Halter Divison - Scottsdale
A Partnership with Guzzo Worldwide
The Guzzo Adventure
By McKay Stirland
Adventure. Whether written or lived, its origin can come from a variety of sources, circumstances or people. The Guzzo Adventure originates in a boy in Brazil, criss-crosses continents, and embraces the fabled Arabian horse. It includes all the elements of an exciting best-selling novel: drama, suspense, heroism, success and defeat, sub-plots of death and storylines of new beginnings and life itself. And then there are the characters—the people liberally sprinkled throughout that color and enhance the adventure. Far from fiction, the Guzzo Adventure remains a continuing work in progress.
The Guzzo Adventure first began in Paraná, Brazil, on Rodolfo’s grandfather’s farm. “I learned how to work hard, learned to read animal behavior and found out that people were what was most important in life,” remembers Rodolfo.
Now, more than 20 years later and traveling across the world, Rodolfo Guzzo has become an extraordinary and successful horseman and a worldwide marketing guru. His international success in the show ring is equally matched by his marketing abilities—searching for and discovering future champions and exceptional breeding horses for small and large breeders alike.
Yet, Rodolfo is quick to acknowledge that his worldwide Adventure began by accident. “I was 15 years old and had never seen an Arabian horse,” he admits. “Can you believe it! I had never even been to a horse show. My world was pretty small. My life was simple. My father and I were best friends. He taught me not only about horses, but also about respect, character and how to live life. Looking back, I had no idea that at 15 years old I was on the edge of a life-changing adventure.” And, it all would start with a chestnut mare.
Rodolfo’s father took his son to an all-breeds horse show in São Paulo, Brazil, which included the Brazilian National Arabian Horse Show. “All the horses were beautiful,” Rodolfo recalls. “But my eyes found a beautiful chestnut mare, totally different from all the other horses at the show. She was unique in her presence, her carriage, her style and attitude. Her beauty captured me. In that moment I fell in love with what I later found out was an Arabian horse. That mare would change my life in ways I could never imagine.” Rodolfo’s passion had been ignited by a chestnut mare … and the Guzzo Adventure took a sweeping revolution.
“My father wanted me to continue my schooling and study hard,” Rodolfo smiles, remembering his father’s strong recommendations. However, with loads of enthusiasm and a generous dose of creativity, Rodolfo recruited long-time friend and veterinarian, Dr. Ricardo Suma, and others, to win the approval of Rodolfo’s father. After subtle efforts and focused strategies, young Rodolfo and his supporters persuaded his father to consent to his son’s dream. Days later, Rodolfo signed on at Haras Fabrini, one of Brazil’s best known Arabian farms at the time. “Looking back, my father supported me in so many ways,” remembers Guzzo. “He did everything he could to assure the success of my dreams with Arabian horses.”
From Haras Fabrini, came a disciplined and experienced Rodolfo. Then, at Najib Aude’s Haras Santa Gertrudes, Rodolfo excelled with determination, developed an acute horseman’s sense and uncovered a reservoir of talent and abilities. For Haras Santa Gertrudes, Rodolfo showed the seven-month-old colt Shaklan’s Padron NA who captured Rodolfo’s first Brazilian National Champion title in 1988. The win launched young Guzzo onto the national stage. More national and international championships worldwide would follow, with one or more national champions won by the Guzzo Team every year since 1988.
While at Haras Santa Gertrudes, Guzzo’s work ethic and achievements drew attention. “Rodolfo worked like mad, training and conditioning at least 70 horses at a time, and showing them during the year, at least five shows each,” admires legendary Brazilian breeder Lenita Perroy. “It was a mad pace. He was always working, day and night, but this gave him great experience in just a few years. The farm won everything, every year, at every show.”
With Najib’s insistence, the Guzzo Adventure rolled into a new direction, with Rodolfo landing in the United States. “Coming to the United States was exciting and a great adventure for me. I met so many new people, new horses, and new ways of doing things,” admits Guzzo. “No one really taught me how to show a horse. I watched others carefully and used what they did, changing it to work for me and the individual horses I was conditioning and training.
”In1996, the confident Rodolfo Guzzo opened his own training center in Campinas, Brazil. The Guzzo Adventure was now in overdrive as Guzzo Worldwide burst into the show world. Conditioning, showing, and standing national champions and breeding stallions envied the world around, Guzzo Worldwide in Brazil provided a complete spectrum of training, showing and marketing services, turning out national champions each year and servicing clients across the continents.
“Brazil was exceptionally good to me,” shares Rodolfo. “It is a country of rare beauty, exceptional Arabian horses and breeders. Some of my most treasured clients, friends and family call it home. It’s where I rode my first horse, discovered the Arabian breed and claimed my first national championship.”
With the wild success of Guzzo Worldwide, Brazil, and his constant travel to and from the United States and other countries, Rodolfo created another major element: Guzzo Worldwide–United States. Under his constant direction, the two centers turned out national champions each and every year. Yet, Rodolfo remembered what he had learned from his father first: people are the most important, whether they come with millions of dollars or much, much less; they are the same, and each may have, or breed, or buy that next special horse; or become a close friend.
One of those special horses was the incredibly successfully FA El Shawan (Marwan al Shaqab x Foxbriar Shakita);an example of Rodolfo’s abilities to identify future national champions and great breeding horses. While attending a show in the U.S., Guzzo saw a bay yearling colt take second place, but he saw more in the colt than a second place. With Bolivar Figueiredo, Guzzo found, purchased, and organized a small and elite group of Brazilian breeders to own the colt—all in just two days. Imported to Brazil, FA El Shawan claimed the title of National Champion Yearling Colt, with Guzzo on the lead. Together they won every national championship in his age group, culminating in being named 2010 Brazilian National Champion Senior Stallion. Following his show career and prior to the stallion’s untimely passing, Shawan became the sire of national winners. Coincidence? Doubtful. The deciding factor: Rodolfo Guzzo and his team at Guzzo Worldwide.
Beyond the mounting national champions shown by Guzzo and his team, perhaps one of the most remarkable events in the Guzzo Adventure was the marketing and sale of the grand Padrons Psyche, then owned by North Arabians. In December 2009, Rodolfo met with good friend and sometimes business partner Christine Jamar. Their discussions centered on finding and importing an exceptional stallion for one of Christine’s clients. A variety of horses were considered, however, none met the standard of excellence demanded by the two. Finally, Guzzo — ever the visionary—suggested Padrons Psyche, though he did not know if the stallion could even be purchased.
With hard-earned determination, Rodolfo then met with Robert and Dixie North and persuaded them to put a price tag on their irreplaceable stallion. Two weeks later, Christine and Guzzo met with internationally successful businessman, Paul Gheysens, in Belgium. With his laptop in hand, Rodolfo and Christine sat at Mr. Gheysens’ long conference table and Guzzo began his persuasive presentation. Discussion followed, and when the three parted, Psyche had a new owner and was soon headed to Europe. It was an historic record-breaking purchase of the then21-year-old legendary stallion.
Another legendary horse often associated with Rodolfo is the one-of-a-kind ink black Arabian mare RH Triana. Discovered by Guzzo, Pam Jump and Rogerio Souza, for Mr. Dick Freeland of Freeland Farms, the extraordinary Triana has claimed a mountain of regional, Scottsdale, and national wins. The black beauty and Guzzo share a unique bond. Friendship—likely. Mutual respect and admiration—certainly. However, despite the almost incredibility of Triana, of most import to Rodolfo was his friendship with Mr. Freeland. “With Mr. Freeland’s passing,” Guzzo quietly states, “I feel a huge loss. He was my great friend; a great man. He was always very supportive and helped so many people do so many things. He always tried to do good for people, and I miss him.”
As Guzzo's adventure continues, he now works in partnerships with Royal Arabians LLC. This partnership began after Guzzo showed and sold many horses for Royal Arabians. Cindy McGown, owner of Royal Arabains LLC. says of Rodolfo "I have used every major trainer in the U.S. and of all of them I am the most comfortable with Guzzo. He has always told me the truth, even when I did not want to hear it, and has always done what is in the horses best interest. I truly enjoy working with him, and have a great deal of respect for his honesty and integrity."