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From Racing Asturcons to Thoroughbreds

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Asturian-American Migration Forum Index -> Asturian Hall of Fame - Sala de fama asturiana
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:23 pm    Post subject: From Racing Asturcons to Thoroughbreds Reply with quote

My father told me that he would take the farm horses down to the river every evening to water them and wash them. He also was responsible for feeding and cleaning out their stalls. My aunt Elvira, his older sister told me that he would ride them without a saddle and on Sundays, he would race them against the other farm children down along the river. He had no fear of horses. I wrote the following for our son and grandson:

In rural Northern Spain, during the early twentieth century, some farmers in the Principality of Asturias kept their horses in the basement of their homes for safekeeping. This was the custom derived from the Visigoths and Celts who once inhabited that part of Spain. The horses were descendants of the Asturcon horses left behind by the Celts and were very valuable and expensive. The Asturcon breed of horses have been around for thousands of years.
Part of his farming chores were to guard, care, and feed the farm horses. On Sundays after Mass in San Martin de Gurulles, he and his brothers would race them down along the river with the other children of the village of Vega de Peridiello. He always wore a red bandana around his forehead and would win most of the races.
His experiences with horses in Asturias probably led to his new found occupation of horse trainer in America after respiratory ailments forced him to quit the steel mills in Weirton.
During his apprenticeship, he was an assistant trainer for his older brother, Jose. Further, early in his career, a pharmacist and veterinarian taught him about the health and medical care of thoroughbred horses. Although, there are no surviving records, it is believed that he received his West Virginia trainer’s license in 1937 as a foreign national.
He died on December 23, 1975, from the complications of a head injury received while exercising his horse, Up and Away, at the Charles Town Racetrack at the age of seventy-three which occurred before he could complete his dream of owning and training a West Virginia bred horse.
He remains as the only West Virginia horse trainer and owner to have an outstanding and historical international racing record for the time period of 1937 to 1947. Despite the lack of prolific money win totals, Albert Alvarez epitomizes the small-time horse trainer endeavoring to work at the vocation of horse trainer until the very end of life. Even in a coma, he talked about having to take his horses to the post. He is remembered for his love and dedication to his family, and secondly, the sport of horse racing. Taken from his bio, " I heard the crowd call my name, and it ran deep through the heart".
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4486
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Manny, I've moved your post the the Asturian Hall of Fame because it struck me that your dad belongs there.
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 230

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Art. I appreciate your help. Hope that you safe and are doing well during the pandemic.

I wanted you to know that our grandson discovered my postings and has checked into the Forum. He was scheduled to visit Spain this year. We have not seen him for nearly a year. Hopefully, things will get better soon.

Manny
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4486
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great, Manny! I'm sure he'll be able to travel at some point.

It's heart-warming when following generations catch an interest in what their grandparents and great grandparents experienced in such a different era.
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