Chilean Contemporary Period

Image                              (1893-Present)

On August 20, 1893 the first Official Bulletin was published with the bylaws that concerned the registry of the Chilean Horse breed which had been approved by the National Society of Agriculture in 1892.  Although the acceptance of the national registry was slow to be accepted by many breeders, progressively more horse breeders backed the efforts to identify the genealogy of pure Iberian origin. Originally two organizations duplicated efforts to register valuable native breds.


Between 1902 and 1906 various historic sales were organized with known foundation animals so that these could continue in the hands of enthusiastic supporters of the Chilean Horse registry. In 1910 the National Agricultural Society (SNA) approved the formation of a subsection of the Livestock Division of the SNA devoted to Chilean Horse breeders and 40 names were quickly registered as its founders. In 1911 these breeders established clear manners in which they could promote the Chilean Horse. One of the decisions that was implemented was uniting the Registry for Chilean Horse Breeding Stock and The Promoter of Horse Breeds into one official section of the SNA and horses from the later association were reviewed with close scrutiny to assure they coincided with the objectives of the first official Chilean Horse registry.


In 1914 the registry was closed, however in learning that there were more horses of pure Iberian lineage and Chilean Horse type in isolated pockets of Chile, the registry was reopened.  These new candidates had to pass a rigorous physical examination by official inspectors and show proof of three continuous generations that were of pure Iberian descent. In 1930 the registry was officially closed again for stallions, but remained open for qualifying mares, as three different zones in northern Chile had been discovered to have more purebred strains of the breed. In 1934 the registry was official closed once and for all.


It is important to clarify that between 1893 and 1934 the registry was only opened for eligible animals of a type and breeding that coincided with the original objectives of the Chilean Horse. During these same years 95 horses that previously had been accepted in the registry were eliminated due to re-evaluations of the qualifications of specimens forming part of the registry. At no time were any horses known to be of other breeds ever permitted to be a part of the Chilean Horse registry.


In 1921 a committee was formed to establish a Breed Standard. This was the first breed standard of any stock horse breed and one that has been used as a model for many other stock horse breed organizations. The fact that it has only been altered one time since its creation indicates how conscientiously this Breed Standard was composed. In 1930, the sculptor Federico Casas Basterrica, with the guidance of four prominent breeders, made a sculpture that represented the ideals of the breed standard. In 2002 this work was carried out once again. This time both a stallion and mare version were made by Mr. Carlos Segura with the help of the guiding eye of the renowned judge, Eduardo Porte Fernandez.


By 1920, there was a desire and a need to regulate the Chilean Rodeo which was taking on the image of a more formal sporting event. The dimensions for the major infrastructure in the medialuna were stipulated and clear indicators of the posture and pinning zones were required. Protocol for the order of participation for the contestants, details of points added and deducted were determined in a rule book that assured a greater safety for cattle as well as the horse and riders. More and more, the Chilean Horse was being honed to be an elite athlete for a specialized stock working sport.


On the 10th of October in 1946 another huge step was taken in the history of the Chilean Horse breed. The Horse Breeders Association was created by a groups of progressive horsemen that desired to promote the Chilean Horse breed more aggressively. It is clear that this organization was not formed for representation purposes as this objective had been met 30 years earlier when the SNA organized the Chilean Horse breeders as the subsection of the Livestock Division. This new breeder organization continued to work alongside the SNA in recommending breeding practices that would further improve the breed. They also took it upon themselves to endorse the breed to interested parties within and beyond the boundaries of Chile. It was clear that Breeders Association realized the need to maintain a strong tie with the sport of Chilean Rodeo. The following year they would organize the first National Championship rodeo, and activity that has continued yearly ever since.


In 1961 The Chilean Rodeo Federation was formed giving the Chilean Horse a much broader support base as it would encompass all the horse owners that were participants in official rodeos across the nation. In doing so they also permitted the Chilean Rodeos to become a part of the federal governments General Sports Management Program. The bylaws created of this organization stipulated that all participants must be mounted on registered Chilean Horses.


Today there are approximately 7,000 registered Chilean Horses produced per year. The fact that 97% of the breeders produce three or less horses a year indicates the casual hobby status of the great majority of the breeders. There is very little commercialization in the reproductive end of the industry and most breeders take pride in the private manner in which they breed.  Most breeders own their own stallion and trading seasons, or “good ole boy” gifts, would be much more common than an outright monetary purchase. Its not uncommon for extremely successful stallions to have had less than 200 progeny in their lifetime and “intensively used” stallions may have sired only 300-400 progeny. 


 Today the Chilean Horse breed is active and growing. Export numbers have increased and sale prices have also been on the rise with a growing number of foreign buyers bidding. The Federation of Chilean Horse Breeders is composed of new breed of board member with a strong business background and this has resulted in more dynamic exposure of the breed within Chile where people of all walks of life are becoming