Jose Garcia Mena – Grand Prix Rider at the ANCCE High Performance Center (CAR)

The ANCCE High-performance center known as CAR ( Centro De Alto Rendimiento ) is located in the magnificent Chapin facilities in Jerez de la Frontera, on the site of the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The equestrian center is solely dedicated to the training of PRE horses with high performance potential. The seasoned professional staff, led by the expert technical direction of renowned D. Alvaro Domecq, train horses daily that Spanish Breeders have entrusted to the care of the management of the facilities.

Jose Garcia Mena, Chief Rider at the ANCCE CAR facilities provides us with a few insights:

How many horses do the CAR trainers ride each day ?

There is not an exact number; it all depends on the number of horses in the stables at any one time, but on average between five and eight per day.

How are horses assigned to each rider ?

We always try to balance the number of horses for each rider, so that when a new horse arrives, it is assigned to the person who has the least.

Can you tell us how the CAR training program works ?

All the riders follow the guidelines of Don Alvaro Domecq. In addition, riders are also supervised by Rafael Soto. I tend to offer to coach everyone that needs help; in any case, we want each person to develop their own riding style.

Of all the horses that are in the stables at the moment, are there any that you feel has international potential ?

Well, at the moment there are two horses at Grand Prix level that have already competed internationally, one belongs to Peralta Brothers – Solea XX and the other to Don Alvaro – Remate III. They are still young and need a little more time, but they would appear to have a great future and we will try, a little further ahead, to be in the leading group in Spain; something that is very difficult, because riders are getting better and better all the time. Then we have another young horse, who, at five years old, appears to have possibilities, he could make it.

Breeders can bring any horse they want to CAR, but as a rider, what type of horse would you like to have in your hands ?

In Spain, everything focuses on conformation, and I think this is fine, but if we want to have a PRE horse for high level competition sports, we’ll have to seek out horses that move a little more and physically fit to tolerate the hard work. I think we need to find balance between conformation and functionality. They need to produce horses that are a little more functional.

Do you provide reports on the horses you train ?

Yes, every two months. Rafael and I monitor each horse and we write a report that indicates the progress of the horse in dressage, its possibilities for the future and anything that could be of interest to the owner. Also, we advise on whether or not it is worthwhile for the horse to continue in training. In short, the idea is to get closer to the breeder, so that he knows the reality of the horse.

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The ANCCE High-performance center known as CAR ( Centro De Alto Rendimiento ) is located in the magnificent Chapin facilities in Jerez de la Frontera, on the site of the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The equestrian center is solely dedicated to the training of PRE horses with high performance potential. The seasoned professional staff, led by the expert technical direction of renowned D. Alvaro Domecq, train horses daily that Spanish Breeders have entrusted to the care of the management of the facilities.

Jose Garcia Mena, Chief Rider at the ANCCE CAR facilities provides us with a few insights: How many horses do the CAR trainers ride each day ? There is not an exact number; it all depends on the number of horses in the stables at any one time, but on average between five and eight per day. How are horses assigned to each rider ? We always try to balance the number of horses for each rider, so that when a new horse arrives, it is assigned to the person who has the least. Can you tell us how the CAR training program works ? All the riders follow the guidelines of Don Alvaro Domecq. In addition, riders are also supervised by Rafael Soto. I tend to offer to coach everyone that needs help; in any case, we want each person to develop their own riding style. Of all the horses that are in the stables at the moment, are there any that you feel has international potential ? Well, at the moment there are two horses at Grand Prix level that have already competed internationally, one belongs to Peralta Brothers – Solea XX and the other to Don Alvaro – Remate III. They are still young and need a little more time, but they would appear to have a great future and we will try, a little further ahead, to be in the leading group in Spain; something that is very difficult, because riders are getting better and better all the time. Then we have another young horse, who, at five years old, appears to have possibilities, he could make it. Breeders can bring any horse they want to CAR, but as a rider, what type of horse would you like to have in your hands ? In Spain, everything focuses on conformation, and I think this is fine, but if we want to have a PRE horse for high level competition sports, we’ll have to seek out horses that move a little more and physically fit to tolerate the hard work. I think we need to find balance between conformation and functionality. They need to produce horses that are a little more functional. Do you provide reports on the horses you train ? Yes, every two months. Rafael and I monitor each horse and we write a report that indicates the progress of the horse in dressage, its possibilities for the future and anything that could be of interest to the owner. Also, we advise on whether or not it is worthwhile for the horse to continue in training. In short, the idea is to get closer to the breeder, so that he knows the reality of the horse.

About the Author