Cuba’s Horse Industry Revived with Dutch Warmblood Sales
Cuba is known for its cigars and rum, and while the Cuban embargo made the country somewhat isolated for decades, Cuba has made its way into the breeding and training of horses. The equine world has benefitted from relations increasing between Europe, the United States and Cuba.
Cuba’s niche in the equine world is still unfolding, with the country’s equine popularity growing among Latin Americans. Elites from Latin America and around the world are going to Cuba because of the island’s elite jumping horses.
The communist-run country’s government leads the equine industry, and the majority of the proceeds from horses goes back into the government.
Cuban trainers are importing fillies and colts from the Netherlands to train them to be top-tier competitors. The top-tier horses go to private auctions where they sell for as much as $40,000 a horse.
Buyers from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala and the Netherlands gathered in Cuba for an auction even at the National Equestrian Club. The night’s activities revolved around drinks and enjoying the tropical weather, but the night was all about business.
Horses were paraded in front of the wealthy visitors, with 31 horses selling in a single night.
The horses, all Dutch Warmbloods that were trained in Cuba, sold for over $430,000 that night. Champion or very respected blood lines, advanced training and well-behaved, collectors opt to go to Cuba for their horses.
Since the horses are already in the Americas, it makes horse air transport less expensive for buyers in the Americas to transport horses.
Horses were once well respected and known in Cuba, with the history of the country’s horses dating back to the 16th century. A revival in Cuba’s horse economy was spurred in 2005 as a way to bring in money. Fidel Castro banned horse racing in 1959 causing the industry to suffer despite top-tier horses and riders being in the country.
Cubas are trained for competitive jumping for a year and a half before they’re sold around the age of 3.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea between February 9 and February 25. Olympians are in full training season preparing for the big games that are less than two years away.
Winter Olympics include Skiing, Bobsleigh, Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Luge, Snowboarding and several other disciplines.
The games captivate the world, as they do every time they’re in progress.
Cuba was in the spotlight at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The small country won 11 medals in total, and this includes 5 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze metals.
Cuba dominated two sports during the Olympics: wrestling and boxing. The two sports are competitive, but Cuba came out on top with:
- Ismael Borrero and Mijain Lopez winning gold in the men’s wrestling division (59 kg and 130 kg respectively).
- Julio Cesar La Cruz, Robeisy Ramirez and Arlen Lopez walking away with the gold medal in boxing (light heavyweight, bantamweight and middleweight).
Idalys Ortiz’s performance in Judo led her to win the silver medal in the women’s 78+ kg division. The Cuban squad won 6 medals in boxing and 3 in wrestling, with the remaining medals earned in Judo and discus.
Cuba’s rowing competitors qualified four boats. Two of the crews confirmed their spots for the single and double sculls. A top six finish at the 2016 Latin American Continental Qualifications helped Cuba secure one more boat per gender.
The four boats left the 2016 Olympics empty-handed. Angel Fournier was a powerhouse in the single sculls as the top rated rower in the heats and a first-place rank in the quarterfinals. He ranked third in the semis, but Fournier fell short in the end, ranking sixth in the finals.
Cuba failed to qualify in the double sculls and didn’t advance.
Tension between Cuba and South Korea lessened in recent months, with the two countries establishing diplomatic relations in 2016. Trade among the two countries expanded in 2015.
Cuba is a country that has never participated in the Winter Olympics. The lack of presence at the Winter games had made Cuba the most successful Olympic team among nations that never participated in Winter Olympics.
The country first participated in the 1900 Olympics in Paris, winning two gold medals and ranking twelfth in the Summer Games. Cuba’s highest rank in the Summer Olympics was third in 1904 in St. Louis when they won nine medals.
South Korea promises a seamless preparation for the country’s first Olympic hosting. Issues in Rio will not be repeated, according to South Korea.
A great deal of preparation will go into the games.
The lack of a Cuban presence at the Winter Olympics shouldn’t keep fans from watching the games.
Rumors from the International Olympic Committee state that rowing and canoeing events in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are up for move consideration. The events are facing a proposed move to South Korea. The games may move due to rising costs despite a smaller venue promised.
Teams around the globe are preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pita Taufatofua, the Taekwondo athlete, plans to represent his country in cross-country skiing at the games.