September 2015 - We Are The Champions
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 01:34

Rancho El Encanto’s Farruco LXXXIII

Rancho El Encanto horses represent the best of the Andalusian breed.

Dr. Ariel Martinez is happy to see the population of Andalusian horses in the United States grow every year. And he’s happy if his beautiful horses have helped inspire more owners to invest in these versatile and enjoyable breeds. His generosity of spirit, however, does not extend to making it any easier to beat his horses in competition. Rancho El Encanto has obtained multiple awards, including several Champion Of Breed distinctions, which are the highest honor.

Revoltoso LXXVIII - Three Time Champion of The Breed, Qualified Stallion. Absolute Young Champion of Movement 2013. Photo: Jenet Mraz

Along with winning multiple top honors in competition, Rancho El Encanto has developed one of the most impressive Andalusian breeding programs in the United States.

Since buying his first Andalusian stallion, Farruco LXXXIII, on a 1996 trip to Spain, Dr. Martinez has bought and bred a collection of 60-plus horses the represent the breed’s very best. This includes three champion stallions that are all qualified by the ANNCCE, the Spanish national studbook. To be “qualified” Pura Raza Española is the studbook’s certification that a horse possesses the breed’s highest standard, in every measure, as a sire. In addition to Farruco LXXXIII, these qualified stallions are Ciclon IX and Revoltoso LXXVII.

Champion Mare and Champion Filly 2015 - Luna and Que Linda

Rancho El Encanto also has six qualified mares, four of which are also “recommended,” which is a “step beyond” being qualified. The qualified mares are Luna CCXCIV and Fabulilla MR. The mares that are both qualified and recommended are Lebrijana AM, Illustrada IX, Jarira and Hilandera II.

At last year’s Andalusian World Cup and at Feria of the Spanish Horse, Rancho El Encanto earned the Best Exhibitor honor and its horses scored titles galore. Highlights include:

The Cobra of Javita, Jarira and Illustrada IX. Photo: Kevin Kidder

  • Revoltoso LXXVIII: Three-time Champion of the Breed, and Absolute Champion of movement.
  • Luna CCXCIV: Three-time Champion of the Breed and Absolute Champion Movement.
  • Ciclon IX: Two-time Champion of the Breed and Multi Champion of Functionality and Champion of Movement.
  • The Cobra of Javita, Jarira and Illustrada IX: undefeated COBRA seccion 13 in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • Que Linda: multiple-time gold medal winner, and Young Champion Filly at Feria 2015.
  • Favorita CCLII: Two-time Champion Filly 2014.
  • Farallon III: Reserve Champion 2014 and two-time Champion of Movement.
  • Gringo XXII: three-time silver medals.
  • Celestine XI: two-time champion of movement and reserve young champion.

At the Festival of the Spanish Horse in May, the Rancho El Encanto team continued its winning ways.  Luna CCXCIV was Champion Mare of the Breed and Champion Mare of Section 9. Que Linda was Champion Filly of Section 6 and Champion Filly of the Breed. Gringo XXII earned the silver medal in Section 6 and the Cobra team again was unbeatable.

Ariel Martinez, M.D., celebrating their success with his sons Victor D. Martinez (left) and Ivan E. Martinez (right)

Instantly Sold On Spanish Horses

Que Linda - Young Champion Filly 2015 at Feria of the Spanish Horse, multiple gold medals.

Dr. Martinez’ 1996 trip to SICAB, the grand finale of the Spanish National Championships for Andalusian stallions and mares in Sevilla, Spain, took his interests to an entirely new level. He had originally thought of owning a racehorse but when he saw the Spanish horses, he was swept away by their beauty, physical abilities and temperaments.

Dr. Martinez was not an expert in Spanish horses at the time but he knew a high quality horse when he saw it and that was Farruco LXXXIII. “It was love at first sight,” Dr. Martinez laughs.

The stunning gray stallion arrived in the United States as a relative unknown on the breed show circuit, but he became well known very quickly.  He was 2009 Champion of Champions at Fiesta of the Spanish Horse and Champion of the Breed at Feria of the Spanish Horse, also in 2009. He earned Champion of Champions honors in 2010 at Celebration in Las Vegas, and Absolute Champion of Feria of the Spanish Horse 2011. Farruco LXXXIII was named High Point Stallion in 2009, with a score of 105.43 that remains unmatched to this day, Dr. Martinez points out with pride.

With nothing else to prove in competition, Farruco LXXXIII now enjoys life as the top stallion at the 10-acre Rancho El Encanto. He has over 30 offspring, two of which are champions in their own right. Celestina XI was 3-Year-Old Champion in Las Vegas and twice Champion of Movement. Favorita CCLII was the only champion at Celebration and Feria of the Spanish Horse in 2013.

Farruco LXXXIII has stellar stallion stablemates, too. Ciclon IX is another qualified multi-champion horse and he counts six gold medals in functionality, in the USA and Spain. He has been a finalist at SICAB on two occasions, and was Champion of the Breed at Fiesta of The Spanish Horse and Celebration of the Pure Spanish Horse, both in 2013.

The young stallion Revoltoso LXXVIII is a pure Cartujano who was Champion of the Breed at last year’s Feria of the Spanish Horse, and Absolute Young Champion at that showcase in 2012.

Quality Conscience

Although Dr. Martinez did not initially go to Spain with the intention of becoming a breeder, he has whole-heartedly committed to the task of improving Andalusian stock in the U.S. In 2012, he purchased 12 mares, some of which were in foal, and brought them back to Rancho El Encanto’s 22-acre ranch in the Monterey Bay area’s Aptos.

Luna CCXCIV - Three Time Champion of the Breed and Absolute Champion of Movement. Photo: Kevin Kidder

Champion Cobra 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“Quality” comes up frequently as Dr. Martinez talks about his horses and, indeed, that is the entire goal of the Rancho El Encanto endeavor. It’s evident in the horses he imported and, more importantly, in the offspring they are producing for domestic buyers. Conformational consistency is a trademark of the program. Their traits include well-set heads and necks, nicely-muscled round bodies and sturdy, yet refined legs. The source of those traits is easy to see in Rancho El Encanto’s famous sires, and in the mares who both produce and perform on the line and in the traditional Cobra class, in which three or five well-matched mares work together on a line.

For all their flash and flair, the Rancho El Encanto horses also embody the Pura Raza Española’s gift of famously calm temperaments. Coupled with the breed’s characteristic intelligence, the horses are easy and enjoyable to train and handle.

For more information on Rancho El Encanto, visit or call 831-750-6523.