Today we visited a farm where they breed and raise Thoroughbred race horses called “Haras Cerro Punta”. They have 140 horses total including: 5 Thoroughbred stallions, 65 Thoroughbred mares, and 1 Percheron stallion called “Centurion” - the remaining are yearlings.
Breeding takes place during the months of February-March and the newborns arrive 11 months later. The mares give birth to their fouls in a laboratory/clinic located in the basement level of the main house. Artificial insemination is illegal in Panama, so all offspring are conceived naturally. There is an on-site veterinarian 24/7.
The fouls are started in gate training at 5 months old. Here they are fed their daily rations in an enclosed area designed to acclimatize them to being in the starting gate. Race training begins at 17 months and utilizes a rotational running machine designed to get the horses used to running in an enclosed space. The horses are exercised daily at this higher altitude location (2000 meters) in order to develop greater lung capacity and endurance. At 2 years of age they are taken to Panama City where they are sold at an auction that takes place at the Hipodromo Presidente Remon Racetrack. The horses race from 2 to 6 years of age.
4 of the Thoroughbred stallions here are from the United States and one champion called “Figo” was born and raised at Haras Cerro Punta. The 6th stallion residing here is “Centurion”. He is a 13 year old 2300 pound, majestic Percheron. He has a shiny jet black coat and a fabulously wavy mane and tail. Not only is he handsome, but he is also extremely good-natured and they will let you take a short ride on him if you want to give it a try.
Tours are available at the farm daily from 8:30-5:30 and cost only $5.00. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to see some beautiful horses and learn something about the lives of racehorses.