History of the stud

Narrated by the founder of the stud farm in 1968: the breeder Mr. Juan Díaz Navarro.

A life devoted to the pre

El Ardón is a beautiful farm, mainly olive grove, located in the municipality of Arjona, in Jaén (Spain), which comes from my mother (r.i.p.) and before her from her ancestors for many generations. It is my father D. Juan Diaz Criado (r.i.p.) who founded the iron that today is used in my stud, and that before marked all the mares and horses that for agricultural use were used inCortijo Ardón.

Equines have been in Cortijo Ardón since the time of King Alhamar "the Great", born in Arjona in 1195, founder of the Nasrid dynasty, builder of the wonderful Alhambra in Granada, who also, quoting one article it is known that "in the pasture of Al-Hardón, possibly the ancient Setia (a Roman colony before Christ), the first king of Granada learned to handle horses and (...) he practiced the efficiency of the mace and sword", although with the mechanization of the field they were on the verge of disappearing; in fact there were only two or three left for saddle, which were the ones that made me fond of horses since I was a child.

When my love for them really began to take shape, it was in 1970 when I bought in Jerez fillies from Romero Benítez advised by my master the vet D. Bartolomé Mateos Peral and my foreman D. Francisco Casado Quero (below in the gallery I add a photo where I appear with my friends, breeder D. Antonio Romero Girón and his wife, Dña. Teresa Domecq), both with a hobby and above all a rare knowledge. They were the ones who guided me and helped me always.

The iron is the initials of his name: a "C" wrapping a "J" and a "D", to form the "Juan Díaz Criado".

A few years later I bought other fillies from Mr. José Bohórquez Ruiz (r.i.p), at Cortijo del Machorro in Medina Sidonia (including Paroja, which deserved a Guinness record: she foaled 21 offspring in a row, without missing a single year.). With those two centenary irons, and starting from the selection made by them, I began my journey as a breeder of SPANISH HORSES. As a curiosity and with the purpose of making a small tribute to my friends Angel and Jose Bohorquez Ruiz, I attach a handwritten letter addressed to me where it says: "Dear friend, I am sending you the birth certificates of the three fillies you have taken; if you need anything else I can provide you with, just call me. I hope that these fillies will become real "great mares"; this is achieved as you told me here, taking good care of them, as you know. Just say goodbye to your s.s. and friend, Angel".

I have always thought that quantity and quality are a bit at odds, and the experience of the years and good advice reaffirmed me in the decision that to maintain the nobility, quality and fertility of my horses I should not go beyond having more than 10-15 broodmares.

Thanks to the breeders from whom my stud farm comes from (with whom I maintained a great friendship), my two invaluable friends and a little bit of common sense (my profession is that of Agricultural Engineer and I have lived in the Ardón since 1964), we made our way and selected from what was already selected to get, not just the beauty of the horses (what I understand implicitly in the authentic Spanish horse), but the "savoir-faire", their elegance, good character, functionality, very far from what we could call trends or fashions in the world of PRE.

I was in the habit of not participating in any contest (with some exceptions, such as the Morpho-functional Contest of Jaen 2005 (with very good results) because, as I say, they are my more than three hundred horses and mares throughout these more than fifty years spread throughout Spain, Europe and America that speak for themselves. This means that I have only a few colts and fillies for sale (so as not to exceed the number I have set) and they are the flagship of the stud's history.

Nowadays I am the most antique breeder in this province and around the twenty or twenty-fifth in Spain; and from this lost corner of Andalusia, I continue with the same illusion as at the beginning.

In order to maintain the purity of the stud, I have avoided consanguinity among my horses, for which I bought a colt or horse from another prestigious stud every four years; then I check the truth contained in the Spanish saying: "if you want to know what your colt is worth, sell it and buy another one".

From among the stallions that have covered in this stud, the most important ones are Leviton, Reberte, Ulster, Telegraph, Jenson, Cepellón, Velero XI, with bloodlines from Deco, Albero II, Ermitaño III, Lego, Remache, Oleaje... from Yeguada Militar, and others like Colombiano III from Bohorquez, Juicioso VIII, Llamativo II from D. Benito Zoido, Zurdo III from D. Francisco Lazo, etc., from well known and famous Spanish studs.

The breeder, Mr. Juan Díaz Navarro, with his daughter Lucía and Nomeolvides DN.
The breeder, Mr. Juan Díaz Navarro, with his daughter Lucía and Nomeolvides DN.

Our horses are ridden and driven in various countries in Europe and America. I bring you another curiosity: an article about one of my horses sold years ago, named TRAMPOSO.

I hope you enjoy the horses at my stud farm as much as I do.

PS: The days of "the good cloth on the ark is sold" are over. I am currently selling horses to renowned riders to compete with them in Dressage and mostly to foreign clients.

A little graphic history

Historical photos that narrate, silently, part of the history of the stud in the lives of those who gave it shape and meaning.