The Phantom’s courage

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We left very early to get to Carmona, to reach the ranch Casablanca where the Yeguada El Diabolo is located. It is the historical brand of Nereo Martínez Xímenez that heir after heir, was passed to Cristina González Aguilar by her father. She manages the enterprise with her husband Cristian Young Filly. The breeding of purebred Spanish horses was restarted in 1990 by Cristina’s father who, since a few years ago, left it to her. Cristina and Cristian started from scratch, in a new ranch that was used only for agriculture. Cristina and Cristian started with little money, but great courage, and today they are a well-established reality with an excellent line of spectacular brown and black coated horses. 160 hectares dedicated to the breeding of horses and to the cultivation of olives, almonds and cotton. Together with Cristina and Cristian, there are Diego and Rocío, a young couple with a great passion for these animals and for this farm. Today the company continues its line with its stallions that are of military and De la Escalera bloodlines. Today El Diabolo has about 30 horses, of which 3 stallions, 10 mares and other foals and fillies. Reproduction is done with natural mating, this enterprise also sells both fresh and frozen semen. The king of the house is Fantasmón, an 18 years old brown coated P.R.E. with excellent morphology, power and personality.

This stallion is a qualified reproductor and is also considered as an “improving” specimen, as Cristina explains. “Fantasmón is a horse that improves, meaning that he transmits a lot of himself to his offspring both from a morphological point of view and that of functionality and character.” The other reproductor of the farm is a younger stallion called Rigodón, son of Utrerano and brother, by father side, of the well-known Fuego de Cárdenas, the horse that participated for Spain at the London Olympics. The horses of this brand are sold all over the world, from Japan to South America and the United States, although their main target “are women between 30 and 55 years from Central Europe,” explains Cristian. The horses are sold with basic taming that includes step, trot and gallop, on rare occasions they also sell horses that are not tamed or with a more advanced level of taming. Cristina’s horses have a value ranging between € 10,000 for a tamed filly up to € 60,000 for a tamed stallion. Cristina explains that it always depends on what is the goal or the need of the client, if it is needed for morphology, for work or for reproduction. This breeding farm has participated in morphological contests since1992, winning several prizes, but today they mainly take part in hitching, dressage and complete competitions (races with several different specialties). Some mares are also competing, and this is done to ride them giving an opportunity to the breeder to see their attitude and finally to understand what they can transmit to their offspring. The horses that represented Spain in the Troncos World Championship in 2013 in Slovakia are Locuaz, Kilate X and Karaoke III, all horses of this farm.

Cristina’s foals and fillies, even if very young, are very gentle, Cristina explains “in the first 48 hours of life we start the imprinting phase, we begin to touch them, to touch their hands, their hips, to get them used to human presence and contact, so that they can remember it for their entire life, almost as if it remained imprinted” and continues “then when they are about 3 years old, we start with stable taming, to make them walk side by side with human with the rope and on both sides until they start being mounted”. For this couple it is important that the horses do not burn the stages, they explain “the horses must have time to develop both physically and mentally, the mind in this breed is fundamental, so we leave them free in the pastures with the other foals and mares, so that they can grow their muscles and ligaments properly and get used to being with other specimens and to grow up balanced.” What Cristina looks for in her horses are “breed, power, elevation, functionality, and temperament,” and she continues “but we must not forget where our horse comes from, who must never lose their noble personality and big heart!”