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The neighbors of Beds That the child Sergio he just left the ball to get on a horse. Of humble family and without having any steed of his property, his father exchanged cigarettes loose to his friends so that they left the very young Ramos get on the rump of the steers. Thus, from time to time, satiated one of his most precocious passions. The other, football, led him to be captain of the Real Madrid and of the Spanish National Team, four-time champion of the League and of Europe, two-time European Championship champion and world champion, among other titles. But the young Ramos had a longing to fulfill: to be able to enjoy the horses he longed for in his childhood.
Six years ago he founded the SR4 stud farm Now he owns a cattle ranch that boasts having in his stables the flamboyant world champion of Pure Spanish Race: Yucatán de Ramos, a stallion with a winning mentality and a portentous physical profile to make history.
– How is Yucatan like Sergio Ramos?
-It sounds like a cliché, but both are two born champions. They have a lot of similarity. Yucatan was born special; and Sergio was born special. Both are privileged sports, with innate conditions, but they have also worked hard to get where they are displaying a winning mentality like I have never known.
Carlos speaks with the same passion of Yucatán and Sergio Ramos, his brother-in-law and friend since childhood. Last name Tooth -Married with Miriam, the median of the brothers Ramos, and father of the three children who have the marriage – this 34-year-old is leading the promising stud farm SR4, a dream that was forged between the Real Madrid footballer and his father, Jose Maria. “They gave me the opportunity to put myself at the forefront of this family project and there I began to train intensely and quickly,” says the managing director of the yeguada to EL ESPAÑOL. “With me they knew that they could be wrong in the professional field, but not personally. Who better than a relative with years and years of relationship to direct it? “, Points out the head of livestock, previously dedicated to the advertising sector.
The vision of footballer Ramos becomes tangible in the La Alegría farm, located a short half hour by car from Seville, in Bollullos de la Mitación, a reserved area of high ecological value with high pine forests and intricate rural roads through which you can spot the birds that reside in the next Doñana national park. In 44 hectares of agricultural land full of olive trees, surrounded by an impotent concrete wall to prove indiscreet, is the official residence of the Real Madrid player in Andalusia. A house of several heights and white facade flanked by a dense vegetation and numerous orange trees in which the Ramos family joins whenever their sporting commitments allow him to escape to the land.
In La Alegría live the Ramos, the humans and the equines, because all the horses and mares of the Real Madrid player are called this way. In total, they explain from the SR4 stud farm There are about 80 cattle heads. A number not very high compared to other farms with more years of experience, but an ideal amount for the purposes of the captain of the Spanish National Team: win.
The animals are divided into mares, stallions, foals in weaning and animals for sale. Within females, singular names are given as Pharaoh, Pícara, Parsnip or Tenth, de capa torda, born just a few months after Real Madrid took over the tenth Champions League in Lisbon, in a final against the Atlético de Madrid in which a goal by Sergio Ramos in the 93rd minute forced the extension that finally gave the victory to the whites.
In the stallions, besides the Yucatan champion, there are also superb specimens such as Silence, Villager, Focus V or Bandolero. All named Ramos. Among the foals in weaning there are also original names, such as Fama, Fabulosa, Fantasía or Flamenca. “All names are put by Sergio,” Muela explains to EL ESPAÑOL. Instead of 'A man called a horse', the mythical film – and book – directed by Elliot Silverstein, in the SR4 stud farm, all horses have a man's surname. And not somebody.
Just a few hundred meters from the residential area are the facilities dedicated to horses: 40 large boxes for the animals, eight hatcheries with their corresponding corraletas, two external and one indoor tracks, a round riding arena and an automatic walker for horses exercise daily. The hacienda also has a guest house, a paddle court and a small football field where Ramos trains every time he goes down to the South.
Family celebration away from the National Team
Bad luck, some muscular discomfort during the last game of the Spanish selection with Croatia, allowed the defense of Real Madrid was absent from the call as an international for the friendly against Bosnia and be able to witness the victory of Yucatán, the pearl of his stud, in the last World Purebred Spanish Championship celebrated this past weekend in the International Horse Show (SICAB) of Sevilla. In the stands, accompanied by your partner, Pilar Rubio, and his three children, Alejandro, Marco and Sergio, could see an exultant Ramos celebrate the success of his thoroughbred. The victory surprised few.
“Sergio sent me a message the night before the competition -Explains the SPANISH director of the stud: – the work is done. Calm down. For me he is already a champion. ” Such was the confidence in the victory that the team had already kept the vermilion blanket with a 'World Champion' embroidered on the sides.
Despite the confidence in the victory, Carlos and his team, the coach Francisco Javier García, and the rider Antonio Verdejo, they barely slept the nights previous to SICAB. “The horse sector is very professional, but there are more modest farmers that take animals that compete with other high-profile studs such as ours,” he warns. Tooth. “We already have a reputation and, obviously, we impose to have Sergio Ramos at the helm,” continues the director of SR4; but not only that's why we make a difference. ”
In the short history of the stud farm, six years old, the incipient farmers have already won three world championships: two in the young category, with Pícara de Ramos with Yucatán, and an adult one, also with Yucatán de Ramos. And a bronze, the Ramos Parsley. “We also have mares that are not champions but that contribute a lot genetically and that stop foals enviable,” reveals the farmer.
But the successes in the championships will be complete when the stud presents horses born and bred in the cattle ranch, and not acquired to third parties as it is the case of Yucatan, coming from the Torrehermosa stud farm. Of the first who came to SR4 came from the farm The Capricious, property of Joanne Hearst Castro, granddaughter of the American press tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who died in 2011 on the farm that he owned in Gerena. At the moment, the Ramos no longer buy new steers and bet to get excellent copies of those that already have.
“Sergio does not conceive of going out to compete for not winning”
“Sergio's obsession is to win, he is a hypercompetitive person, he does not conceive of going out to compete so as not to win; but his dream is to do it with a horse raised in his house, and not bought, “his brother-in-law tells this newspaper. “That is what he aspires to and what fills him the most as a rancher,” he adds. “There is another type of 'competitor' ranchers who buy to win and sell, but that is not Sergio's purpose, he has it focused on breeding, which is what he likes -Spokes Muela-; he enjoys watching the foals grow, and he knows a lot more about what people think. “
– Have you noticed the suspicion in the ranches that take more time?
– At the beginning, when you go with Sergio to the sites, they always open the doors for you. Everything is pretty. But when you start to win, those same doors start to close. They perceive that people do not like a new farmer to take away rewards and markets. In this business, winning also means selling more. At the beginning, it was a path of roses, we have made great friends; but we have also felt attacked because everyone wants to win.
Carlos does not want to give numbers, but he sketches a smile when he talks about the multiple offers he has rejected for Yucatan. “It has an incalculable value in the market; They have offered us enormous figures, but it is not for sale. Thus we avoid temptation, because there has been talk of a lot of money, “reveals the young rancher. Other voices within the stud say that it could exceed one million euros. Only your coverage, three opportunities, They are sold at 3,000 euros “With its corresponding VAT”, although after the success of the past world championship the strategy of the stud will be to increase the price and limit the number of semen put up for sale.
If there is interest in Ramos, the price of the horse goes up
“We do not want to infect Spain with children of Yucatan, because we would increase our competition in the future, “reveals Muela. “We understand that for an improvement of the breed it is positive to sell the semen; also for the livestock accounts, which would benefit greatly; although it would seem precious to me to see children of Yucatan win, be mine or others, “the director of SR4 specifies.
– Does the horse market behave like soccer? Do prices go up when you know Sergio Ramos is interested in an animal?
-Of course, they can ask us double or triple that to any other rancher. Although you also benefit from the fact that there are people who want to deal with Sergio and that makes things easier. We also have strategies to prevent prices from skyrocketing, we are interested through third parties and we fight for fair prices. Fortunately, we now buy little because we bet on our horses.
And there is quarry. The stud farm SR4 is turning its efforts to fine-tune one of its very young promises: Founder of Ramos, daughter of Yucatan and Montijana Rosa, a mare just over a year old that, if everything goes as expected, will participate in upcoming world competitions. “It's going to make you talk”, presumes Tooth, who devotes part of his time to traveling throughout Spain, visiting stud farms and evaluating the quality of his competitors. “I know 80 percent of the farms in Spain and I doubt very much that there are fillets as good as we have,” the director of SR4 guarantees.
In his house, portentous horses prevail, of enormous dimensions, with a lot of race and a spectacular top line. Like Yucatán, an “outstanding” animal, according to Francisco Javier García León, the presenter of the yeguada and one of the people that most deals with the champion of Purebred Spanish. “Since I saw him I knew it was a special horse,” he says excitedly.
Yucatán de Ramos, the perfect horse
Yucatán de Ramos measures 1.74 meters from the ground at the cross, where the neck meets the back, and weighs about 600 kilos. It is very powerful. Color vinous thrush, similar to white wine. It is a different horse because of its forms, because of the subconvex head in front of and stripped from behind, which is the racial prototype of a Purebred Spanish. It has character, but it is noble at the same time. Calm and shows an excellent treatment, especially with children. It is the most curious of the block. He lets himself be touched, he likes to be scratched. “It feels special, you notice it”, defends the presenter, already freed from the stress that the participation in SICAB causes.
“When we won, I slept,” confirms García León, Like the rest of the farm workers, they enjoy a few days of rest, only interrupted to attend EL ESPAÑOL. Although in his mind he already thinks about returning to work. “I do not want to have a roof, nor we, nor the horse”, warns who is responsible for accompanying the stallion in the mounts or in the extractions of semen.
“I get up every day excited because I work with the best horse in the world”, Francisco Javier presumes, which does not diminish the importance of working for Sergio Ramos. “He's a boss who squeezes a lot, and that's not easy,” confesses the 32-year-old young coach, the same age as the Real Madrid-; it gives us a competitive character and it emphasizes it daily to the whole team; He does not like to lose even the parchís and makes it clear that we are who we are and we must go out and win. “
It's Thursday and the stud is still living the hangover of victory. Employees are passed through WhatsApp screenshots with press clippings. Discuss the moments lived in the competition. The bustle has nothing to do with the one of weeks before. And Yucatan is heated in an infrared dryer, one of the few technological innovations that distinguish this livestock.
SR4, the anti-stress estate of Ramos
“He is Sergio's spoiled child, we treat him like a jewel, and he does not spare a single euro when it comes to Yucatán”, guarantees the brother-in-law of the soccer player, who has a annual salary of 11.7 million euros from Real Madrid. “The stud is his passion and Ramos is not a whimsical person, he is not passionate about cars, he is not in love with luxuries, but with horses he has no limits”, reveals the director of SR4. “He comes to the field and enjoys -he continues-; here it evades all pressures. ”
– And he mounts them?
– No, it can not by contract. I've never seen it on a horse. He has assumed that when he retires he can do it until he gets tired, but now he is aware that his future can not be played because of imprudence, because the horse is an animal that is not controlled.
Without wanting to talk about retreat, the one that does ride to Yucatan – and the rest of the heads of the stud – is the rider Antonio Verdejo Pérez, 28 years old and trained in Royal Equestrian School of Jerez. The opportunity to sign for the team Ramos It arrived last February. “Working for Sergio Ramos is an attraction, but what marked my decision was Yucatán”, reveals the rider, specialized in dressage.
And his face lights up when he talks about the steed. “It's like getting on a Ferrari or a Renault, you can see its strength, its quality, its desire to work,” the rider says. The first time I rode it, I felt all its potential. ” “As in football, there are First and Second players; and Yucatan has a future, it will mark a time, “he predicts.
– You look like Sergio?
Yucatan is a winning horse and Sergio does not like to lose.
-That winning ability is learned or born with it?
-It is something innate, but you have to encourage it. Sergio has been working hard to win for many years. I talk to him a lot, and he worries about the sensations, about the horses. And give me advice. It infuses mood. Take the philosophy of the football field to the block. We learn from him, that he is a leader in sports. We all impregnate ourselves with that winning mentality. We all want more. We know how to learn from victories and defeats. I could not sign another team better than this one.
And as in football, there are competitors who have flirted with the SR4 stud team. “They have made offers for all professionals,” reveals Carlos Muela. “But we're not leaving here, because we're playing in the Champions League and charging according to the level,” García León completes.
Ramos, from galactic footballer to successful rancher
In addition to Ramos, the Costa Rican goalkeeper of Real Madrid, Keylor Navas, He also owns a cattle ranch in his country where he has a descendant of Yucatan. “He's in love with that horse,” he says. Tooth. “And whenever he comes to the farm, he gets stuck with our specimens.” Beyond the white team, there are players from Real Betis and Sevilla They also have their own livestock. “Although I doubt very much that we can work in a better place than under the command of Sergio Ramos”, defends the director of the SR4 stud farm.
-And is he a good rancher?
-Yes, because he likes it a lot and that's how it is easier. Sergio is a person who reads a lot on this topic. And, above all, there are few objectives that get into your head and do not get them. It is stubborn to the fullest. It surprises me a lot, because in addition to knowing the sector well, it is essential to be very clear about what is wanted, and he has it. He knows what he likes and what he does not.
-And what does Sergio Ramos like?
-The animals with a lot of race, that have distinction. The best example is Yucatán. There are champions because they are very correct. The judges judge the horse so that the set of forms is correct. If you are good at all, you will have a high score. Sergio is not interested in a correct horse, he looks for special horses. I would dare to say that he would prefer to be second, but with an animal that had a different spark. And we are getting it.
-What has Ramos celebrated more than Yucatan or a League?
-I saw him cry when he won a Champions League and with Yucatan he was excited, but not at that level. He knows well what his job is.