THE AZPURUA LEGACY
It is not easy to talk about the history of horseracing in Latin America and The United States
without the name Azpurua coming up over and over again.
It all began two generations ago when Manuel Maria Azpurua, the grandfather of all the Azpurua horsemen yet to come, became one of the pioneers of the horse racing industry in Venezuela around 1930. Not only did he become one of the leading horse owners and breeders of his times, but he was the president of the first racetrack in Caracas and a founding member of the Jockey Club in Venezuela.
The second generation were on the same track when his two sons, Manuel and Eduardo Sr also became leading horsemen in Venezuela. They were considered among the top best trainers of the time, both claiming important championships in Venezuela and Latin America. Eduardo Azpurua Sr, among other great accomplishments in the industry, bred and trained “El Corsario”, third triplecrown winner of La Rinconada, one of the most prominent racetracks in Latin America.
Around the 1970 when the horse industry began loosing momentum in Venezuela, Eduardo and Manuel, now joined by their third brother Leo Azpurua Sr, decided to move to the United States and quickly became a well known part of the industry. They became leading trainers and breeders while settling their main ventures in Florida.
Manuel Azpurua Sr Eduardo Azpurua Sr Leo Azpurua Sr
Manuel Azpurua Sr was one of the leading trainers in Calder. He has won more than 4000 races and even now, after more than 60 years as a resident of the racetrack, he is still a highly respected personality at Calder and its surroundings.
Eduardo Azpurua Sr, after pursueing a brief but successful career as a trainer in Florida, settled down in a breeding farm in Central Florida, where he still operates nowadays. He has made “Shangri-La Farm” one of the most prominent small breeding operations in Ocala, complementing his many accomplishments with the 2004 Joe O’Farrel Award as “Breeder of the Year” for having breed “Sweernorthernsaint”, favorite of the Kentucky Derby 2006.
In addition to his brother’s numerous achievements, Leo Azpurua Sr entered the panorama in 1982 when he founded “Parkhurst Farms” becoming in 16 years a leading training center in Ocala as it produced more than 187 stake winners. He is now a bloodstock agent and until today, keeps very close to the tracks.
The third generation horsemen came into existence when Leo Azpurua Jr, Manuel Azpurua and Eduardo Azpurua Jr, decided as the rest of the men in their family, to carry even farther their grandfather legacy, by becoming horse trainers in Venezuela and the United States.
Leo Azpurua Jr has been a trainer for more than 25 years and has won numerous stakes throughout the country. Manuel Azpurua was always among the top 5 trainers in Venezuela for 15 years and has now settled down in Ocala to help oversee the horse breaking and training operation at Azpurua Stables.
Lastly, the youngest Azpurua in the business to date, Eduardo Azpurua Jr, has also been involved in all the faces of the horse industry during his 28 year carreer as a horseman.