22 February 2024

Equestrian Enduro in Cerro Guido

On Saturday, February 10, the fourth date of the Regional Equestrian Enduro Championship was held, a competition that takes place annually on the grounds of Cerro Guido.

Equestrian Enduro is not just any branch of horse racing. It is one of the disciplines that not only involves the technique of the rider and the endurance of the horse, but also plays an important role in the bond formed between these two actors.

Horses are intelligent and sentient beings. It is not for nothing that there are so many stories about them, moreover, historically they represent a symbol of resistance and freedom in cinematography and literature. If we want to exemplify it with real life, the horse always recognizes the way home.

That is the significance of the horse in a culture far from the modern society of the rest of Chile. Here in Patagonia, this being has functions that no other animal could fulfill. For example, it is the faithful companion of gauchos and baqueanos who dedicate their lives to the work of the fields and that is how they understand it.

Nicolás, one of the Baqueanos working at Estancia Cerro Guido, was one of the participants in the fourth date of the Regional Equestrian Enduro Championship in the 60 km category and returned to compete after 8 years in an enduro race, achieving an outstanding participation and taking second place in his category.

Originally, Nicolás is not of Patagonian origin, however, the years spent in the far south of the world do not pass in vain. Coming from the idiosyncrasy of the Chilean Huaso, he came to become a Magellanic gaucho more than 7 years ago.

Always working alongside his faithful companions horses, as he defines them, he dedicates his life to life in the field. “It is a fundamental companion in work, just like the dog, without them you don’t do anything here,” he commented.

Horse – Rider Relationship

As we mentioned, in Enduro races, it doesn’t matter who is the fastest to ride a certain number of kilometers. Technically, it is a race where what defines the winner is the horse’s heart rate and the condition of the horse once the circuit is finished.

Therefore, the relationship between the rider and the horse has a lot to do here. “If you ride well, the horse will ride well,” Nicolás adds. “The horse senses if you are afraid or nervous.

What matters here is the horse, not the speed. That’s why experience working or living alongside equines is the most important factor. “I have always worked with them. Ever since I was a kid, when my grandfather worked the horses for a boss in the north,” he said.

“Since then I’ve been living with horses. Working with them in different branches. I’ve raced polo, rodeo, enduro,” he says. So Nicolás was always a great candidate for this date, however, prior to the race, he was more cautious.

“When you go in with your mind focused on winning, winning and winning, something always happens. It’s the same for me,” he added the day before racing. “I’ve had accidents happen to me racing and even if I’m not, something is always going to happen.”

Nicolás told us that he once fell off his horse and has no memory of the accident. He only realized what had happened when he woke up hospitalized. The animal world can be dangerous.

Nature is like that. For Nicolás, it is his life. However, many times those inexperienced with animal breeding tend to give their opinion and judge the work with them by the “brutality” that it may express. “From the outside, you don’t see the real relationship with the animals and they will always judge you when they don’t understand what they see,” he said.


Nicolás arrived early at Riverside, where the start and the vet-check, veterinary examinations that the horse undergoes after completing a lap of the designated circuit, take place. Here he awaits his turn to start in the 60 km adult category.

During the whole waiting time, Nicolas looked calm. He knows and understands that he must be calm for his horse to be calm. Now, why wouldn’t he be? Nicolas has worked the length and width of the fields where he will compete, knows them very well and is a fierce contender.

This category is 60 kilometers, which will be divided into 3 laps, resulting in 2 vet checks that Nicolás will have to pass to continue competing for a place on the podium.

Before the start, we asked Nicolás what his expectations were for this race and again, his answer was discreet. “I want to start well, continue well and finish well,” he said. He doesn’t want to put his mind to racing so that there won’t be any inconveniences. Nicolás concentrates on taking care of his faithful companion. This shows the love of the baqueano for those who join them day by day in the task. “To run distances this long, you have to take care of and respect the horse,” he concluded.

The start of the 60 kilometers category of the Fourth Date of the Regional Enduro Championship was at 12.00 o’clock. Each rider has his own strategy. Some start in a hurry to take advantage and slow down the pace at the end, others start slowly to save energy for the more complicated sections, but in short, the start was clean and dispersed.

Even so, as spectators we only see the beginning and the end of each lap. However, always wishing the best of results to our interviewee, who is also a colleague and friend of Estancia Cerro Guido.

After all, it is a competition and he is focused on making sure that Almendra, his horse, is in good condition to continue.

Almendra was never pushed or forced, but remained at a good level all day long. Despite the strong heat and the extensive route, the horse and rider remained stoic.

So, at the end of the race, Nicolas submits his horse to the final vet check and the first rumors of his qualification arrive: Second place in his category. After almost a decade without competing, the work of the fields is felt. Nicolás takes a place on the podium.

To my surprise, Nicolás looks calm, but something has changed since the morning. That tranquility that expressed a certain hidden nervousness at times, was transformed into a proud calm that enjoys the triumph, but for himself. As I see it, Nicolás is calm, smiling, while he comments on the details of his race with Almendra. He may not show it, but Nicolás is happy, glad to have reached the finish line and taken his place.

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