Fazenda Gruta Azul Named 2022 AQHA International Best Remuda Winner

Fazenda Gruta Azul Named 2022 AQHA International Best Remuda Winner

Brazilian ranch is recognized for its outstanding contributions to ranching and the American Quarter Horse breed.

Three riders on horses ride into the sunset in a herd of cattle.

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For decades, Norberto Soares Leite’s Fazenda Gruta Azul in Dois Irmãos Do Buriti, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, has raised cattle and American Quarter Horses, and in 2022 is the AQHA International Best Remuda winner.

Since 1992, the American Quarter Horse Association has honored the contributions ranch horses have made to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse by presenting each year the AQHA Best Remuda Award to a ranch that raises outstanding ranch horses. In 2018, AQHA began presenting the AQHA International Best Remuda Award to recognize an outstanding international ranch remuda comprised of registered American Quarter Horses. The Association is pleased to continue this international award, which now honors Fazenda Gruta Azul.

“Fazenda Gruta Azul is the home to some of the top cow horse blood in Brazil,” said AQHA Director of International Activities Sierra Kane. “We are happy to recognize their achievements in developing these good ranch horses.”

The ranch’s horses carry the blood of top cow horses such as High Brow Cat, Playgun, Haidas Little Pep, Peptoboonsmal and Smart Little Lena.

Fazenda Gruta Azul’s name translates to “blue grotto,” and on its rich grasslands cattle are raised. To work the cattle, Norberto and his family raise American Quarter Horses, and have more than 200 horses on their ranch, which are used almost every day.  

In addition to the almost-daily work done on the ranch, Fazenda Gruta Azul’s horses are seen in the cutting arena. According to AQHA’s international affiliate in Brazil, Associação Brasileira de Quarto de Milha, the ranch is the No. 2 all-time breeder of cutting horses, and their stallion, This Kats King, is the No. 1 cutting sire in the country, based on statistics from National Cutting Horse Association’s Brazilian affiliate, Associação Nacional do Cavalo de Apartação. Since 2015, the Leite family have hosted the Fazenda Gruta Azul Derby, the largest cutting show in the country.

Fazenda Gruta Azul will receive a specially designed award presented during the 2023 AQHA Breeder Banquet and the ranch will be featured in The American Quarter Horse Journal.

To qualify for the AQHA International Best Remuda Award, the ranch must be located outside of the United States, and the AQHA member must breed registered American Quarter Horses for ranch work with cattle.

View more information about the AQHA International Best Remuda Award.

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