PeelBack

By Courtney Duncan


As barrel racers, many of us develop a preference for our favorite bloodlines. While you may have a special place in your heart for the cow-bred barrel horse, I may prefer racehorse bloodlines. Barrel racers are always looking for that special cross that will produce our dream horse—the horse-of-a-lifetime who will carry us to many wins. Brazil’s attention to developing barrel racing bloodlines has made many in the industry take notice. 

For many years, those in the Brazilian barrel racing market purchased and imported top barrel racing mares and stallions to improve the nation’s equine genetics. Now, Brazilian breeders are producing some of the industry’s top horses because of diligence and hard work. 

0116ElshadyzorreroPauloFarha webLeading Brazilian barrel racing sire El Shady Zorrero, owned by Paulo Cesar Rebeis Farha. Photo courtesy Paulo Farha.You might assume the majority of their top-producing studs would be imported, but among the top 10 producing stallions listed in Brazil, only three are imports. The other seven are completely Brazilian born and raised. The No. 1 Brazilian barrel-producing stallion, El Shady Zorrero, has sired more than R$1.7 million in barrel earners with an average of more than R$10,700 per offspring. The 1990 gray stallion is by Shady Leo and out of El Annie Bell by El Zorrero and was bred and raised by Sancarlo Agropecuaria LTDA and is owned by Paulo Cesar Rebeis Farha. Stud fees are available through Caruana Ranch in Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Having spoken with several Brazilian trainers about their opinions on El Shady Zorrero offspring, the consensus among trainers is the horses shine inside the arena. His offspring tend to be gritty and aggressive when it comes to running barrels while also possessing a smooth style of turning. They have a reputation for loving their job while exhibiting an all-business attitude in the arena. 

The top mare by El Shady Zorrero is Zirconita 2F out of Bianca EB 33. The 2007 bay mare has won more than R$190,000 in her lifetime with several different jockeys and has already produced $R1,300 in offspring earnings. Zirconita 2F was bred by Francisco Bertolani and is currently owned by Jean Jose Araujo Lacerda. One of the most prominent titles she holds is the 2014 Open Senior ABQM National Championship.

The top stallion by El Shady Zorrero is El Toro Leo out of Casquinada ZO. The 2008 gray stallion has won more than R$78,000 in his lifetime for several different riders. His offspring have won approximately R$1,600. He was bred and raised by Haroldo de Araujo Pessoa Sobrinho and is currently owned by Francisco Eudimar Viana. Among this stallion’s biggest accomplishments are the four sub-17 second runs he has made on a standard barrel pattern, as well as earning the 2015 Reserve Open Junior Congress title. El Toro Leo is currently competing and standing at stud at Haras Viamon. 

El Shady Zorrero has created a legacy in the barrel racing industry in Brazil. While I have only mentioned the top mare and the top stallion he has sired, there are additional winners by El Shady Zorrero. His bloodline is also unique in the barrel racing industry in that both his top and bottom sides can be traced back for three generations to Spring Creek Farms in the United States. Paulo Farha’s family imported these bloodlines in the 1970s and spent decades perfecting bloodlines to produce the great stallion.

It is quite interesting to see an increase in the number of horses bred specifically for barrel racing all over the world. Brazil has taken this breeding passion to a whole new level and it’s a pleasure to see the positive results. 


Courtney Duncan earned the title of Brazilian Quarter Horse Association barrel racing champion in 2007, the same year she graduated from high school. The daughter of Dale and Stephanie Rankin of Tuscola, Texas, Courtney graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in secondary education. She and her husband, Josh, lived for several years in Brazil at Colina Real, where they trained barrel horses. Courtney and Josh currently live in Texas. They remain actively involved with breeding barrel horses as well as training and competing in both Brazil and the United States. Email comments on this article to [email protected]

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