo and Liborio Larrain’s Criadero Rauten in
Quillota. What is often ignored is that Codicia’s sire Naranjo was of Quilamutano breeding. As
a result the sons of Codicia that went to stud: Nispero, Pincel, Pluma, Magnolia, Noble and
Bronce (Nº1 in the Chilean Horse registry), all carried the Quilamuta genes. Unfortunately, only
Bronce transcended somewhat in time before his lineage also eventually died out.
What is extremely interesting is that Uldaricio
Prado is of the opinion that due to the fact that
Guante I was born in Hacienda Aculeo 1867, the
most probable stallion to be credited as his sire
would be Naranjo. If this well founded speculation
were to be true, it would mean that the great
majority of modern Chilean Horses would be
descendents of the Quilamutano lineage.
The manner in which the “Quilamutanos”
stood out from the norm in their day has made
various authors speculate that this has been the result
of an infusion of foreign blood. One theory is that
the last horse imported from Spain came with
General Osorio on his second visit to Chile in 1817.
Figure II.151 Codicia (1876) was a son of
General Osorio is known to have fled the Battle of
Naranjo who in turn was Quilamutano breeding.
Maule with 250 soldiers. The night of his flight, he
He was a great broodmare sire that did not produce
made camp in Hacienda Bucalemú, but later he
a prepotent sire line.
slipped out with 50 soldiers and fresh horses while
the rest of his troops slept. It was theorized that his fatigued Spanish stud was abandoned with
the other horses in this ranch.
Another theory states that an “Arab” horse was taken to Hacienda Quilamuta when it
was found wounded beside a Spanish soldier after the battle of Rancagua. The wording of
“Arab” is often used to describe equines of Moorish bloodlines, since the first Islamic invaders
of the Iberian Peninsula were a part of the Arab invasion that dominated northern Africa. The
fact that Moors were converted to Islam has made many writers use the terms Arabs, Moors and
Berbers interchangeably. More unfortunate is the use of the term “Arab” in describing the
North African horses, as these Barbs were a totally different type of horse and not Arabian at
all. This confusion in terminology has led some authors to justify the “Arab” ancestry of
Chilean horses in mistakenly recommending them as endurance horses.
In fact, Uldaricio Prado clarifies matters for us in a very definitive manner, stipulating:
“Since the discovery of our country (Chile), no equine breeding animals arrived from Europe
until 1845, until which time all equine imports were either from Peru or Argentina.” Mr. Prado
goes on to analyze various possible sources of high quality horses that General Osorio may have
obtained prior to arriving at the Hacienda Bacalemú.
One option was from the well-known breeder Don Francisco Ruiz-Tagle who owned the
Hacienda Calera de Tango. Another alternative backed by some testimony is that the owner of
Hacienda Mendoza, Valentín Valdivieso, gave the horse to him. Yet another testimonial states
that, while at this ranch, General Osorio was given an outstanding horse of unknown origin by a
gentleman from Santiago named Mr. Ugarte. Lastly, Mr. Prado speculates that it could be very
possible that General Osorio obtained a horse of distinguishable qualities from the Hacienda de
las Canteras, which belonged to the extremely progressive and well educated farmer and rancher
turned patriot general, Bernardo O’Higgins!
Whatever the source of the new blood was, it seems that any of these possibilities simply
improved upon the reputation that Santiago Valenzuela had already established and which, no
doubt, the Toro brothers improved upon even more significantly some 26 years later. It seems
that Hacienda Quilamuta had a good foundation of mares that were in a good horse-breeding
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region. It also had the good fortune to be owned by three successive owners that, for a period of
64 years, contributed sound judgments in horse husbandry. That fact alone may validate the
remarkable influence of Hacienda Quilamuta. Whatever the reason, the fact is that the success
of this hacienda left a lasting impact in the genealogy of the Chilean Horse and an example of
success that breeders have been trying to emulate ever since.
Figure II.152 Cristal I (1902) carried on the Quilamuta lines through Guante I who very likely was
a son of Naranjo. His sire Guante II was out Eulalia a “cuevana” mare thus making Cristal I a product
of two superb breeding programs that originated before the official registry of the breed.
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Hacienda El Parral - Don Pedro de la Cuevas Guzmán
In some cases, the legacy of a farm passes through the hands of various owners. In others,
it is a particular owner that shows the special knack to master the “art” of animal breeding. Just
such a man was Don Pedro Esteván de la Cuevas. This son of José de la Cuevas and Mrs.
Guzmán Born was born in 1775 and having died in 1861 he lived to the age of 86. He married
María de la Cruz Bravo and had five children. Only one, Gabriel, survived him.
Consider Don Pedro the Sir Charles Leicester of Chile, as his accomplishments in
livestock improvement were not limited to horses. He also had the grandest looking oxen, an
exceptional herd of dairy cattle and even an exotic high-stepping, paddle-striding team of mules
to carry his luggage to and from town.
Although there is no denying his love of the country life and an on-hands participation in
his animal breeding ventures, horses were the love of his life. He bred parade horses, stock
horses and sprinting racehorses. The latter undoubtedly gave him his biggest thrills. The
previously mentioned Tordillo Popetano lost his undefeated streak to a “Cuevano” horse that
would come to represent the dominance of this lineage on the fast bush tracks throughout Chile.
In fact, amongst the many things one would have to credit to Pedro de la Cuevas would
be injecting a greater emphasis on speed in the evolution of the Chilean Horse breed. Quarter
horse breeders in the United States also found the performance advantages of the sporadic
infusion of fast Thoroughbred bloodlines. However, they have paid the price of reduced
homozygosity in their breed and played havoc with their type. The genius of Pedro de la Cuevas
is that he obtained it through selection within the Chilean genealogy.
The stallion that impacted this part of his breeding program the most was El Caldeado,
who to some has also been known as El Quebrado (Viejo). This stallion not only had an
overdose of speed, but also possessed extraordinary intelligence and a very tranquil
temperament. He was a good looker that lacked better balance, as he had a rather heavy neck
and a somewhat larger head than was desirable. But he had the muscle definition of a racehorse
and the performance to back it up. His offspring were not only good racehorses, but many were
also excellent stock horses. They were known for their suppleness, as well as their fast learning
nature and willingness to please.
Many of El Caldeado’s sons went on to become sires on their own right, but without a
doubt the best one was Bayo León. This horse was 1.48 m tall (14.2 hands) and represented the
ideal conformation that Chileans strived for. While maintaining the temperament and speed of
his sire, he was also a powerful horse that proved himself an excellent rienda and corralero
horse as well.
Unfortunately, Don Pedro died before his best-known horse could prove his worth, as he
was only a three-year old at the time. As a result, Bayo León was used at stud in Hacienda
Loncomilla, where the fever for match racing at the time had him breed fast mares of any size,
shape or breeding. Therefore, his reputation as a sire was not in accordance with his model
phenotypic expression. Still, his progeny inundated the breeders of Chile and many were
exported as well. It is said that almost all the notable horses in rienda, Chilean rodeo or racing
that existed between the Lontué and the Bío Bío Rivers between the years of 1870 and 1880
were either sons or grandsons of Bayo León. One can only dream of what Bayo León would
have done in the capable hands of Pedro de la Cuevas.
Don Pedro’s main farm was “El Parral”, or “El Parral de Doñihue” as it is also known,
since at one time this area was a Mapuche town (Doñihue means “eyebrow” in Mapuche) that
was overtaken by Incas as they expanded into southern Chile. Later, the hacienda was renamed
“El Parral lo Cuevas” in honor of its renowned owner. This ranch and a group of foundation
mares were inherited from Don Pedro’s father. Its close ties with the surrounding ranches assure
us that these mares were most likely from Quilamuta, Alhué and Carén breeding.
With his inheritance, Pedro de la Cuevas purchased a ranch in Linderos that he called
“La Posada”, since he used it as a layover on occasional trips to the capital. However, such trips
were not too frequent, as he truly basked in the joy of living on the ranch and rubbing shoulders
with all his staff, who helped care for the variety of livestock he possessed. Like many rural
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“old timers”, Pedro de la Cuevas was born, raised and prepared to die in his ranch of “El Parral”
near Doñihue on the edges of the Cachapoal River.
Aside from the propensity that Don Pedro de la Cuevas had for making the right crosses,
it is thought that at least part of the success in his breeding program was achieved through the
demanding conditioning he gave his horses in training. His horses were never broken before
they were three years old. Until then, they were turned out permanently on hillsides within his
property.
Once brought up, they were moved as three-year-olds to good grass fields for part of the
day, and the rest of the time they were kept on plowed ground. This regime that greatly
developed their muscles was implemented for an entire year while the horses were carefully
saddled and lightly ridden in the plots of deeply cultivated soil with a leather mouthpiece
(“guatana”). During this year, the manes and tails were worked on and feet were carefully
trimmed. Nothing demanding was asked of the horses until they were bitted up as five-yearolds, and at that time the horses were initiated in spins, stops and other rienda maneuvers.
Although Don Pedro de la Cuevas had but one breeding program, he classified three
types of horses on his ranch: 1) the racehorse; 2) the parade horse; and 3) the stock horse.
Ideally, he strived to breed individuals that combined the best of each type. In essence, his goals
were to have a level-headed, energetic, trainable and resistant stock horse, with the speed of a
racehorse and the beauty, balance and presence of a parade horse. His objectives were met 100
percent in Bayo León. Had the breeder lived longer, or had this outstanding horse been born
sooner in his lifetime, probably the intuitive gift that Pedro de la Cuevas had for planned
breeding would have reproduced this combination of qualities in multiple individuals that could
have had a greater impact on the Chilean Horse breed.
Still, we must make note that Don Pedro de la Cuevas was not brought to fame by one
horse. Rather, it was the consistency of quality found in all his products that rightfully earned
him an untouchable reputation in his time. Angamos I is yet another masterpiece of his
program, and this is still considered one of the most potent of the eight basic paternal families of
the breed. Descendants of Angamos I include Cóndor I, Alicanto, Clarín, Alfil II, Curanto,
Coirón and Azahar I, to name just a few and the majority of the top mares of the breed can be
found to have a high proportion of Angamos I genes.
Perhaps the hottest sire line of the Chilean Horse breed to date is the Guante I branch.
It would be more realistic to call this family the Cristal I branch, as every sire line of
importance in this family goes back to Guante I through this more influential grandson. The
sire of Cristal I was a heavier, coarser, but very similar version of Guante I, which was aptly
named Guante II. The mare that foaled Guante II in 1880 was a “Cuevana” mare named
Eulalia. Although Guante II only had one really successful son, he had 34 registered daughters
that were dispersed throughout many Chilean breeders. As a result, all the paternal lines that
trace back to Cristal I in this fabulously talented family of Chilean Horses, and many maternal
lines of importance in the breed, also have a touch of Don Pedro de la Cuevas’ magic. The
strength of the “Cuevano” bloodline is well known, and even today, breeders will proudly state
this origin even though it may be many generations back in their horse’s pedigree.
Few people associate Pedro de la Cuevas with the Halcon II however he deserves credit
for also being directly responsible for this foundation line. As the breeder of Halcon I (1850)
who in turn sired Rabicano (1870), the sire of Halcon II, he played a critical role in its
existence, Moreover, a grandson of a brother of Don Pedro de la Cuevas, Miguel Cuevas,
carried on the family tradition by producing Halcón II in 1895. In 1911 the Cuevas brothers
produced one of the all time great broodmare sires of the breed in Retinto. Another descendant
of Don Pedro’s, Guillermo Cuevas, bred a son of merit in Recuerdo. Still another family
member, Ernesto Cuevas, bred two memorable grandsons of Halcón II, named Milagro and
Altivo. The prior led to the prepotent Pullaso that is found in so many Chilean pedigrees. If one
just considers what the Chilean Horse breed would have been without the Retinto daughters,
it’s clear how vital the Halcon II lineage has been. Having let this great maternal line die out is
truly reason for remorse.
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Probably of less importance to modern breeders is the fact that the Chilean Horse
foundation stallion Mancha (1867) also can be attributed to Cuevano breeding. His son Tucapel
(1888) was an influential stallion in his day and contributed significant sons in Cacique and
Golondrina. The later was the sire of the well respected Anteojo. Nonetheless, this branch has
died out on the paternal side of Chilean pedigrees. Another branch of the Cuevano lineage
reached the formal registry when Guanaco I was assigned number 238. This son of Bajo
Grande produced 14 daughters that were registered in the Chilean Horse breed but his owner
Alejandro Huidobro did not consider any sons worthy of that effort. Bayo Grande was a son of
Burro who was a direct descendent of Cuevano genealogy.
It is safe to say that strength and popularity of
foundation lines oscillate over time. Undoubtedly, the
Cristal I line would presently be given the most
importance. Most modern breeders would also say that
Angamos I’s impact on the breed has been greater than
Bayo León and Halcón II. Still, the fact that five of the
eight foundation branches of the Chilean Horse breed
are in some manner the result of the brilliant program of
Don Pedro de la Cuevas, speaks for itself. To have done
all this before the breed was even formally created,
before having a “registered purebred” Chilean Horse
was a sense of such profound pride, is even a greater
reason to be in awe of this gifted breeder. Perhaps what
this points out to contemporary breeders that
underestimate the importance of the “roots” of their
breed prior to its formal inscription, is just how
seriously “old timers” in Chile took their horse breeding.
Figure II.153 Cacique (1902) a son of
It would be wise to deliberate that in spite of all the
Tucapel who was inbred 2S x 2D to Mancha
advantages offered by the knowledge and technology we
a horse of “cuevano” breeding.
have accumulated in modern animal production, Pedro
Estévan de la Cuevas Guzman has to be considered the greatest breeder of Chilean Horses of all
time.
The reputation of the “Cuevano” horses reached colossal proportions as time went by,
and many haciendas that had cut ties with its owner also benefited from their previous
relationship with Pedro de la Cuevas. Ranches like Hacienda Chada that belonged to Juan
Aldunate, Hacienda Pinche that was owned by a Cuevas neighbor Lorenzo Bravo, Hacienda
Cauquenes owned by the Soto brothers, Hacienda El Principal owned by Mr. García-Huidobro
and the Hacienda Zemita owned by Ignacio Fuenzalida, Gregorio A. García and Pacífico
Encina, were all were synonymous with stock horses of great quality.
The fact that there were so many examples of quality horse breeders in the 1,150 km
(719 miles) stretch between city of La Serena and the Bío Bío River makes it even more
noteworthy that the “Cuevano” horses could stand out with such fame. There is no denying that
“Quilamutanos” did much to establish the type that was functional for the objectives of the
Chilean stockmen. However, Pedro de la Cuevas’ astuteness was in being able to maintain the
temperament, drive, trainability and cow sense while molding the phenotype of the Chilean
stock horse to a more imposing ideal, and not losing any of this with his introduction of a more
specific selection for speed. The serious speed emphasis given in Chile, when most of the
criollos in the rest of Latin America were being valued for their endurance, was an important
distinction of the stock horse used by the huasos.
The independent spirit that arose from the revolution had a tremendous effect on horse
breeding in Chile. For the first time, it was clearly defined they did not want to prioritize
breeding horses that would be compared with those of the mother country. National pride
curtailed trying to produce horses that could imitate the functions of the aristocratic ruling class
of the Old World. There was a clear shift towards making the most humble, the most useful and
the most numerous of the Chilean horse types the main protagonists of the Chilean Horse
industry. When Don Pedro de la Cuevas handed over the perfect model represented in Bayo
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León to his countrymen, he had made a revolutionary statement of his own. In essence, his
message was: “I give you, THE Chilean Horse.” This feeling was in the air ever since the
patriots defeated General Osorio in the final Battle of Maule, but it took the skills of Pedro de la
Cuevas to make it an accepted national sentiment. Only the National Agricultural Society
(SNA) Registry of 1893 would make it more official.
Figure II.154 Drawing of Don Pedro de la Cuevas
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341
Hacienda Aculeo – José and Miguel Letelier E.
The name Aculeo is a spin-off of the Mapuche word “Acuileufú” that means, “up to
where the river reaches”. Appropriately, the native name described the birthplace of the River
Angostura. This 34,500-hectare (85,215 acres) hacienda just 70 km (44 mi.) away from the
capital was privileged in so many respects. The Letelier
brothers and their partner Valeriano Pinochet (Letelier,
Pinochet and Company) had made their fortune in
mining and processing copper, and were standing solid in
times of economic distress. Thus, they acquired the
property with a fabulous manor house complex in Pintué
that dated from the 18th and early 19th centuries, and they
added a chapel to the compound after acquiring
ownership. Having also purchased a nearby property that
was known as “El Vínculo”, the company initiated the
use of a trademark that superimposed the letters “A”
Figure II.155 The most famous brand in
Chile can still be seen in this display at the
(Aculeo) and “V” (Vínculo) that is probably the
original home of the Jose and Miguel Letelier
most recognized brand in Chilean history.
E.
Containing the beautiful Aculeo Lake within its
boundaries, the hacienda’s flat, fertile valleys were nestled in between the protective
surroundings of the highest peaks of the Coastal Mountain Range. Maternally, it seemed, they
shielded the lands that spread out below them from the harsh winter winds, while the stillness of
their natural confines were cooled in summer by the proximity to the large body of freshwater.
The shores of the lake, which is 4 km wide and 8 km long, were but a three-hour ride on
horseback from the 2,976 m a.s.l. (9,672 ft.) peaks that were often the only snow-covered place
along the Coastal Mountain Range. Whether viewing the settings from lakeside, or looking
Figure II.156 The Laguna Aculeo as it looked when first bought by the Letelier family in the 19th century.
down at the idyllic scenery from the sentinel peaks of the surrounding elevations, it is hard to
imagine a more satisfying place to raise horses. Still, the natural resources were there for
centuries of horse breeding, before the Letelier family imposed their personal style of
management that took Hacienda Aculeo to celebrity status in the Chilean Horse world.
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Coincidentally, in the year that the great breeder Don
Pedro de la Cuevas died (1861), José and Wenceslao Letelier
Sierra purchased the Hacienda Aculeo from Don José Patricio
Larraín Gandarillas. Mr. Larraín was beginning an ambitious
contract to excavate the Mallarauco Canal and was forced to part
with this valued asset in order to generate the monetary needs for
his promising project. Little did people realize at the time that
the end of one dynasty would give rise to another one that is
equally well known to fans of the Chilean Horse everywhere.
Figure II.157 José Letelier E.
The stallions and mares that were included in the
mounted on a crossbred bred by
acquisition of the property were the start of an unprecedented
his uncle.
90 years of prominence of this breeding establishment that
reached its peak under the management of the sons of José Letelier Sierra (who managed the
farm for 30 years), the brothers José and Miguel Letelier Espínola. The latter is the more
credited of the two, since he outlived his brother José, and thus was the last and bestremembered farm manager. He was also more of a traditional huaso, respected for his aptitudes
on horseback and in the corralero competitions.
However, José, who in 1899 studied abroad in Belgium, was the first of the two to try his
hand at the management of the company. He was the apple of his brother’s eye, and under his
management the farm made its most crucial decisions of settling for nothing less than high
quality purebred Chilean Horses, in a time when crossbreeding was the craze of Chile. His
keen eye and in-depth knowledge of the desirable traits of the breed were responsible for
introducing high-quality outcrosses that reinforced even further the dominance of the Aculeo
strains. Miguel, perhaps out of the humility of a loving and admiring younger brother, credited
José as the main artifice to the successes of Hacienda Aculeo.
Actually, the equine origins are older than this
1861 transaction, as the original Letelier brothers brought
with them stud horses that they had been carefully
breeding in their properties in their haciendas north of
Santiago at Vichiculén, Santa Teresa, Las Mazas and
Llay Llay. The first stallion from this source that they
used in Aculeo was named Naranjo. He was a slightly
convex-profiled yellow dun with zebra stripes that had an
extremely thick black mane that stood around 1.43 m
(14.0 1/2 hands). He was followed by his son Cordero
(1868), another dun that was a bit smaller in stature but
more harmonious in make up. This horse was known to
be extremely energetic. He was the sire of Botín, but his
real claim to fame would be the fact that he sired the
well-known Codicia, who was born in 1880. Before his
Figure II.158
Liborio Larrain is riding Codicia who he
being sold after the death of José Letelier Sierra in
bought for his Criadero Rauten in 1890
1891, Codicia sired many mares that became
influential producers for Aculeo. The Letelier Espínola brothers always repented the sale of
this horse that had hazel colored eyes and went on to sire stud horses of the caliber of
Bronce I (the first horse registered in the breed), Noble, Cordero II and Hipócrita.
The Aculeo horses were crossed on the broodmares that Don Patricio and Don Francisco
Borja Larraín Gandarillas had accumulated from the long-standing tradition of good quality
horses in the region. They were well known for their light yellow dun colors, heavy mane and
tails, somewhat straight and short shoulders with heights that varied between 1.40 m and 1.44 m
(13.3-14.1 hands). However, in 1862, with the desire to improve the broodmare band of Aculeo
even further, 13 mares were purchased from the dispersal sale of Pedro de la Cuevas’ Hacienda
El Parral. Interestingly, all these mares were gray in color and notably of better type. For years,
their superiority was recognized in subsequent generations.
In 1906, another important addition to the broodmare band came in the form of 29 mares
that were bought from Vicente Huidobro´s prestigious Criadero El Principal, whose origins date
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March 2008 edition
343
back to the late 1700´s. Aculeo paid exorbitant
prices for these mares, as they were
determined to not be outbid in order to benefit
from this irreplaceable foundation stock. In
1912, eight more mares were added from the
very old lineages of Don Miguel Campino
from San Miguel de Paine. These “Paininas”
mares as a general rule were taller, and their
quality was best
demonstrated by one
individual, namely the broodmare Larga
who foaled one of the most perfectly
conformed and best performing mares in the
Figure II.159 Hacienda Aculeo’s Víbora (1913) was one
history of the farm, Víbora.
of the most beautiful mares of her day. Note the gentle and
Undoubtedly, the greatest claim to fame
dependable character of the breed.
during all these years of accomplishments was
the formation of the Guante I lineage that is arguably the strongest sire line of contemporary
Chilean Horse breeders. Through Guante II and Cristal I, respectively, the breed eventually
received the influence of what some call the greatest sire of the breed, Quebrado. It’s probably
no coincidence that the breeders of the original founder of this line, Guante I, also contributed
in assuring its immortality by also breeding his great-grandson, Quebrado. Through his sons,
Comunista and Guaraní, Quebrado is responsible for their respective grandsons, Rigor and
Estribillo, each of which would surely have their following as the greatest sires ever. Regardless
of how high one evaluates each of these horses in the “all time greatest” list, the fact is that the
Chilean Rodeo finals are full of horses that trace back to either, or often both.
Figure II.160 Hacienda Aculeo was a successful competitor in Chilean Rodeos. Note the more
vertical saddle fork and longer stirrup leathers that gave rise to a straighter leg posture.
Although Angamos I was the product of Alberto Correa, an exhaustive search for an
outcross by José Letelier Espínola discovered this horse that produced his last four generations
for Aculeo. The fact that Angamos I is considered the founder of one of the principal bloodlines
of the Chilean Horse breed is a tribute to José Letelier’s judgment of horseflesh. No doubt his
Aculean production of impressive stud horses like Alicanto, Arrabal, Eclipse, Cristal II and
Alfil II, as well as mares of the caliber of Muselina, Lúcuma, Anchoa, Águila, Cabritilla and
Primavera played an important part in taking Angamos I into the laurels of posterity. They all
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344
contained an easily identifiable “class” that was coupled with excellent conformation, docile
temperament, speed and an innate energy for working cattle.
How suitable horses were for working cattle was one thing the Aculeo staff would know
for certain. One of the unique policies of the Aculeo tradition was their requirement that all
breeding stock be tested in ranch work first. All candidates for reproduction were ridden by a
group of high- caliber horsemen that included the owners themselves. Going unshod during
long days over the mountainous terrain, they worked cattle out in the open and in corrals. The
horses’ soundness and ruggedness, as well as their physical and psychological aptitudes,
determined whether they were permitted to make up a part of the Aculeo horse-breeding
program. Until 1896, mares had made up part of the wheat thrashing duties, but thereafter they
were integrated into ranch activities where they likewise had to prove their worth. The end
result of all practical horse reproduction is function, and Aculeo made certain that this was the
first and foremost requisite before any additional criteria were considered.
Other stallions of merit that have resulted from the breeding program of Hacienda
Aculeo are Magnolia, Corzo, Clarín, Curanto, Coirón III, Azahar I and Madrigal. A book
could be written on the success of Aculeo stallions alone. However, no less important is the
influence of the maternal bloodlines that are well spread throughout the breed, where they are
honorably mentioned as synonymous with quality. The conscientious breeding efforts of five
Letelier family managers for nearly a century left a lasting impact on the breed. The name of the
hacienda existed before and after it was in the hands of the Letelier family, but undoubtedly it
was the dedication, the talented appreciation for good horses and the good judgments of José
and Miguel Letelier Espínola, in particular, that left their mark in producing outstanding
corralero horses.
The horse breeding division of Hacienda Aculeo
stopped functioning in 1967. Germán Claro Lira and
Alberto Araya Gómez came to an arrangement
whereby they purchased the majority of broodmare
band of this reputable establishment. Unfortunately,
since leaving the original property, these horses did not
participate competitively in Chilean Rodeos and what
is left of this lineage has not received the backing of the
contemporary corralero community. Part of the reason
may be that, much like many other Chilean breeders,
Mr. Claro and Mr. Araya established commercial ties in
Argentina in an effort to salvage this unique breeding
stock from the unreasonable grasp of the agrarian
reform. This led to public auctions in Argentina with
some of the highest averages paid for stock horses in
that country’s history. The enthusiastic acceptance the
Figure II. 161 Miguel Letelier was the longest
“Aculeano” strain received in Argentina was multiplied
lasting administrator and became the icon of
many times over in Brazil, where it is stated that
Hacienda Aculeo
over 40 broodmares and a couple of stallions were
shipped and sold, some purchased for as high as six figures in U.S. dollars. What undoubtedly
was a good commercial transaction for Mr. Claro and Mr. Araya, also contributed to opening an
international market for the Chilean Horse abroad. The irreversible cost to Chilean Horse
breeders was that the cream of Aculeo breeding was lost forever.
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345
Criadero Las Camelias- Darío Pavez G. and Sons
So many of the prominent breeders of Chilean Horses have been born into the
advantageous life that comes accompanies inherited wealth. Darío Pavez Gaete was not so
lucky. His father Martín was a small rancher from Curico that made living driving Argentine
cattle across the Andes into Chile. The elder Pavez was a jovial adventurer whose wife Juanita
gave birth to their first born Dario on the 25th of October of 1879. Certainly Dario’s love and
knowledge of horses was largely influenced by a father whose livelihood depended on being
astride good horseflesh.
Darío only received grade school education before entering
the work force yet his intellect and capacity did not go unnoticed
long. At the tender age of 16 he had already been chosen as
foreman for a large ranch owned by César Ruiz Tagle. From the
on start he showed the innate ability to command and give respect
to his workers and this talent would serve him well the rest of his
life. Showing precocious entrepreneurship Darío started renting
ranches while still complying with his responsibilities for his
mentor Mr. Ruiz-Tagle. Progressively, Don Darío leased and
purchased enough land to be considered one of the largest land
owners in the region. He had the vision to choose his lands
carefully always making sure they were near the railway,
Figure II.162 Dario Pavez G.
electrical and phone lines. His agricultural empire expanded and
diversified as he used innovative technology to produce, process
and deliver many of the necessary stables for the growing populace in Santiago.
Don Darío married Mimi Julia Romero who came from a well respected family in Buin.
The difference in their social status was perhaps the reason Don Darío rarely spoke about the
family origins he ceased to have contact with. Darío and Mimi had eight children: Darío, Julia,
Osvaldo, Raúl, Olga, Héctor, Raquel and Adriana. Much to his credit given his humble origins,
Darío Pavez Gaete not only grew in wealth and power but also in all the facets of a gentlemanly
demeanor that he became synonymous with.
In 1922, Darío Pavez Gaete gave birth to the Criadero Las Camelias by buying his first
eight registered Chilean Horse mares. The fact that these proven broodmares were purchased
from the Hacienda Aculeo denotes the interest Don Darío had in concentrating immediately on
quality. He did not stop there, taking with him an additional three excellent Aculean corralero
performance mares from the same source. Searching for more of the good old foundation stock,
he purchased four daughters of Retinto owned by Miguel Cuevas. Two more mares came from
the famous historian and avid Chilean Horse breeder, Francisco Encina. The last three pretty
mares of good breeding that were given to him by his brother Manuel Pavez Gaete completed
the original 20 mares of his program. For the next 40 years, this focus on quality would not only
shape the achievements of the farm, but it would also shape the direction of the Chilean Horse
breed.
Figure II.163 Dario Pavez is astride El Caudillo in a field of his beloved Criadero Las Camelias.
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March 2008 edition
346
Although Don Darío was a multifaceted businessman, he also liked to be astride his own
horses when they competed in the medialuna. It was due to his intimate knowledge of the
Chilean Rodeo sport that he
immediately took notice when
he first set eyes on the dark
brown
horse,
Quebrado.
Standing only 1.39 m (13.2+
hands), this muscular little
horse with a powerful loin was
one of the quickest horses Don
Darío
had
ever
seen
sidestepping across the arena.
The
more
he
watched
Quebrado, the more he liked
him, as it became evident that
his valiant nature was always
anxious to pin any and every
bovine opponent.
Figure II.164
Bred by Hac. Aculeo but brought to fame by Criadero Las Camelias, Quebrado is
Good fortune shone on
one of the most influential Chilean Horse stallions of all times.
Darío Pavez, because the
breeder and owner of the horse was the famed Hacienda Aculeo, and his previous business
dealings with Miguel Letelier gave him an inroad to pursue what had now become an obsession.
Quebrado had come by his name rightly (it means “broken” in Spanish) because he was lassoed
by a huaso as a foal and, in an overreaction, fell on his side, breaking the tibia bone above the
hock. Saved by a homemade splint and lots of tender loving care provided by the remorseful
horseman, Quebrado recuperated and made his way into the string of performance horses.
However, the Letelier’s hopes were placed in two other sons of Cristal I that were already
standing at stud, and as a result Quebrado received but four mares during his first season at
stud. So, sensing the enthusiasm that Mr. Pavez had for the horse, the always-supportive Don
Miguel conceded to sell the horse that would soon put Las Camelias on the map.
Not only did Quebrado continue to campaign incredibly well, winning Champions
throughout Chile in the name of his new owner, but he outdid himself as a stallion by siring
horses of superb quality. Not a particularly prolific horse, over the rest of his 27 years of life, he
provided Las Camelias with a total of only 90 progeny with an equal number of colts and fillies.
Whatever disappointment his numbers caused, he compensated for with quality.
His good looks and strong
breed type were often transmitted
and these culminated in his sons,
Quebrado II and Empeñoso who
obtained “Best of Breed” in the
national show at the “Quinta
Normal”. However, it was his
ability to pass on his “cow savvy”
and lateral speed that gained
him
more
admirers.
His
descendants Prestigio (son) and
Pichanguero (maternal grandson)
were crowned Champions of
Chile in 1950. His son Guaraní
Figure II.165 Pichanguero was one of the great performance horses of
won 27 rodeo champions over his
Criadero las Camelias.
career. Comunista, Corpiño,
Chambón, Picurrio, Estafador, Comodoro, Empeñoso, Comodín, Quillaycillo I and Traguito
were all durable and high quality corralero horses.
There is no doubt that part of the reason that Las Camelias had so much success -- not
only with the offspring of Quebrado, but with all the horses they bred over the four decades
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March 2008 edition
347
they competed in rodeos -- was the great emphasis they put on obtaining the best riders in the
nation. The squadron of quality riders uniformed in their green chamantos, on outstanding Las
Camelias horses, were known as, the “Darío Pavez Community”.
Surely, Don Darío had to be
convincing in luring more than a
dozen horsemen of this caliber, but, on
the other hand, belonging to “the
community” offered the riders an
honor that might compare to being part
of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round
Table. There are few examples in
Chilean corralero history where one
stable dominated the sport so
impressively. If the reproduction of
specifically desired function is a sign
of a great breeder, there is no doubt
that Darío Pavez Gaete and his
children were among the best.
Figure II.166 These are two of the members of the “Dario Pavez
It was probably only luck that
Community”, a group of Chile’s finest corraleros that completely
dominated rodeo competitions.
the horse that caught Don Darío’s eye
happened to be inbred 3S X 4D
(repeated ancestor is found in third generation of the Sire side and fourth generation of the Dam
side of the pedigree) to the foundation sire, Guante I. However, it was his discernment as a
breeder that prompted him to try repeatedly to concentrate the blood of Guante I even more.
With this intent, he purchased the excellent rienda horse Cosaco. Don Darío saw this horse
work cattle with his owner Luis Torrealba, and as with Quebrado, he was taken aback by the
horse’s athleticism. Cosaco’s dam, Vicuña I, was well recognized as one of the best
performance mares of her day. More importantly, she was also a daughter of Guante I, and thus
the cross of Quebrado on the Cosaco daughters resulted in a 4S X 5S X 4D inbreeding to
Guante I. Mr. Pavez felt the horse suited his needs to a tee, so he purchased Cosaco when the
opportunity arose after Mr. Torrealba’s passing. In later years, he would inverse the “nick”
(combining bloodlines that result in better than expected outcome) and also breed sons of
Cosaco on Quebrado daughters, resulting in horses such the fabulous Pichanguero.
It is worth noting that Pichanguero was by Cosaco’s best son, Contagio. Cosaco was by
the Angamos I son Alfil II and Contagio was out of the Eligia, she in turn being by Angamos
II. Obviously, Don Dario was aware of the success Hacienda Aculeo had had linebreeding to
Angamos I and his effort to replicate this breeding tool resulted in one of the best corraleros
horses of the time. Contagio not only accumulated more rodeo accolades than any other horse
in Chilean history at the time, but he also was an outstanding reiner with good looks to spare.
The Angamos I line has always paid tremendous dividends when the blood of its founder has
been concentrated in pedigrees.
However, Don Darío must have wondered if his stroke of genius of doubling up on
Guante I had been more akin to a wild whim when Tertulia (by Cosaco) foaled the diminutive
Comunista. The little dark brown horse was such a runt that his owner decided to give him to a
family that had a talented young son who did not have any registered horses on which to
compete in the rodeos. With the generosity that typifies the huaso culture, the young René
Urzúa was given two registered mares that were already running cattle and the young
Comunista that he would have to finish raising and bring along on his own. The rest is history,
as the young lad went on to become known as “Don René” from all the Champions he won
aboard the “fragile” horse that hit every rodeo on the circuit. Their first efforts to breed him also
blessed them with horses like the good stallion Tapaboca and Arrocito.
When “Lito” Anguita liked what he saw, he purchased Comunista in partnership with
“Momo” Muller and an entire new branch of Champion corraleros was born. Don “Momo”
immediately churned out a Champion of Chile in Huilcoco, when he bred his mare Anima. Mr.
Anguita, on the other hand, crossed the little stud with Rigurosa and blessed the corralero world
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348
with the likes of Recacha, Ñipan and Rigor. Each has a long list of performance horses, as well
as some of the most dominant breeding stock in the breed.
Before enough time had passed by to see the potential of Comunista, but given a chance
to forget the impact of such an unimpressive individual, Don Darío bred Pereza, another of his
Cosaco mares, to Quebrado. The good looks of this blaze-faced bay with chrome all the way
around was more what the personnel of Las Camelias expected. This handsome equine,
Guaraní, revitalized the idea of concentrating the dose of Guante I blood, since he went on to
win 27 different champions while running cattle competitively until he was 21 years old. With
time, Mr. Pavez would conclude that the compatibility of these bloodlines was not always
consistent in producing impressive conformations, but the ability to run cattle never seemed to
fail.
Keeping Guaraní at Las Camelias was the right move, as he not only brought the Pavez
family satisfaction in the medialuna, but he also continued its legacy as breeders. The progeny
of this attractive stallion with less-than-perfect leg conformation but a durable track record
include Tequila, Orgullo, Gualicho, Pililo and Roto Niño. However, by far what has made the
greatest impact on the breed was the birth of Guaraní’s son, Estribo. An extraordinary
performer in the medialuna, he has many fans that propose him as one of the greatest
performance horses of all time. True to his lineage, he passed on his quality, and some would
say he even outbred himself when he produced the great Estribillo. We will get to Estribillo
when we talk about Criadero Santa Isabel, but it suffices to say that he is one of the greatest
Chilean Horse studs of all time, and the presence of his genes among us is owed in great part to
the innovative breeding program of Las Camelias.
After enough years had elapsed to see the amazing feats of Comunista, Don Darío felt
more confident about trying a similar cross again. Thirteen years after Comunista was born and
eight years after Guaraní’s impressive entrance in the world, another Cosaco mare,
Arozamena, was bred to Quebrado. Once again, the resulting offspring was extremely small
and it is clear that Don Darío disliked such lack of vigor. The almost black colt with four white
stockings was named Refuerzo. Another giveaway, the little Refuerzo was so unimpressive that
the recipient of the gift simply put him out to pasture to breed local grade mares in a remote
community. Showing much foresight, the famed rider Ramón Cardemil recuperated the horse
for an insignificant price, and when broken and campaigned, he turned out an excellent
corralero. When put to stud, he produced numerous quality competitors, including Pelotera,
who would go on to become Champion of Chile.
Of course, Las Camelias used many stallions over the 40 years they were in existence,
and the rodeo fans will all remember horses like Salofeno, Cumparcita, Casilla II, Pato, Pollo,
Ambición, Rebeldía, Quebrantada, Oficial, Picurro, Albergado and Ambicionero. The
dominance that this farm had in the 1950’s is really amazing to read about. It is said that in eight
out of every 10 rodeos they participated in, they came away with the Champion, and it was not
unusual for them to obtain both the Champion and Vice-Champion as well. The Comunidad
Pavez competed throughout Chile and Belisario Ramirez, Belisario Molina, Abél Meza,
Guillermo Ibarra, Ignacio Ruz, Rodolfo Urbina, Efrain Donoso, José Zavala, Orlando Lopéz,
Arturo Ríos, Alberto Ramirez, José Larenas, Manuel Bustamante, Bartolome Bustamante and
Enrique Pino brought home over 900 prizes for “On Darío”. The success that Las Camelias had
in this era can be judged by the fact that people talked about any win over the Las Camelias
stable as something totally out of the ordinary.
Don Darío was an avid sports fan, a motivator, an optimist, an innovator and a lover of
life, but there is no doubt that his enthusiasm for horses is what propelled his greatest sense of
satisfaction. In spite of suffering from hypertension in the later years of his life, he never once
contemplated not seeing his horses perform. In fact, it was in the excitement of seeing his
Thoroughbred mare Volterra win a race in the Hipódromo de Chile that a cardiac arrest would
bring an end to his life doing what he liked best.
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349
It is a shame that the divergence of upcoming generations in the Pavez family over the
costs of maintaining Las Camelias led to its termination. Don Darío’s children, most
importantly of all, Osvaldo, all did their part to try and continue the tradition of the farm.
Moreover, they did continue to compete in rodeos for two decades after their father’s death,
which was something he had asked of them. On that sad day on the first of April 1962, no April
fools were to be found, as the 100 head in the Las Camelias dispersal sold for premium prices.
There is no doubt that Las Camelias carved its name in history. Some would speculate
that Quebrado would have done the same for the Hacienda Aculeo had he stayed there.
However, one thing that horse breeding teaches us is that many genealogies benefit from a
synergistic effect when blended with specific complementary bloodlines. The more international
Thoroughbred breed realizes this well, as the resulting stallions often improve or decline
drastically when moved from one country to another with different genetic pools.
The complexities of the multi-factorial components of genetics still have not permitted us
to predict what crosses will have the desired affects. Thus, the “art of breeding” is still in the
hands of those astute individuals with the gifts of meticulous observation and intuition. One of
Don Darío’s abilities that paid great dividends when plugged into his horse breeding formula
was his being able to appreciate innate athleticism in performance horses. The fact that Don
Darío’s breeding strategy was responsible for not one, but two, of the strongest contemporary
bloodlines of the Chilean breed requires giving credit where credit is due. For this reason, Las
Camelias’ place is not only in past history, but, more importantly, throughout the generations to
come.
Figure II.167 Quebrado is standing between two of his progeny that were bred at Las Camelias. The two duns Salofeno and
Cumparcita made up one of the better paired teams of their day.
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350
Criadero Curiche - Estanislao Anguita A.
At the turn of the century, new names arose in the breeder’s circles. Since the passing of
Pedro de la Cuevas, there probably hadn’t been another man as innately gifted for breeding as
Estanislao Anguita Anguita. This unforgettable contributor to both the Chilean Horse and
Chilean Thoroughbred worlds was a sixth-generation Chilean that had noble origins in
Castile, Spain. From a long line of soldiers that dabbled in horse breeding as early as 1756, his
family roots were always near the conflict-ridden Bío Bío River that divided the Colony and
Republic from the Mapuche stronghold. The “villa” of Los Angeles was always the nucleus for
the family’s activity, and it is in this town that Estanislao Anguita was born in 1903. The son of
Estanislao Anguita Bastidas and Concepción Anguita Sorando, the younger Estanislao studied
law in the University of Chile. However, being the only son and youngest of three children, he
was forced to abandon his studies and return to manage the family farm when his father passed
away.
A reserved man, with a stern personality on first
impression, Anguita never married, perhaps because he was
always too busy working long hours supervising his beloved
Curiche ranch. He was not a particularly agile horseman, and his
1.90 m (6’4”) and 125 kg (275 lb.) frame made his participating in
rodeos an awkward consideration. However, he loved to see his
horses compete, and he had close friends who were fellow
breeders and riders of his string of horses. Still, “Don Lito”, as he
was known, religiously made the daily rounds of his ranch on
horseback, rain or shine. The fact that for many years he did this
on his stallion Alcatraz would indicate a respectable degree of
competency. His enthusiasm for riding also carried over to his
pastime of following his prized hounds in the hunt for foxes and
Figure II.168
Estanislao Anguita A.
hares.
Like Pedro de la Cuevas, Anguita’s life revolved around his
ranch and his livestock. Only the participation of his horses in rodeos or races pulled him away
from the land he loved. Soil type changes drastically in a matter of miles in this region of Chile,
and unlike the rich clay-loam soils of Los Angeles, the ground in Curiche was largely sand and
thus uneconomical for row-crops usage. Through his persistent application of organic matter, he
patiently built up the soil quality so that it eventually gave rise to lush pastures that were
maintained green by the abundance of irrigation water he had available. The well-drained, sandbased soil was useful in producing strong horses that were never impaired by the muddy
conditions seen elsewhere in the rainy season.
The parallel between Cuevas and Anguita is also valid in that, like his predecessor, his
interest was not exclusively in horses, even though they were the priority held by both. He
formed one of the best dairies in the country, based on a foundation of a dozen Holstein cows he
imported directly from Holland. He took his dog breeding seriously and his foxhounds and
greyhounds were known as some of the finest. Perhaps he was most similar to Pedro de la
Cuevas in the ability to recognize a good horse when he saw it, and he possessed that uncanny
sixth sense of which crosses were capable of producing elite individuals. For others, such an
accomplishment could only be hoped for once in a lifetime. Don Lito enviably repeated the feat
many times over.
Anguita first proved his merits with Chilean Horses, and in later years he diversified into
Thoroughbreds as well. He was equally successful in putting out many outstanding racehorses
that are well remembered in the annals of Chilean Thoroughbred racing. His ranch, which was
commonly known simply as “Curiche”, was the home to both Criadero Curiche (Chilean
Horses) and Haras Curiche (Thoroughbreds). This unusual feat of reaching the summit of
breeder success in both stock horse and Thoroughbred racehorse competition can only be
compared with another extraordinary livestock breeder, Robert Kleberg of the King Ranch in
Kingsville, Texas.
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351
Most breeders would feel fortunate if they could have their names solidly associated with
just one of the foundation lines of the breed. However, when you have the talent of Estanislao
Anguita, you aim much higher. The acquisition of the horse Alcatraz was to prove important for
the owner of Curiche, as well as the breed as a whole. This descendant of the Africano line was
true to his genealogy. The Africanos are one of the more refined lineages of the Chilean Horse
breed. With a longer, finer neck and a more cylindrical barrel, Alcatraz was also criticized for
having a thinner and silkier mane and tail. As if this were not enough, his official color was
listed as grulla, but, in fact, he was a spotted horse with high stocking feet and a big white spot
on both sides. He came by the spots predictably, as his dam also had the spotted hair coat
pattern.
In his lifetime, Estanislao Anguita would repeatedly show that when he felt something
was right, he paid little mind to the opinion of onlookers. He was a pioneer in appreciating a
more refined, leaner and faster stock horse type, and the use of Alcatraz put his theory to test.
For reasons only Don Lito knew, half of his original broodmare band was from the Gacho line.
Half of the remaining mares were by Retinto, the good-looking recognized broodmare sire that
was a son of the founder of another line, Halcón II. With just eight mares in his first broodmare
band, Don Lito bred everything he had to the modest stallion that was a product of the Alberto
Correa program. It is worth noting that before Don Lito decided this was the horse he wanted,
the spotted stallion had changed hands three times without breeding a single mare.
His results had many people eating humble pie, as
one of his products was a strange-looking “medicine
hat” overo horse that later clammed up many “I told you
so” commentators.
Flotador became one of the
toughest horses to beat in the half-moon arena, in both
running cattle and rienda competitions. More
importantly, he proved successful at stud also, with
Salteador being his best- remembered son, bred, of
course, by…Curiche! Moreover, if we analyze the
results of the eight original mares that were permanently
bred to Alcatraz, amazingly they produced 13
outstanding performers that have entered into the
corralero history books! Modern Chilean Horse
breeders should take note that these extraordinary results
Figure II. 169 Flotador, an elite performer
came about from using three foundation bloodlines that
in rodeo and rienda, made people believe in
today receive little attention and are in great danger of
his sire Alcatraz.
disappearing if efforts are not made to fortify them
immediately.
All good breeders know that more than 50 percent of their success is in having a good
broodmare band. Every now and then, a mare comes along that seems to throw one top horse
after another, and Mr. Anguita was fortunate to have owned one such individual in the grand
dam Reñaca (by Cincel). When this mare was bred with Alcatraz, she produced two great
stallions for Curiche, in Alcatraz II and his full sibling of the following year, Regador. She also
was the dam of the great broodmare Ronquera, but as I will point out in the following
paragraphs, perhaps the greatest achievement of this cross was the great mare Rigurosa.
Being responsible for the likes of the horses that Estanislao Anguita produced in the
1930’s from the Africano/Alcatraz line is, no doubt, a tough act to follow. But, given time, the
greatest impact Estanislao Anguita would have on the breed was still to come. By the 1950’s,
Mr. Anguita was in a position to harvest the offspring from the mare Rigurosa, of whom he
rightly had such high expectations. She did not let him down, as when she was bred to his
unimpressive little sire Comunista, this mare produced: 1) the superb mare Recacha; 2) the
outstanding performer and good looker that went on to be one of the greatest broodmare sires of
the breed, Ñipan; and 3) what many think is the best sire of all time in the Chilean Horse
breed, Rigor. I’d say he followed the act just fine.
That such a nick could have opportunity to express itself, is also a tribute to this bizarre
breeder. Comunista was rated a top-notch performance horse, but his diminutive size and
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352
unimpressive conformation would have seemed to make him a better candidate for castration
than a prospect for the breeding shed of one of the better breeders of the day. It was Estanislao’s
forethought that gave the little horse an opportunity. More to his credit is the fact that he
considered crossing him with a mare from the more refined Africano/Alcatraz line. That little
dark bay that as a performance horse “danced every dance” did not let him down at stud. He
proved his merits in Criadero Curiche. He did so to such a degree of quality that the results
assured Don Estanislao Anguita being considered one of the great breeders of all time.
The impact of Criadero Curiche is
still being felt, but it suffices to say that
the descendants of horses from this farm
are responsible for: Flotador (Champion
in the Quinta Normal in 1938 and
Champion of Rienda in 1939); Rigurosa
(Champion in the Quinta Normal in
1938); Ñipan and Reparo (Champions
of Chile in 1964); Agora Que
(Champion of Chile in 1979); Rival
(Champion of Chile in 1981); Bellaco
(Champion of Chile
in
1981);
Ronquerita (Champion of Chile in
Figure II.170
1983); Salteador III (Champion of Chile
The Aguirre brothers gave Don Estanislao a Champion of Chile in
in 1986); Rico-Raco (Champion of Chile
1964 with two great stallions, Ñipan and Reparo.
in 1987 and 1988); Tabacón (Champion
of Chile); Trampero (Champion of Chile); Ña Juana and Cacarita (Vice Champions of Chile).
Mention is often made of the Champion of Chile of 1958, when one member of the
Champion team, Huilcoco, was the offspring of Don Lito’s stud Comunista, and the two teams
of mares that tied for second, Recacha-Aguina and Tandera-Ocurrencia, were all progeny of
the Criadero Curiche. It would be difficult for a breeder to dominate a National Championship
Finals to that degree again. With stallions of the caliber of Alcatraz, Comunista, Rigor, Ñipan,
Picunto, Guardián, Flotador, Reparo, Riguroso, Regador, Acampao, Salteador, Taco and
Retaco, Chilean corraleros will be hard pressed to not feel a close tie to Don Lito for many
years to come.
Don Lito was truly one of those gifted
individuals whose magic touch was not only felt
by equines, but also by the humans that crossed
his path. His circle of acquaintances included
nine or 10 very close friends in the Chilean
Horse industry, and another like number in the
Thoroughbred world. They were always
present to help him celebrate his victories.
The half a dozen young men that he
faithfully used to ride his corralero horses over
the years were treated more like sons than
employees. Yet, this great man died alone and
Figure II.171
unattended, and is buried under a plain
Estanislao Anguita with friends G. Aguirre, E. Moller,
F. Moller, and F. Vial. Below, the foxhounds and
tombstone in the public cemetery of Los
greyhounds were an ever-present part of his life.
Angeles that belittles the contribution he
made to the country he and his forefathers always served so fervently.
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353
Criadero Santa Elba -- Ramón Cardemil M.
It is with much satisfaction that I include the laurels of Criadero Santa Elba and master
breeder Ramón Cardemil Moraga. “On Ramo”, as his rodeo fans kindly remember him, does
not fit the stereotype of the other prominent breeders in the history of the Chilean Horse breed.
Most of the breeders that left their mark over the years got involved in breeding with an affluent
accumulation of resources that were either initially inherited or derived from other sources of
income that permitted them to delve un-pressured into the fascinating world of horse breeding.
Though most had supplemental sources of income, their fervor for breeding stock horses
became their ultimate priority, one that consumed most of their time and provided the greatest
proportion of their satisfaction.
Ramón Cardemil differs. Born in 1917 to the faithful
union of Ramón Cardemil Vallejos and Hortensia Moraga
Moraga, which produced 14 children of which he was the
sixth born, little Ramón was raised in a rural environment
that had more to offer than most. His father owned Fundo
Ranguilí. This land was a provider that permitted the
Cardemil family to live a good life and seek a solid
education. The children had a tutor until they were 10 years
of age, when they were sent off to all-boy or all-girl
Catholic schools until they were aged 15. From there, they
had to go to live with family in Santiago in order to finish
high school and, hopefully, go on to college.
Although there was a clear emphasis on education,
horses were always a part of the Cardemil family activities.
The Moraga side of the family was credited for having
Figure II.172 Ramón Cardemil M.
many horse breeders that went all the way back to the
colonial days of Chile. Still, there is no doubt that Ramón Cardemil Vallejos also was an
enthusiastic horse lover. He sponsored routine informal rodeos on his ranch and always
expected his sons to take care of, train and compete with two horses he assigned each of them
during the periods when they were free from their educational obligations. The Cardemil
children especially remember the beautiful Acero, a stud horse by Cóndor I, he himself a son of
the foundation sire Angamos I that was given to their father by Nepomuceno Urzúa. A
homogeneous broodmare band that even included a couple of registered mares always provided
plenty of horses for the ranch needs and the children’s equitational inquisitiveness.
It is hard to tell if the good life would have introduced Don Ramón to the more formal
sport of rodeo earlier on, or perhaps steered him away from it all together, as his ambitions lay
in the direction of law. However, the good-hearted Ramón Cardemil V. put up his farm as a
guarantee for the financial needs of a brother and a friend. When the difficult times of the
1930´s hit Chile, his property was repossessed. The catastrophe curtailed any further thoughts of
education for Ramón Cardemil junior, who was now forced into the country’s labor force.
As a 17-year-old, the younger Cardemil struggled for three years alongside a brother-inlaw as a broker for the commercialization of cattle. At 20 years of age, he returned to the capital
and formed a partnership with his brother Jorge in a fruit stand. Although this brought him
greater stability, he longed for the life in the country and the exposure to horses he was
accustomed to as a teenager. So, he moved to the town of Santa Cruz, where he rented some
land for grazing and farming while he returned to his broker activity of buying and selling
cattle.
Here, Don Ramón befriended a retired farm manager of some important haciendas in
Talca and Colchagua. Through this friendship, Don Ramón met, and at age 27 eventually
married, Elba Herrera Muñoz. His father-in-law Don Alberto Herrera was an avid horseman and
in one of his managerial obligations he had the opportunity to acquire the services of the famed
Cristal I. The fringe benefit of a free service to the grand old horse resulted in a stud horse of
his own, which he named Atahualpa. This horse went on to sire many good offspring for his
owner, but what concerns us here is that he gave two fine daughters, Ñata and Pinta to his
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March 2008 edition
354
beloved Elbita. She, in turn, offered them to her new husband so that he could commence his
dream of breeding quality stock horses.
With this humble beginning of the two gift mares from his devoted wife and some mares
he recuperated from his father’s original broodmare band, Don Ramón would inaugurate a
breeding farm in partnership with his brother Guillermo. Guillermo had offered him
employment in times of need, introduced him to the formal environment of rodeo where he
became his first teammate and, more importantly, was a true friend and mentor. That he should
have such a close relationship with his first partner in a horse-breeding venture offered
important lessons to Don Ramón.
Many of us have knowledgeable people cross our paths in life, but I am convinced that
one of the truly great qualities of Don Ramón is that he not only did not miss these
opportunities, but, moreover, he made the most of them. A quality that is often seen in great
people is humility, and Don Ramón numbers among those who are always quick to give credit
to others. To this day, he will venerate his brother Guillermo as a natural born horse breeder that
had a sixth sense in picking out great horses and productive crosses. His brother’s knowledge of
pedigrees was so admired that his nickname was “the Big Book”, as it was easier to ask him
than consult the studbooks when it came to bloodlines. So, the years that he and Guillermo
functioned as one on the farm they named Santa Hortensia, in honor of their mother, provided
good horses and new opportunities.
With time, Ramón would single out his favorite mares and create the independent
breeding farm Santa Elba, but the intimate relationship between the brothers would cause them
to invest and share in many stallions that would provide services to both their farms. Since the
hot bloodline of the day was Quebrado, they looked hard for a son of the old horse. They were
told of one of Darío Pavez’s giveaway horses that had been passed on to an informal breeder
that threw the horse out in a field with undistinguished
mares from the community.
The Cardemil brothers bought the horse sight
unseen and took him home as fast as they could pick him
up. Perhaps they picked up on the fact that Quebrado’s
most successful sons, Comunista and Guaraní, were out
of Cosaco mares. Regardless, the fact is that Refuerzo
was also out of the Cosaco mare, Arozamena, and thus
was about to reinforce the credibility of the nick even
more.
The now well-known Refuerzo is an example of
Figure II.173 Santa Elba Cachazo with
how
lineage
and performance will quickly override
performance aptitudes and excellent breed
conformation with most Chilean breeders. The sorrytype exemplifies the produce of Don Ramón.
looking little horse with a long Roman nose was
campaigned enough to show his worth, and there was never any doubt of putting their best
mares to him at stud. The blue blood responded, as Santa Hortensia produced a Champion of
Chile in Pelotera when bred to the Francisco Encina mare Pelota that had been purchased by
the astute Guillermo. Santa Elba also benefited from the Quebrado blood, as they were blessed
with mares like Nutria (dam of Cachazo, Retoque and Retocada) Cascarilla, Buena Moza,
Negra Buena, Presumida, Primavera and Intrusa, as well as horses like Refuerzo II.
Don Ramón did not need to look at the success he and Guillermo had with their first
stud, the Aculeo line horse Copuchento, to value the contribution of this farm. The reputation of
Hacienda Aculeo was already touted as one of the best ever. So, he doubtless was in approval
when his corralero teammate and trainer Ruperto Valderrama purchased another Aculean colt
named Matucho as a corralero prospect. Matucho turned out to be such a grand rodeo
(Champion of Chile) contestant that Don Ramón was anxious to pick up one of two full sisters
that went through a Miguel Letelier’s production sale. The prettier of the two went to a buyer
with much deeper pockets, so he had to conform in taking home the “ugly” one that carried the
bloodlines he desired.
Certainly the dam of this filly, Sanción, has to be considered another star that brightly
twinkled on Don Ramón’s life. Percala, who had once been found ugly, went on to win a
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March 2008 edition
355
Championship of Chile, and is still
considered one of the greatest
performance mares of the sport. The
progeny of Sanción not only gave
Don Ramón two “Champions”, but
they were also responsible for his
competitiveness in the National
Championship race for nearly a
decade. In truth, it was probably more
related to the fact that this full
brother and sister were the result of
breeding between the half-siblings
Coirón III and Sanción that can be
credited for their excellence. Both
Figure II.174
Percala was one of Don Ramon’s National Champions as well as
Coirón III and Sanción were out of
becoming a foundation mare for his breeding program.
the mare Guarda. A close look at this
pedigree does not surprise me in
showing that, aside from the 2S X 2D inbreeding to Guarda, it combines to form a 3S X 4D
inbreeding to the great sire Alfil II and a 3S X 3D inbreeding to Beduino II, a 4S X 5S X 5D
inbreeding to foundation sire Africano and a 4S X 5S X 5D X 5D inbreeding to another
foundation sire Angamos I. How often great horses concentrate the genes of great ancestors!
The next big building block to Santa Elba’s foundation for greatness comes from the
purchase of another somewhat plainly conformed horse named Taco. The result of a breeding
that Ramón Cardemil suggested to his good friend Baltazar Puig, he tried to purchase the horse
as a weanling but was talked out of it by a veterinary advisor. Years later, when the rodeo circuit
was humming about a horse that showed all kinds of ability in spite of being ridden by a novice
with very limited aptitude in the saddle, Don Ramón was not surprised to realize it was the same
horse he had once turned down to continue the Quebrado line in Santa Elba. He inquired
immediately about the horse, but a friend had recently purchased it. So, he gave the man an
instant return on his investment and took the colt home.
The small stature and conformation faults were not of concern to Don Ramón. Taco had a
ton of breed type, and being by the “Chef de Race”, Rigor (a grandson of Quebrado) and out of
the great mare Talavera, there was never a doubt that his bloodline would compensate any
physical imperfections. “On Ramo” talks confidently about Taco’s performance ability, even
though his record is not one of the most impressive. What all riders of Taco comment is that he
had good lateral speed and a great mouth. If any one was able to judge talent in the medialuna, it
was Ramón Cardemil. The fact is that when put to stud the horse did nothing but good for Santa
Elba. He continued to do the same for Eduardo Epple, who bred him late in the horse’s life. In
fact, Taco produced many good horses for most of the breeders that sent mares to him, but
Santa Elba will best remember him for Cachazo (1982), Retoque, Despunte, and of course,
most of all for their famed Bellaco, one of the breed’s best corralero horses. It is not surprising
to realize that Bellaco is a result of crossing Taco with the farm favorite, Percala. Incredibly,
after doing all there is to do in the half moon, Percala showed even more appreciation for her
royal treatment by producing a horse of the caliber of Bellaco.
True to so much of the trajectory at Santa Elba, Bellaco was considered an ugly chestnut
foal. Still, his lineage assured the Cardemil family that they needn’t worry about looks, and thus
the horse was raised with all the attention of a pet. As he matured, he filled out into a powerful
stallion. Like his sire, he left a lot to be desired in structural conformation, but had more size
and body mass and showed an incredible heart while competing. Bellaco made the finals at the
National Championship nine times, competing six times in the fourth steer; one time he was
declared Vice-Champion and yet another time he was crowned National Champion of Chile.
Due to the power of his pins and his consistency, most polls place him as the third or fourth best
corralero horse of all time.
At stud, Bellaco has continued to strengthen the breeding program of Santa Elba. His son
Amuleto emulated his sire in obtaining a National Champion title, while Filtrado and Cadejo
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356
obtained Vice-Championships and Fichero was ranked third-best in the national ranking.
Bellaco’s son Villano has won two National Championships Rienda titles, and his daughter
Armónica was National Vice-Champion of Rienda as well. Bellacazo and Satanás both not
only made the finals in the National Championship Rodeo, but also were chosen “Sello de
Raza” (“seal of the breed”, or exhibiting Best Breed Type of all competitors) in classifying
rodeos. Bandolero has the exact same distinction, as well as the added honors of having sired
Peumo, a Champion of Chile in rodeo. Candelilla was a halter winner in expositions, and the
product of Criadero Agua de los Campos y Maquena, Malulo, was recently chosen Best
Representative of the Breed at halter for the third time in the National Exposition. The list
establishing the success and versatility of Bellaco at stud could go on, but it suffices to say that
he has greatly fortified the Santa Elba breeding program.
Figure II.175 Santa Elba Cadejo was runner up in the Champion of Chile. By the chef d’race
Taco and out of the extraordinary mare Amargura he should do wonders for his present owner
Criadero Laderas de Llanquihue.
There is no doubt that the emphasis of Criadero Santa Elba has been on performance.
Aside from this being the traditional priority in Chile, it is only fitting that Ramón Cardemil
should prioritize this aspect of Chilean Horse breeding. He has achieved legendary status as the
greatest huaso in the history of the sport, and even if his long-standing record of seven National
Titles is someday broken, people will always equate this grand horseman with initiating a
professional mentality in rodeo contestants. It is fitting that he was twice honored as the Athlete
of the Year, a recognition that compares athletes of all disciplines in Chile.
His intentions of setting high goals were clear from the beginning. For four years, he
classified to participate in the National Championship and chose not to go. He felt he was not
ready and preferred to sit on the sidelines as a spectator observing the best riders to carefully
study their styles and evaluate their decisions. When he finally decided to participate, he
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357
immediately took home a second-runner-up title in a National Championship. He never stopped
being in contention again, even when it took eight more seasons to finally be crowned
Champion. For 14 consecutive years, he classified for the finals of the National Championship,
and at one point he and Ruperto had won an incredible five championships in seven years!!
It cannot go without saying
that a good deal of credit should also
go to his faithful partner, trainer and
advisor, the more experienced Ruperto
Valderrama. Quietly, Ruperto stood in
the shadows of the limelight, while he
not only trained the majority of the
Champions that he and Don Ramón
rode (Bellaco was the exception, as he
was all “On Ramo’s” making) but also
had the keen eye to choose talented
individuals to buy for competition when
Santa Elba was initiating their breeding
program. I know Don Ramón will not
be offended by this comment, because
he has always symbolized the polite and
gentlemanly ways of his profession,
being the first to congratulate and speak
highly of those who have either
cooperated in his victories or soundly
Figure II.176
defeated him in competition. As I have
Don Ramón Cardemil on his favorite mount, Bellaco. This horse he
previously stated, his ability to make the
alone trained and later rode to a National Championship of Chile.
most of the knowledgeable people that
crossed his path in life is, indeed, part of the reason for his success.
Santa Elba is the personal farm that Don Ramón modestly started on his own with very
limited resources. As is the case with most Chilean breeding farms, he named it after the most
important person in his life. The solidarity between Don Ramón and Doña Elba has been a long
union that has not only produced excellent horses, but also a solid family life. Their four
children are professionals (a lawyer, a doctor, a school teacher/artist and a bilingual secretary)
who have clearly identified with their family’s dreams and accomplishments in the corralero
world. The oldest, Alberto, is a Chilean senator who has always been an active participant in
rodeos, and has also contributed to the industry in writing a valuable book entitled El Huaso
Chileno.
The uniqueness of this great breeder is that he was an even better rider. Having ridden
most of his homebreds, he undoubtedly offered them a decisive advantage in accumulating
merits as performers. On the other hand, having ridden so many of Criadero Santa Elba’s
progeny, and evaluating them under his keenly honed talents also gave him a feel, unlike any
other breeder, of what they lacked or could best contribute to a breeding program.
Certainly, the fame Don Ramón has achieved as a rider is difficult competition for the
achievements he has accumulated as a breeder. In reality, I think the one has overshadowed the
other, to the point that people do not realize just how successful a breeder he has been. An
interesting study by Vicente and Ignacio Pérez was recently published. They looked at all the
stallions ranked in the top 10 spots every year since the ratings were first published in 1956.
They assigned 10 points to the number-one-ranked horse and progressively diminished points
assigned until the 10th ranked horse only acquired one point. Their purpose was to classify
performance horses, as well as the sires of nationally ranked offspring.
I looked at their data and used the same point system to classify breeders. I wondered if
this information would verify the general consensus of who the top breeders in the nation were.
Of all the breeders listed, Criadero Santa Elba easily topped the list, with an accumulated 171
points. Only two other farms even surpassed 100 points. Curiche was second, with 122 points,
but, in all fairness, the range of years that was covered overlooks all the great competitors this
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March 2008 edition
358
farm produced from the 1930’s to the early 1950’s. Santa Isabel was next, with 118 points, but
of course they are still writing their history. The point is that if we judge Ramón Cardemil’s
Criadero Santa Elba by the number of quality horses that have been in the top rankings over the
past 45 years, he has had no contenders. I suspect that of all the people that qualify him as the
best rider of all time, few are aware of the degree of success he has attained as a breeder. Being
the best at any one thing is hard enough, but achieving this in two such varied aspects of the
Chilean Rodeo is truly amazing
Figure II.177 Everyone remembers the paired team of corraleros Ramon Cardemil and Ruperto
Valderrama. Few realize that Don Ramón was just as successful as a breeder.
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Criadero La Amanecida -- Alberto Schwalm B.
In 1950, an energetic and sociable young man graduated from the College of Veterinary
Medicine at the University of Chile. Born 25 years earlier, the son of Alberto Schwalm Gloss
and Inés Bielefeld Mohr had a four-sided German pedigree that exemplified the zeal the
German immigrants from the previous century had in becoming a part of Chilean agriculture.
Two years after landing his first job in The Agricultural and Livestock Society of Osorno
(SAGO), young Alberto Schwalm B. pleased his parents with his choice of marrying Maluty
Goebel Rivas.
Having been an influential part of developing the incredibly beautiful lake region of
southern Chile, most Germans enthusiastically cleared forest and established lush stands of
pastures. Livestock production was a predictable progression for these descendants of the Old
World, where a wide variety of cattle breeds thrived. What was less expected was how receptive
these new Chileans would be to incorporating themselves into the huaso culture that
traditionally represented the regions farther north. Alberto Schwalm B. rightly came by this
mentality.
Don Alberto Schwalm Gloss and Doña Inés raised their
children, Alberto, Carlos and Yolita in the countryside, and the
Chilean Horse was very much a part of Don Alberto’s life when
Alberto “junior” came into the world in 1925. Alberto senior was
not only an avid fan of the Chilean Horse, but also a participant
in the first rodeos that were organized among his friends in this
newly developed region of Chile. To satisfy his enthusiasm, he
started the breeding farm Criadero Santa Inés, which he
established within the confines of his farm, Fundo Rafulco in Río
Figure II.178
Negro. There, he stood a horse named Cardo who was a son of the
Alberto Schwalm B.
famed Cristal I from the foundation line of Guante I.
The young veterinary student identified clearly with his father’s keen interest in the
Chilean Horse breed, and before finishing college he began to buy select mares from Alberto
Barros, Francisco Encina and Juan Pablo Espinoza. When he returned to southern Chile with a
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine certificate under his belt, his father immediately asked him to
take over the management of Fundo Rafulco. There, he initiated his own breeding farm with a
mare that his father gave him as a graduation gift. Her name was Santa Inés Amanecida, and in
her honor he christened his breeding establishment La Amanecida. In breeding this mare to
Molinete, in 1956, he registered his first horse, La Amanecida Lagrimilla.
Dr. Schwalm, a consummate organizer, soon realized that his aptitudes and interests were
more in line with production than with clinical medicine. His reputation as a progressive
producer and community leader did nothing but solidify as time went on. Eventually, he would
become the president of the organization (SAGO) that offered him his first employment. He
would also take on the prestigious representation of his profession in accepting the presidency
of the College of Medical Veterinarians of Osorno, as well as the VETAGRO, an organization
that united the professionals in both the fields of veterinary and agronomical sciences. For more
than two decades, he was also a dynamic director of the Stockyard of Osorno. Undoubtedly, this
experience helped him suggest that the Chilean Rodeo Federation breed its own steers for the
National Championship competition. These innovations complied well with his lifelong passion
of breeding Chilean Horses for the sport of Chilean Rodeo.
Although he participated in the sport of Chilean Rodeo personally, his real love was
breeding the performance stock horses and partaking of the community of friends that identified
with his love of this gutsy little horse breed. Although he won many titles with the horses he
competed on over the years, as a huaso he will be best remembered in the company of his
extraordinary mare, Chamaquita (by Chicharrón III and out of Hualpicha), which he
campaigned to be one of the top corralera mares in the nation over many years. However, his
love of the rodeo was simply in regard to its role as the proving ground for his breeding
program and the opportunity to exchange in professional opinions and social camaraderie.
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360
One must think this hard-working perfectionist, who started his days before sun up, came
awfully close to his unreachable objectives. No other breeder had produced as many participants
in the National Championship in the 15 years prior to his death. His unprecedented 55
Champion performers were also accompanied by numerous winners of halter classes in the
important expositions throughout the country. That
Dr. Schwalm´s horses excelled in both performance
and halter is fitting, since he was a firm believer that
“perfect” conformations were very much compatible
with the highest levels of athleticism in rodeos.
Perhaps this is Dr. Schwalm’s greatest legacy,
as before his impact on the breed, the breeder
emphasis greatly favored stressing performance, and
as we have already discussed, some foundation
breeders took note of the importance of speed in that
formula. More recently, breeders like César Rozas
gave phenotype the importance it merited, but his
efforts were compromised since he did not clearly
establish the relation with function inside the
medialuna. Dr. Schwalm, on the other hand, insisted
on an unwavering minimum of physical attributes
that had to prove their worth in function. His
greatness as a breeder was undoubtedly related to his
uncompromising ability to cull when a horse did not
live up to his standards. Many examples exist of
aesthetically appealing horses that he invariably
culled because they had an unusual number of
Figure II.179 Don Alberto is most remembered
soundness problems. In fact, every horse in
aboard his favorite saddle horse Chamaquita
his program that traced back to the culprit
individual was eliminated, many of which were out of his best mares. This type of inflexible
determination in complying with his goals is a very unusual trait in a breeder of any era.
The fruits of Dr. Schwalm’s labor resulted in good-looking and capable horses that have
formed a strong foundation for Chilean Horse breeders in Chile and elsewhere. His mares in
particular have found their way into the breeding farms throughout Chile, and markets in
Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Uruguay have also requested his horses. The Chilean National
Championship of Rodeo has seen the likes of Estepa, Espérela, Ezperanza, Pelusa, Esponja,
Chicha Baya, Porcelana, Capilla, Campesina, Alegría, Rebuscada, Espiga, Mona, Rosalía,
Melaza and Revista, to mention just a few. That does not mean to imply that his colts and
geldings have not left their mark as well. In the highest echelon of competition, the rodeo fans
have admired Estribillo II, Campero, Capacho, Roto Lacho, Estilo, Payaso, Recesión,
Columpio, Amurrao, Criollito, Recao, Retaco, El Lechón and many more. I do think it is fair
to say that the influence of La Amanecida on the breed has been less distinguished in the sire
lines.
It’s hard to mention Alberto Schwalm and not, in some way, give recognition to his
capable eye in picking up the Casa de Polpaico horse, Estribillo. The owner of the Casa de
Polpaico, Gustavo Donoso C., was an old friend of Dr. Schwalm. Only through various strange
twists of fate was it that Estribillo even came into being. His grandsire, Guaraní, was
recommended to a client who, grateful for the caliber of his horse in the rodeo competitions,
later returned the favor by letting Mr. Donoso use the horse at stud for a couple of years. This
gave rise to Casa de Polpaico Estribo, who, incredibly, was given away. The new owner found
owning a stud horse too complicated and decided to return the gift horse in exchange for a mare.
The return of Estribo to Casa de Polpaico resulted in his being bred to the old mare Reserva,
who at age 20 produced the magnificent Estribillo.
Luck shone on Alberto Schwalm as the disasters of President Frei’s and President
Allende’s land reforms were in progress and Gustavo Donoso feared losing his property to the
capricious short-notice takeovers of the government officials and/or their emissaries. Rather
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361
than risking his more valuable assets, he chose to sell Estribillo, a full sister, Huasita, and
another daughter of Estribo, Recia, to his friend Alberto Schwalm. Since La Amanecida was
farther south, at that moment they were less prone to be affected by immediate expropriation.
The rest is history, as Estribillo marveled the half-moon arenas of the country between
1971 and 1980. He not only conquered a rienda Championship, but after three light seasons, in
his first serious year of campaigning, Tabin Rey brought back a easy win on Estribillo in the
“Series for Stallions”, and third place beside Cacaro de la Fuente on Guardián II in the
“Champion de Chile”. That year, Dr. Schwalm purchased Mandíl who had been chosen “Sello
de Raza” in the National Championship, showing Dr. Schwalm’s faith in a good conformation.
The horse was to accompany Estribillo, who would now be ridden by the oldest son Alberto
Schwalm Goebel, who was better known as “Tito”.
However, a series of problems plagued
Estribillo in the coming years in which Mandil also
did not pan out to be the horse they had expected. In
1978, they teamed up Estribillo with Vistazo, and
after a successful and sound season, went into the
National Championship once again. This time,
Estribillo brought home a National Championship to
the doubly happy Dr. Schwalm, who saw his young
son manage the horse with a serenity and confidence
atypical for his age.
The next year, the same team of “Tito”
Schwalm-Estribillo and Luchín Dominguez-Vistazo
Figure II.180
were crowned Vice-Champions of Chile. Incredibly,
Two time Champion of Chile winner Estribillo
in 1980, Dr. Schwalm wanted to try one more time.
Alberto Schwalm, father and son, agreed to give the younger brother Enrique (“Chicote”) a shot
at a National Title. The limited experience of this 19-year-old showed the caliber of this
astonishing horse. Alongside Vespertino, the classy black came away with yet another national
Championship. A week later, Estribillo suffered a lesion in a sesamoid (small bones behind the
fetlock joint that act as a sort of pulley so that tendons can move around the corner of the joint)
of a hind leg and was forced into retirement.
Without a doubt, the long cylindrical barrel, the slightly swayed back and some
soundness problems that plagued Estribillo during part of his campaign were enough to
convince Alberto Schwalm that this was a horse that would not fit his demanding breeding
program. Under peer pressure, he used the horse at stud, but when the opportunity came to sell
Estribillo for an excellent price, he did so readily. In sending Estribillo to the Criadero Santa
Isabel, he unknowingly gave that success-hungry farm an opportunity to write its own chapter in
the history books.
Perhaps it’s pertinent that we wrap up our story about La Amanecida with a horse that
Dr. Schwalm did not breed and eventually decided not to continue to use. Some would criticize
Dr. Schwalm for selling such a high-caliber performance horse. However, these judgments are
best made over the long term of implementing the breeder’s strategy. In any decision-making,
there are instances in which you win and others in which you lose. Most could question whether
the incredible caliber of Estribillo’s offspring would not have compensated for the flaws that
came with his package. They say hindsight is 20-20, but one thing is clear, and that is that Dr.
Schwalm’s challenging program, by and large, favored higher quality progeny coming out of
the Criadero La Amanecida.
There are many ways one can win in competitive events, but there are very few manners
in which breeders can responsibly add to the strong foundation of a breed. Dr. Alberto Schwalm
Bielefeld seemed to clearly distinguish the two concepts and established a superb example for
future breeders. So sure was he of his methodology that he implemented his ideas in what was
then a very untraditional part of Chile for stud farms. Alongside his faithful and enthusiastic
wife Maluty and his talented sons Alberto and Enrique, this Chilean family of third-generation
German heritage has been living proof of how the Chilean Horse has provided a banner of
unification for huasos of all origins.
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March 2008 edition
362
.
.
Figure II.181
Figure II.182
Figure II.181 & II.182
La Amanecida Pelusa is a good representative of Dr. Schwalm’s breeding program. He excelled in
producing good mares that proved horses can be both very beautiful and extremely competitive.
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363
Criadero Santa Isabel --Agustín Edwards E.
Agustín Edwards Eastman saw the first light of day in 1928. He was the first born from
the union of Agustín Edwards Budge and the beautiful María Isabel “Chavela” Eastman Beeche.
He was the chosen one in the fifth consecutive generation endowed with the Agustín Edwards
name since the Welsh immigrant George Edwards settled in the inconspicuous Chilean coastal
town of La Serena. The name must have been a good omen, because the recipients did many
great things. Respected diplomats, writers, bankers, owners of nitrate mines and breweries,
investors in Chile’s first railroad and newspaper magnates are just some of the accomplishments
associated with this entrepreneuring family. However, the achievement that I am interested in
relates to how Agustín Edwards Eastman contributed to the Chilean Horse breed. This is the
story I will now reveal.
Although his cultured lifestyle was more impregnated with an urban environment and
activities, Agustín was impacted with what exposure he had to the countryside. He had a vivid
interest in botany that made him a constant observer of all the flora of the regions he uncovered.
He consumed history books of every imaginable kind, striving to understand the complexities of
human societies. He loved to learn about gardening, and flowers held a special fascination for
him. He was amazed at the ever-changing variables involved in sailing, and much about the
expanse of the ocean fascinated him. His interests were diverse because his mind was gifted
with an incredible memory that permitted him to retain much more of what he experienced in
life than the rest of us. This photographic recollection made learning predictable circumstances
and facts an unchallenging exercise. On the other hand, understanding the multi-factorial
components that shape history, that affect plant growth and health or require responsive
reactions in sailing, were the types of confrontations he looked forward to. In time, the
intricacies of horse production would be added to that list, albeit more as a social objective than
a subject of fervor.
Agustín’s educational development would
take him from Chile to explore the conference halls,
podiums and libraries of Princeton where he would
obtain a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School
of Public and International Affairs before returning
to his homeland to partake in the ever-growing
commercial interests of his relatives. Eventually, he
would take command of his family enterprise and,
alongside his kind and refined wife María Luisa
“Malú” del Río Fernández, he would expand his
Figure II.183 Don Agustín and Doña Malú
agricultural holdings with the same intensity with
which he projected his commercial endeavors. The
country life and horses in particular, offered Agustín and “Malú” a common ground in which
they could take interest, participate and derive satisfaction.
In the early 1950’s, Don Agustín purchased a farm near the lake region of Villarica that
was called Hacienda Coipúe. Motivated by his farm manager, Alberto Araya Gómez, he
initiated an effort to master the challenge of horse production under the name of Criadero Santa
Isabel. Over the two decades of raising corraleros in Coipúe, he would sense some successes in
horses such as No Me Toques (1970), Arroyito and el Coipúe. These are not accomplishments
that we are likely to read about in the Chilean Horse history books, but they were sufficient to
inoculate the middle-aged businessman with the fever for making stock horse breeding a part of
his permanent rural pastimes.
Eventually, in 1972, Hacienda Coipúe was lost to the policies of the Agrarian Reform,
after Mr. Edwards had been forced into exile in 1970. A decade would pass before the political
and economic climate enticed Don Agustín to reconsider an even more serious effort at horse
breeding. In 1982, he re-established the Criadero Santa Isabel near the old town of La
Compañía, which had once been the headquarters of the main Jesuit agrarian holdings in Chile.
With this fresh beginning, Don Agustín would have renewed aspirations of keeping a farm with
a more focused intent of achieving success in the Chilean Rodeo.
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364
With this purpose in mind, Don Agustín started upgrading the quality of the broodmare
band that remained from his deceased Criadero Coipúe. His good friend Gonzalo Vial
contributed some quality mares and then together they decided to buy the stallions Estribillo
and Riguroso from Alberto Schwalm and Alberto Montt, respectively. Although at that time
these were not bloodlines of the
importance we would assign them
today, it was already clear that their
sires Estribo and Rigor were going to be
stallions that would impact the breed
noticeably. Undoubtedly, his greatgrandfather Agustín Edwards Ross, a
Thoroughbred enthusiast who had
once purchased the aged Guante I and
bred some mundane Chilean Horses by
him, must have looked down from
above with satisfaction in observing that
his namesake was establishing his
breeding farm based firmly in this very
lineage.
However optimistic Don Agustín
must have been with the caliber of his
stallion battery, he could not have fully
suspected the level of success that they
would eventually bring him. On the
other hand, it is clear that no stallion can
do it all, and Don Agustín emphasized
the need for quality mares. Personal
problems had forced the visionary
Figure II.184 Mr. Edwards feels the horse has an important role in
breeder Samuel Parot to leave the
keeping Chilean traditions alive.
country. As fate would have it, he
left his precious broodmare band in the hands of Gonzalo Vial with instructions that he find
buyers that would help him overcome his cash flow problems. As a result, class mares such as
Que Luna, Cachita, Raquelita and Nicasia opportunely fell into the hands of Santa Isabel.
These were mares that few long-term breeders would consider parting with, but destiny found a
way to match them with the recently purchased stallion of equal genetic fortitude.
For five years, the mares proved their worth in the medialuna, establishing the name of
Santa Isabel firmly among the contenders of the rodeo circuit. Eventually, they would find their
place amongst the privileged group of mares that made up the harem of the up-and-coming
Estribillo. The limited years he was used by Alberto Schwalm and friends were already starting
to indicate the dominance Estribillo would show in the corralero competitions. Horses such as
Rico Tipo, Aguacero, Reservado and Lechón were assuring Santa Isabel that they had a
diamond in the rough, and everything that was invested in polishing it was worthwhile.
I am uncertain how much of Don Agustín’s mentality of going first class (by Chilean
stock horse standards, mind you) in his operation was motivated by what was unfolding under
his very eyes, as Champion after Champion by Estribillo started to appear. Undoubtedly, he was
looking at horse breeding under a different light than the one he used in his experiences in the
1950’s and 1960’s.
Of course, it is much easier to invest when you realize that you have an individual that
will respond with handsome dividends. Let me clarify that I am not referring to monetary
returns, because the market for Chilean Horses does not justify the kind of investments that any
of the top breeders have made. Clearly, the returns are more precious than any material payback.
The returns are in the satisfaction of being successful, of entering the history books, of
raising the level of all Chilean Horse breeders to one more respected by outsiders. The returns
are in having the opportunity to make Chileans prouder of their rural heritage, to fortify
traditions and folklore. The returns are in filling the stands with fans of this little horse that was
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March 2008 edition
365
once the least appreciated, blue- collar worker of the colonial territories. This was the vision that
Mr. Edwards had. He saw the big picture. The one so few of us understand because we are often
too busy worrying about our own fame and fortune.
In realization of the magnitude of class that overflowed from every pore of Estribillo´s
body, Don Agustín did even more to improve his broodmare band. Examples worth mentioning
are the addition of mares like Clementina, one of the best 20 mares of the breed. He purchased
mares like Ociosa, who was a daughter of Ñipán and, thanks to Santa Isabel’s program, she
confirmed her position in that prestigious group too. Talavera II was also acquired, she being a
half sister to the famous Taco and daughter of Talavera, another of the best 20 mares of the
breed. The list goes on and on, but it suffices to say that Don Agustín gave the sub-fertile
Estribillo every chance to produce sheer quality.
The farm counted on veterinary advisors to maximize the conceptions of a horse that
most likely would have been very unproductive in other hands. Of course, uniting the best
horses with the best human capital is also a strong point of Mr. Edwards. He has always had
very capable and respected people in the forefront of the management of Santa Isabel. First, he
hired the internationally respected horseman, José Manuel (“Coteco”) Aguirre. Later, he used
the services of the knowledgeable horseman and even more capable motivator and promoter,
Benjamín García-Huidobro. These are two of the most respected minds in the sport, and their
contacts and recommendations have clearly been influential in the results that are being
harvested today.
It was clear early on that Don Agustín realized the importance of factors that were
exogenous to genetics in obtaining the desired end results. Too many obstacles stand in the way
of the approximately 9,000 horses that compete in rodeos throughout the year, to classify for the
124 slots that will fight for the National Championship. Once in, the screening gets tighter, as
then one must have the good fortune in an event that is inevitably sprinkled by good and bad
luck. Then, only six of the 34 teams that make it to the finals of the National Championship will
have sufficient points accumulated to run the final, fourth and decisive steer. The only way to
counter these odds is by minimizing the mistakes. Agustín Edwards realized that the way to do
this was by instilling a more professional attitude in his teams, and clearly this has changed the
mentality of the sport.
Don Agustín obtained the two best riders in
the nation. A third, had perennially been in the top
10 riders. The fourth talented rider was a young man
that, alongside these master horsemen, quickly made
his way up to the elite spots in the country as well.
These premier riders are well taken care of. They
earn salaries that most Santiago executives would
like to make. They are treated like family, and on
occasion their successes have been rewarded with
bonuses like a European group tour with spouses
included. A lot is expected of them in the rodeo halfmoon arena, but there is no doubt that Don Agustín
Figure II.185 Lalo Tamayo aboard Fiestera who
compensates their input.
in 2007 alongside Talento gave Santa Isabel their
Others could have doubted this strategy.
fifth National Championship..
For more than 30 years, Santa Isabel did not see a
National Championship. Until 1991, they had not even been in the top three spots. Then, in
1994, the two premier riders, Juan Carlos Loayza and Eduardo Tamayo, finally brought home
the big one with a couple of homebred mares, Esbelta and Escandalosa. More to its credit,
Santa Isabel also had the team that was second runner-up. It seemed as though Santa Isabel was
on top of the world and that now its presence would be felt. However, success never comes
easily and even less so in the Chilean Rodeo, which depends on the coordination between horse
and rider and between team members while dealing with the unpredictability of the cattle that
are running scared.
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March 2008 edition
366
The following year, Santa Isabel would be runner-up Champs, and the year after that,
second runner-ups. In 1997, they placed fifth with their best team, as by now it was customary
that they would qualify for the National Championship with many different teams. In 1998, they
brought home another sub-championship. In 1999, they bettered this by coming in second and
third. Surely, one had to admire the consistency of Santa Isabel, but unfairly, critics expected
more from someone who had invested so much. Obviously, these people didn’t realize that
money does not buy success. No one knows this better than the bin Rashid al Maktoum family
of Dubai that has been trying relentlessly, at all costs, to win the Kentucky Derby for decades.
What money does buy is dedication and persistence. A caring employer attitude,
accompanied by attractive remunerations, result in more diligent and loyal employees. In the
end, these qualities pay dividends, but there is no assurance of obtaining the “crock of gold at
the end of the rainbow”. At the turn of the century, good fortune shined on all the hard work and
perseverance of the Santa Isabel horse and rider teams. In the year 2000, Juan Carlos Loayza
and Eduardo Tamayo teamed up again to bring home a National title with the talented homebred
stallions, Talento and Escorpión, while tying the national record with 40 points for the four
steers. The other two Santa Isabel riders, Ricardo de la Fuente and Luis Eduardo Cortés, came
in second, showing a clear dominance of the Santa Isabel squadron.
In the year 2001, an unlikely pair of horses retained the title of National Champs of Chile
for Santa Isabel by establishing a new record of 41 points for the four steers. Traditionally,
Santa Isabel holds their annual sale a couple of days before the National Championship rodeo
starts. The geldings Banquero and Batuco, which had qualified for the National Championship,
were offered for sale, but there were no takers for the minimum that had been stipulated. So, off
to the rodeo they went! The defending champions were knocked out of the competition early,
but the incredibly cool demeanor of Juan Carlos Loayza and the up-and-coming Luis “Negro”
Cortés, made the important pins when they counted. They came from behind to assure the
merited championship with their record-breaking score.
Figure II.186
Juan Carlos Loaiza and Eduardo Tamayo make a four point pin aboard Nat’l Champ. Talento and
Almendra. Arguably, these are the two best professional huasos in the history of the sport.
In 2002, the Santa Isabel battalion classified for the finals of the National Championship
with an unprecedented five teams. One team was cut after the first steer, and after the second
steer two more teams went by the wayside, including the defending champions. The fourth team
was eliminated after the third steer. A sole team of none other than Loayza and Tamayo on
Talento (champion of 2000) and Almendra were among the six teams that faced the fourth
steer. They were barely ahead at the moment, as four of the competitors were within one to
three points of them, and the last steer was now very crucial. The first team to run admirably put
on the pressure by marking a magnificent 10 points out of a possible 13. The Santa Isabel team
needed eight points to take the lead, not knowing if the teams to follow might pull off the
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367
impossible. Incredibly, the professionalism of these magnificent riders allowed them to pull
through with 11 points, while all subsequent competitors broke under the pressure of needing a
perfect score. They were the new champs, coming in at four points above their nearest foe!
The three consecutive National Championships of Santa Isabel is an astonishing
accomplishment. Perhaps just as impressive is the fact that after their first championship,
between 1994 and 2004, in all but one year Santa Isabel has been in one or more of the top three
spots of the Champion of Chile. It seems only fair that Agustín Edwards should receive the
recognition that these achievements deserve. He has done more for the Chilean Horse, more for
the Chilean Rodeo, more for the Rienda competition, more for the Chilean Horse Trials
(“Pruebas Ecuestres”), more for Chilean folklore and tradition and in great part, more for a
sense of national pride, than any other breeder in history. The fact that he is less of a hands- on
breeder, not nearly the horseman and less passionate about the history of the Chilean Horse and
Chilean Rodeo than all the men I have chosen as outstanding breeders, simply points out that his
priorities differed. Because they did, they are no less important in having achieved a positive
influence on the breed and no less impressive when the irrefutable degree of success was
obtained.
Truly, his innovation as a Chilean Horse breeder has been to professionalize horse
breeding and corralero competition. He has acted as the true executive he is in delegating most
of the functions to people who are the best in their particular fields, and he has not skimped in
remunerating them well beyond the market value for these services. He has set a high goal for
others to follow, but follow they have. The result has not only been the improved performance
of the horses of Santa Isabel, but, more importantly, the improved overall performance of the
Chilean Horse breed.
It seems fitting that this chapter on exceptional breeders of the Chilean Horse should end
with a gentleman that has humanely bridged the gap between urban and rural settings, while
contributing significantly to greater respect in each sector by reaffirming the unity that has
always made this country so special. Nothing represents this better than seeing how far the
supposedly insignificant little horse that valiantly confronted war zones, that treaded up and
down endless country roads and that maneuvered himself skillfully in mountainous cattle
terrains, now has come into the sophisticated arena of elite athleticism with his head held so
high.
Figure II.187
Don Agustin Edwards is flanked on both sides by many of the best rodeo performers. Assuring his
horses are ridden by nothing but the best has been a big part of his success.
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March 2008 edition
368
Figure II.I87 (a)
This maps indicates the location of the farms of the breeders that have had the most
impact on the Chilean Horse breed. Although the majority of the breeders used to be
found in the central region of Chile more and more breeders are moving the lake
regions that are in the south central part of Chile.
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March 2008 edition

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