By Lily Forado
The hallways lacked that typical SICAB rumbling and mumbling in exchange for a deafening silence and… an endless number of differentiating details transformed the 2020 edition into a very unique event where Purebred Spanish Horses, more than ever before, were in the limelight.
Exhibiting their utmost beauty and expression, Purebred Spanish Horses were the center of attention at the 30th edition of SICAB, held from the 13-18 of October. This edition, affected by COVID-19, has seen essential efforts and dedication of breeders.
Among the 94 participating stud farms, the resilient presence of international stud farms should be highlighted. For the second year in a row, the semifinal process gave some uncertainty that translated into entertainment and nail-biting moments until the finals. Stud farms battled with all their competitive artillery and, as always, the awaited moments were the Final and the Special Awards.
Rhin de Centurión, Rancho el Marengo’s Charm.
Rancho el Marengo, a member of USPRE, took home several awards. Rhin de Centurión and Jalisco XCII were the two stars.
Rhin de Centurión, owned by Rancho el Marengo and bred by Yeguada Centurión, is the perfect example of versatility. The member of the P.R.E Team in Ermelo 2019, ruled in SICAB 2020. He did not disappoint at all. Rancho Marengo’s grey pearl had nothing to lose and went for all.
Rhin de Centurión took the lead in the morphology semifinal. The first big round was the functionality test (section 12), where the gray stallion ridden by Samuel Lopez Candel, prevailed in the classification with an impressive 17.859 score. This result puts him on the golden step of the podium.
On Saturday came the second round for Morphology finals. The atmosphere in the stands of Hall 1 was palpable. A thunderous silence took center stage. The long wait for section 12 was eternal until the moment, Antonio Panduro faced the line of the track. Many nerves on the surface, but the handler showed off his great expertise and performed a great trotting straight, where Rhin de Centurión flew and eclipsed everyone. 22.250 was his score for Best Movements and a total of 54.758 in Morphology. Once the section was over, Rhin de Centurión was proclaimed World Champion of section 12 and obtained a place for the fight for special prizes in two categories: best adult movements and the Absolut Champion.
On the other hand, Jalisco XCII also had his spotlight. The six years old bay stallion became the runner up in the sixth section, which gave him the opportunity to fight for the special prices. On Sunday, all the stars were aligned, and Jalisco XCII shone like a diamond and became the Reserve Youngstock Champion
Primavera Bat continues with her kingdom.
In terms of Adult Champions, there was a real battle for the first two places in each respective section where the contestants coveted the award as World Stallion/Mare Champion. Beleña de Centurion in Section 7, Primavera BAT in Section 9, and Ureña Bat in Section 11 had their eyes on the Mare Champion title. It was a beautiful scuffle. For a third consecutive year, World Mare Champion went to Primavera BAT, bred by Maria Zara Perez and owned by Yeguada Batan (Mexican Breeder). Reserve World Mare Champion went to Beleña de Centurion owned by Jose Maria Anguas Medina and bred by Yeguada Centurion. Primavera BAT will now be considered one of the greatest mares of all time. Her greatness is enhanced by the double win as Adult Best Movements and Mare Champion. Exhibiting an admirable curriculum since 2016, full of golds that include: three-time Mare Champion (2020, 2019, 2018) and two-time Youngstock Filly Champion (2017 and 2016).
Virrey Mor, the new King.
The Championship Final among the Stallions was agonizing. Virrey Mor, Rhin de Centurión, Fer Bonachon, Brio de Centurión, Indio JB, and Yucatán de Ramos showcased their impressive beauty and their rounded forms, but three of them stood out among the rest: Fer Bonachon, Virrey Mor, and Rhin de Centurión. Once again, there was a face-off between American and Mexican stud farms. After two years of being the runner-up, for the first time, Virrey Mor boasted the winner’s ribbon and rosette as the 2020 World Stallion Champion. Unfortunately, Fer Bonachon, owned by Ganaderia Binimelis-Muller, was unable to continue its golden winning streak of previous years. Nevertheless, he was among the horses to become Reserve World Stallion Champion.
Virrey Mor, bred on Mexican soil started as one of the great contenders for the title. His great campaign over the last two years, as Youth Runner-up in 2018 and Absolute Runner-up in 2019, proves that nothing is impossible and everything comes at the right time and right place. His ribbon of Absolute Champion has become a milestone, achieving a historical feat for the annals of SICAB. Virrey Mor is the first horse bred outside Spanish borders, to achieve the award of Absolute Champion. A highly desired title that revalidates the expansion and internationalization of the Purebred Spanish horse throughout the world.
Photos: Lily Forado & Alberto Martinez