elitafoto.com: Rancho Americas

Rancho Las Americas is life come full circle in order to launch a new beginning: breeding Andalusian horses on our ranch in the northern British Columbia. Forty years have passed - can that really be! - since we left Spain for Argentina, sold our house and all our stuff to live on horseback. Forty years since that windy January 2, 1969, deep in the heart of the Patagonia when we set out into the ever unknown with four Argentine Criollos and a mongrel dog named Chaco to explore the three Americas. We spent four and a half years living the life of saddle tramps. (To read more turn to Riding Into The Wind)

Return to the Iberian Horse
In June 2005, a wonderful Andalusian stallion came into our lives. Campanillero was the horse of my dreams. But he did not belong to me. I was acutely aware of this and every day that he was in our barn was a great day, 442 days in all, before he was sent back to his owner and later perished Campanillero inspired me to return to the Iberian peninsula to ride in 2006 . In the late evening of my arrival at the finca of Francisco Braganca, our talk touched on our middle daughter Conchita Maria, named for a Perivuan bull fighter and horsewoman whose autobiography I read in Peru. Don Franciso turned pale. You said Conchita Maria Cintron? Yes, I said That is my aunt, said Don Francisco. She lives outside Lisbon. Rides every day. She is 84. Our encounter seemed much more than coincidental

The Horses of the Americas
Riding across deserts, over mountain passes, through disease infested lowlands of the Americas, we experienced first hand the adversity that had confronted the horses brought to the New World by the Conquistadores and that shaped the breeds of the Americas. The Chilean Corralero is said to posess the heart of a lioness, the spirit of a young maiden - and the hind quarters of a rich widow. On the desert haciendas of Peru, the Paso Fino developed as a mount for women and clergymen to travel in comfort and style; in the high sierra the hardy Morochuco pony is a testament to the resilience of the horses of Spanish ancestry. Our ride took us to ranches and farms, to military and police outposts where the horse was still in use. We met owners of fine Andalusian horses in Ecuador, Cost Rica and Mexico; we participated in tientas, round ups, fiestas and parades, we rode the horses of our hosts, read what we could get our hands on about the horses of the Americas.

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