By Lisa Goodwin-Campiglio
Few of the Del Cid bred arabians
have been eligible for export to the USA because of 1) their propensity
for equine Piraplasmosis and 2) the reluctance or lack of interest in this
Yeguada towards selling off their stock. Their policy has been to retain
their blood lines so as to see the development of their breeding choices
through more than one generation---often as many as 4 or 5.
The Del Cid properties run from high rocky ground to the "marismas" or wetlands of Huelva where the tick population run amuck. Most all those horses carry both types of equine Piraplasmosis, the tick bearing disease which has been so difficult to cleanse from the bloodstream. It is also rare in the fact that the Del Cid horses are offered for sale to the public only very seldom--basically once every ten years.
The Del Cid horses were raised on hundreds of acres of arroyo filled rocky sparse grasslands. They were dry fed at one end and watered at the other. No fences, no human participation. Foals were born out in the "wilds" and if they make it in they survive. The mare herds are brought in twice a year: In the late summer for foal branding and weanling registration and the separation of colts from the fillies and then again for breeding the following February.
Little to no handling is done
with the females. The males are sent off to another ranch/Cortijo where
they are turned out to run free until the end of their third year when
selection and training *may* be started. The average total numbers of stock
run between 200 and 250 head on an annual basis. Being selected to be retained
alone is a feat. Being kept as a breeding stallion out of so many horses
was a rare honor indeed. *Komuste had that honor as did *Ciato.
Timing also was right for *Ciato
as he was sold to Don Mendez Torres in 1978 as an 8 year old where he sired
all fillies except for two grey colts. Although elder Don Juan Del Cid
did not bring his horses into the agricultural fairs, nor did his heirs
participate in Arabian Shows, those who have been fortunate enough to obtain
his stock have indeed shown their horses. This Don Mendes did also with
*Ciato in Sevilla, catching the eye of Jay Stream from Greengate Farms
who was there at the time. Other American breeders such as the Hoyts, and
their trainer Jim Porcher, queried about Ciato as well, but Jay Steam was
there first and imported Ciato to the US in 1982. His movement was spectacular.
The Stanleys of Stanley Ranch,
then known as Sitting Rock Spanish Arabians also were importers of Del
Cid breeding. Mally and Dave's stories of finding their way out to the
Del Cid Yeguada to see more of that breeding and what they went thru to
persuade the heirs to sell any stock is a *Book* unto itself. Talk about
a wilderness area! It was there that they met *Komuste and 3 of his sons.
Fortunately for us they were successful and were able to purchase all four
The Del Cid horses are known
for their excellent bone, their well developed muscling and their stamina.
They are horses which have survived the rigors of their upbringing for
generations. The two brothers Jose Maria and Juan Del Cid bought their
first horses from the Yeguada Militar in 1912, two years after the Marques
de Casa Domecq Yeguada was established. (The latter is known as the oldest
The Del Cid breeding program
has continued however totally unbroken from one generation to another down
to present day, so therefore remains the eldest most continuous line amongst
the private breeders of Spain. Their initial emphasis was on the Polish
import Van-Dyck daughters and granddaughters. These in turn were bred out
to stallions of desert breeding such as Korosko Or.Ar. with the results
the most influential of the Polish Imports by the YM
Habiente, S.Del E., Chestnut
stallion (Gandy X Veranda, a Veragua mare) was also used extensively in
the Del Cid breeding program. In blood, a ¾ brother to Maquillo
and Malvito, Del Cid used him to sire Paita (Habiente X Jaecera by Barquillo)
dam of Chavali, the maternal granddam of *AN Malik. Paita’s ¾ brother-in-bloods
was Pepete (Habiente X Oklaoma by Barquillo), a 1959 Grey stallion, sire
of few but very successful get both in Europe and the USA.
An interesting point is that
other than the stock bought from the total dispersal of the Marques de
Casa Domecq and a few YM mares, the Duque de Veragua purchased part of
his foundation stock from Jose Maria and Juan Del Cid. Known as a fastidious
breeder with a *very* selective eye, Veragua searched outside of Spain
for what he
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