Passione, Part 2
American Quarter Horses are an Italian family affair for Eleuterio Arcese.
April 3, 2011
From The American Quarter Horse Journal
Eleuterio Arcese's passion for American Quarter Horses and reining has launched the breed to a new level in Italy. Catch up by reading part 1.
Learning the Ropes
Eleuterio has spent a lot of time traveling to the United States meeting top trainers, including Bill Horn, Bob Loomis, Tim McQuay and Todd Bergen. His family also spent time researching bloodlines to perfect his skills as a leading breeder.
“My son Matteo loves to ride horses, but Leonardo is fascinated by the breeding side of it. He is like a walking encyclopedia of bloodlines,” he says. “My daughter Paola is in charge of public relations. She has been a key factor in making sure we work with the best people in the industry.”
Blue Ribbon Bloodlines
After doing their homework, the Arceses set out to build a band of broodmares that would be second to none.
“Mares are the foundation of any successful program, and it has always been important for me to have great mares with a performance record,” Eleuterio says.
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Perhaps one of the greatest mares he has ever owned is 1986 National Reining Association Futurity champion Sophie Oak. The mare had $111,000 in lifetime NRHA earnings and was a building block for the family’s breeding program.
Another great horse who carried the Arcese brand was his stallion Surprise Enterprise, who was an AQHA world champion and NRHA Superstakes champion. Surprise Enterprise died in 2006.
“I like to breed horses that people can do something with,” he says. “That is what will carry on the sport. If you buy a prospect from me and it doesn’t work, it means I’m not doing my job.”
The family breeds about 50 outside mares and 25 of its own at its ranch each year.
Hitting the Big Time
The defining moment Eleuterio’s horse career was when he purchased a mare named Spirit of Five an hour before she won the NRHA Futurity.
“I saw her, and no one really took notice of her,” he says. “Bill Horn rode her to the championship, and when we saw three scores of 75 posted on the board, it was such an emotional moment for us. I will never forget that feeling.”
AQHA hosted an International Equestrian Federation CRI2* (Concours de Reining Internationale) event at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. The FEI competition took place in conjunction with the senior reining preliminaries during the FedEx Open AQHA World Championship Show.
Another of Eleuterio’s loves is 1998 NRHA Futurity champion Chic Please. When he purchased Chic Please as a yearling, he proved that he not only had an eye for a proven performer, but a prospect as well. The 16-year old bay stallion has lifetime earnings of more than $180,000.
Not one to ever settle, once Eleuterio started to gain momentum within the industry, he set his sights on the United States and set up a second facility in California.
“I felt that if I wanted to compete on the highest level possible, I needed to have a strong presence in the United States,” he says.
The ranch in Clements, California, is home to roughly 30 of the family’s own horses.
The Arcese name has become synonymous with the sport of reining, but since acquiring its ranch in California, the family has enjoyed the western influence and expanded its competition and breeding program to including reined cow horses and cutters.
There are two things Eleuterio consistently mentions when talking about his life and the success he has had. Passion and family are what drives him, and it is horses that keep the family close.
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“We all have such great passion for the horses, and it brings us together,” he says.
Eleuterio also mentioned with a grin that the only one in the family who doesn’t have much passion for the horses is his wife because she says they spend too much money on them.
“She sees how happy it makes us, so it’s OK,” he says.
There isn’t much in life Eleuterio hasn’t accomplished and done without great enthusiasm. He said he considers himself a lucky man because his dreams have more than come true in life. He lives by the principle that if you do anything in life with passion, then anything is possible. He has done so tenfold.