A reining legacy began in the 1980s when the Arcese family of Italy was introduced to reining through a family friend. “He had a quarter horse gelding he didn’t want anymore. The horse was supposed to be a reining horse, so we started to learn about reining horses and then moved on to better reining prospects,” recalled Leonardo Arcese, who, with his father Eleuterio and sister Paola, own and operate Arcese Quarter Horses.
In typical Arcese family fashion, they spent a great deal of time studying the horses and sport, pouring over results and standings. “We wanted to have the best horses and believed in investing in excellent pedigrees, performance records, and people,” Leonardo explained.
Arcese Quarter Horses USA is in Weatherford, Texas, and is managed by Jeff Oswood. “I was lucky to meet and get to know Jeff Oswood at the end of the last century. He has always been a leader in everything he does. When the opportunity came up to partner on our ranch in 2006, I didn’t think twice. With Jeff’s expert experience and guidance, along with a handful of top trainers, we have been able to develop a small but highly successful breeding program by concentrating on a couple of very special mares. We love to breed, raise, and show our own exceptional show horses,” he said.
The game plan worked, and now Arcese Quarter Horses is a Two Million Dollar Owner of the National Reining Horse Association, while patriarch Eleuterio is in the NRHA Hall of Fame. The business has owned and produced countless winners, including NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya, Four Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz, Hall of Famer and Million Dollar Dam Wimpys Little Chic, and countless NRHA Futurity and Derby champions.
Recently, the Arceses elected to increase their support of the reining industry, elevating their sponsorship level from an Event Sponsorship to an NRHA Corporate Partnership.
“Continuous growth and new development are extremely important. That is why we have been extremely involved with the Italian Reining Horse Association and reining in general within Europe for many years. My father has served several terms as a Board member or President of the IRHA and is President of that Association now,” Leonardo explained. “The majority of our horse businesses are in the United States, primarily with our stallions Gunnatrashya and Walla Walla Whiz. We believe it is important to support the NRHA.”
NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter was excited to welcome the Arceses to NRHA’s Corporate Partner lineup. “The Arcese family has been a stalwart of the reining community both in Europe and North America for many years. Their success in the show arena and the breeding barn is a hallmark of countless accomplishments,” he said. “Personally, it is gratifying to have them join NRHA as Corporate Partners. This is an extension of years and years of their support and success.”
The Corporate Partnership is just another indicator that the Arcese name will be written in the history books for years to come. “’The desire to win never sleeps’ is a motto of ours that references our sincere commitment to excellence in everything we do. We never give up after defeats and always stay focused on what’s important to us. Our desire to have the next champion will always be there,” Leonardo said. “We have a group of people that we work with that are as committed as we are. They are like our family, and we are very grateful to all who share a never-ending passion about our vision.”
For more information about Arcese Quarter Horses, visit ArceseQuarterHorses.com.
Photos by Cam Essick