Universal Appeal

Brazil is a stronghold of the American Quarter Horse.


American Quarter Horse racing at the Jockey Club de Sorocaba. PHOTO: Janet VanBebber

The appeal of the American Quarter Horse is universal. The breed’s speed, strength, versatility and trainable temperament help it thrive around the globe.

And that strength makes the whole American Quarter Horse industry stronger, too, whether that is on the tracks or in the arenas of Brazil, Europe or Australia, or close to its foundation in North America. The recording of performance helps drive demand for horses and for bloodlines, and increasing opportunity can only help everyone.

It is with that idea in mind that a group of AQHA leaders left for Brazil on July 6. There, the group, which included AQHA First Vice President Dr. Jim Heird, Executive Committee member Butch Wise, Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber, Chief International Officer Anna Morrison and Vince Genco, was there to build goodwill and work toward the goal of strengthening the bonds between AQHA and ABQM (the Brazilian association).

During the meetings conducted between the AQHA delegation and leadership of ABQM, discussions commenced that involved increasing registration of their horses with AQHA, Brazil mirroring AQHA’s rules of racing, recording the races at Sorocaba in the AQHA database and offering educational opportunities.

The strength of Brazilians in American Quarter Horse racing is unquestioned. For decades, Brazil has imported United States blood, strengthening the country's Quarter Horse bloodlines. With leaders such as the late Gianni Franco Samaja, these horses returned to the United States and demonstrated their ability against the best of the best, like champion Jake Gold BR.

Many top horses like Tolltac, Holland Ease, Shazoom, Fishers Dash, and so many more found their way there.

Their blood returned to the United States with the likes of Dinastia Toll BRZ – stakes winner and dam of champion and top sire FDD Dynasty – and many more.

Improving the recording of performance and progeny across hemispheres can only further strengthen the industry. AQHA is excited at the prospect of providing more accurate progeny information, given the implementation of the concepts introduced in the meetings. 

“I believe the end result of our discussions in Brazil will create great value to both countries," said Janet VanBebber, chief racing officer at AQHA. "With the comprehensive data-sharing proposed, the American Quarter Horses in Brazil will have global value. Also, our pedigrees in the United States will not be void of their progeny and race records. Anna Morrison, our chief of international, did a fantastic job in coordinating this summit.”

The U.S.-based horsemen attended the Quarter Horse races at the Jockey Club de Sorocaba, where they presented ABQM President Fabio Pinto da Costa and Jockey Club de Sorocaba President Erico Braga with a special trophy and bronze plaque recognizing the jockey club for its efforts to strengthen the sport of racing in Brazil and establish and implement drug-testing policies. AQHA first visited Brazil three years ago to propose an anti-doping program for the races at Sorocaba, determining that it was a necessary step for the track’s races to be recognized and recorded by AQHA. Since that time, the track’s management has developed a system that mirrors what is done in the United States. We are proud to move forward knowing the same standards of integrity are in place.

The U.S. contingent also visited world-class breeding facilities Rancho Das Americas and Haras Vista Verde.  AQHA leaders also met with ABQM leadership at its offices in Sao Paulo and worked on developing strategies to strengthen the partnership between AQHA and ABQM, support AQHA members in Brazil and increase the value of the American Quarter Horse worldwide.

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