The Mangalarga horse market escaped Brazil's recession unscathed. In the last two years, animal sales doubled from 6,782 to 14,300. Even the business of selling the horse's eggs semen and embryos grew.
Brazil currently has 620,000 Mangalarga horses in the herd. Most are in Minas Gerais. There are 17,800 breeders, compared to 11 thousand in 2016.
The growth made the number of auctions increase from 300 to 393 per year, with a rise from US$ 32,3 million to US$ 34 million in marketed value.
For breeders, the animal stands out for its versatility. It can be used both in livestock and horseback riding, marching contests, endurance, functional testing, and equine therapy. It also has a docile temperament.
"Who has the animal is passionate. And passion and dream are priceless," says businessman Daniel Borja, breeder for 25 years and president of the Brazilian Association of Mangalarga Marchador Horse Breeders (ABCCMM).
The breed has 70 regional associations in the country to promote Mangalarga horses. Organizers of the largest fair in the sector, which takes place in Belo Horizonte until next Saturday (27), project a record audience and business.
About 220,000 people are expected to attend the 38th Mangalarga Marchador National Horse Exhibition, which should move US$ 6,6 million, between animal auctions and direct sales between breeders, compared to US$ 6,1 million in the previous year's event.
With US$ 1,335 it is possible to buy a good horse. But a single horse could cost US$ 4,1 million - close to the Mega Sena's six-dozen prize pool accumulated in the last week.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon