Member Report from Colombia
REPORT MADE AT THE 2014 WAHO CONFERENCE:
Mariana Isabela González Peñaranda, Colombia: Mr. President, members of the Executive Committee, fellow delegates, and all those who share our love for the Arabian horse. I am honoured to be here, for the first time representing my country. It is a matter of great joy to come to Qatar to learn and to bring to you the best tidings of friendship and greetings from Colombia once more. As you may know, Colombia has not had representation at a WAHO Conference in 22 years, the last person to represent Colombia was my mother, Mariana De González, in Cairo in 1992. My mother also presented the first stud book, in 1988. Unfortunately, due to our country’s history and political climate and the narco-terrorist activity, the studbook essentially ceased to exist for a decade. It was thanks to the late Luis Alberto Noguerra that it was started again and I am pleased to say that I am here to present to you the third volume of our Studbook. As a member of the studbook committee myself, our team have been working to get everything organized, and register all the imported horses and the ones that have been born in the country.
Since 2004 there have been a high number of imports. We are a very small Association, in that we have had to re-introduce the breed to the Colombian people, since they are not very familiar with it. Fortunately, the breed’s popularity has risen over the past few years. We have one National Show which takes place in May, at which we have both horses born in the country and imported horses, performing in halter and ridden classes.
Also, endurance riding has had a high level of popularity, especially in Bogota, where we have a nice climate all the year round and where it is a very challenging terrain for the horses and riders, with its mountains and green pastures everywhere. Endurance riding has also been quite popular in the more arid coffee-growing region of Colombia, with its steep hills and creeks and narrow sidewalks, which have also proven the horses’ resistance and stamina. What has made endurance so popular as well is due our culture, with what we call ‘carregatas’, or trail riding. People who have this tendency, they tend to go on into endurance, which has made it quite popular over the years.
We have had a high number of people who want to register their horses, especially with people who have been recently enamoured of the breed. There has been a steady number of people asking to register their horses ever since 2004. This year we present Volume 3, to date we have about 262 horses registered and we hope that by the end of this year we will have another studbook with another 100 or so registered. It is estimated we will have around 500 horses registered in Colombia. All horses are microchipped. We do DNA typing and parentage verification modelled on that of the United States, hair samples are sent to the University of Kentucky and thanks to the compliance of the United States we have been able to follow the rules of WAHO.
The Arabian horse has also been well promoted in Colombia thanks to our land-owners who have large cattle farms, especially in the east of the country which is a region with large plains, where the Arabian horse has proven itself to a very good working horse, excelling at many western riding activities, proving themselves to be superior to the American Quarter Horse and to our native Criollo Horse, which has thus made the Arabian quite popular in western as well as in endurance.
I would like to thank WAHO and the State of Qatar and the Racing and Equestrian Club for your generous hospitality, I thank you on behalf of the Arabian Horse Association of Colombia.
STASTISTICS FOR 2011:
Foals registered – under 20
Horses imported: 14, from Argentina, Chile and USA
AI is permitted within the country, the import and export of semen is not permitted. Embryo transfer is permitted and more than 1 foal per mare per year is also allowed.
Altogether there are approximately 81 horse shows or classes for Arabian horses each year.
The Associacion Colombiana de Criadores de Caballos Arabe published the second volume of their Stud Book in 2006, covering the period 1989-2004. 170 Arabians are registered in this volume. 62 horses were registered in Volume 1. Volume 3 will be published in 2009, there are now estimated to be nearly 300 Arabians in Colombia. In 2008 no horses were exported, but 22 were imported, mainly from USA and Argentina.
On average, 40 foals are registered each year, from approximately 50 broodmares and 15 active breeding stallions. All foals are parent verified by DNA and passports are issued. Microchipping is not yet used. Artificial Insemination and Embryo transfer are permitted.
The Association organizes 5 shows, and 4 endurance competitions each year. Pleasure riding and western riding are also popular activities.