Villafáfila has always been a town dedicated mainly to agriculture and livestock, before the appearance of tractors, the driving force for farming implements and carts were horses, donkeys, mules, etc., Villafáfila had a stallions of particular equine reproduction of Onofre. In 1945 it is the first year that the State brings three horses from the Equine Reproduction Center of León, until 2003 when it was replaced by the Ávila Reproduction Center. The service is carried out for three months from mid-March on the 19th (San José), until mid-June.

lion regiment poster

     In 1945 the first two soldiers D. Agustín Domínguez Copete and D. Francisco Martínez Castro "el Rubio" the latter during his stay in Villafáfila formalized relations with a young woman from the town Albina Fidalgo Tejedor "Chonche", later getting married, coming to live in Villafáfila and raising a family, deceased in 2010.

     Three horses were brought, two San Risque and San Teur draft horses and one Yuntero saddle horse. They were in boarding house at the house of Damián Méndez (Franco). Their stay was from the beginning of February and they left on June 18.

The soldiers, D. Agustín Domínguez Copete and Francisco Martínez Castro

Damian Méndez (Franco) José (Pepón), Venigno, Jonás Rodríguez (Cachin) Mauro Vicente Fidalgo, Agustín Domínguez Copete, Francisco Martínez Castro (Rubio), José, Victoriano,

Francisco Martinez Castro "El Rubio"

     In the 1950s Villafáfila built a stall, popularly known as "La Parada", where the lower part had five stables for the horses, the upper part was a kitchen, and the sleeping quarters, next to the building is the patio where the matings are carried out, and parts destined to the fodder and feed store, and stables for mares. In 2005, a reform was carried out to improve its facilities through a workshop school, which lasted a year, renovating the entire building and facilities. and the upper part is separated from the Parada to become part of the future shelter that is being built. A small room was made for an office and laboratory area. From this moment the Soldiers live in a house next to the stop,

Urban area of ​​Villafáfila, in red place of the Stop

stop building

Poster of State Stallions in Villafáfila 2008


Facade of the stop


*Facade of the bus stop

Parade Courtyard

     Until 2001, every year the parade received a commander and two soldiers from the fifth, the soldiers and commanders have always had a good relationship with the population of Villafáfila, since Villafáfila has a good regard for the work carried out in the Parada. Some of the most remembered soldiers such as Chico, the Santanderinos, Cabezas etc., later only a commander and a professional soldier came, in 2008 the first female soldier came.

     The work carried out by the State Equine Production Center is to offer horse breeding stallions of very good genetic selection, until the year 2003 matings are carried out by natural riding, some horses repeating years, the name of some horse has remained in the memory of people like Zoilo, or Carolo the donkey, whose braying is felt in a large part of the town,

     As of 2004, matings are carried out through artificial insemination, the fundamental reason is to avoid contagion of diseases by contact with the natural mating.

     In 2004 and 20005, no horses were present during the three-month stay, as were the soldiers, who only came at certain times to perform mating.

     In 2006 they bring the horses back and the soldiers stay in Villafáfila.

     The horses before coming to the Parada are checked to verify that they do not carry any type of disease, and thus ensure that no disease is transmitted to the mares, it is also carried out when they are going to go to the Center Military Breeding Caballar de Ávila.

     In 2008, when we made this report, four select stallions owned by the Military Horse Breeding Center of Ávila have come, who always come from March 19 (San José), spending approximately three months, until July 8, from the Parada de Villafáfila insemination service is provided to mares from the province of Zamora and also from neighboring areas of León and Valladolid.

    The Zíngaro, Retoño, Maimónides and Al-Qasir horses remain calm in the stables of Villafáfila attended by an Army corporal who is in charge that they do not lack anything, feeding them, cleaning them and their stables, they are taken out to nearby for exercise. This is how they will be during the three months that the campaign lasts.

Horse stables

stable of a horse


* Horse stable

* Yard

* Office and laboratory


      A day of any given day begins early with the extraction of semen from the horses on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the evaluation of the semen is done in the laboratory and later a more detailed one. The doses that are for two days are prepared. The brigade confirms that "the doses that are taken from each horse is very variable, depending on several factors, but there is enough for the mares that there are."

On the left is the laboratory area.

Laboratory for semen analysis

     So far the stallions have covered the needs of 50 mares in the first third of the campaign, last year a final figure of 76 was reached, "a somewhat low figure".

     Most of the breeders who come to the Parada have already studied the subject and know which horse they want, either because they have been advised or because of comments. The older people ask for advice and are told one horse or another.

     The fee for the mating service is 95 euros, for six months, and that includes all the doses that are necessary, the follow-up and the ultrasound scans, and in spite of everything, there are people who cannot get the mare to get pregnant.

     The documentation that must be presented by the farmer requesting the service:

  • Photocopy of the DNI of the owner of the mare. (forever).

  • Photocopy of the letter of the mare. (If it is pure).

  • SANITY CERTIFICATE. (If the mare is stabled in the Parada).

  • Photocopy or receipt of the DEPOSIT IN THE BANK with the code number. (Always).

     Artificial insemination are all advantages from the veterinary point of view «we tend to lower the costs of the farmer since as they do not have contact with the horses there is no risk of disease transmission between the cattle, explained the brigade. In addition, venereal transmission diseases are largely avoided, the percentage of fertilizations is considerably increased and the horses are not exhausted, «each dose has 500 million viable spermatozoa and that amount guarantees fertility, while in natural mating all the rest is lost”.

Insemination foal and ultrasound of mares Mare in foal for insemination Mare in the foal to be inseminated

     The procedure, while at the same time inseminating a mare in Villafáfila, is always the same, the mare is placed in a conditioned foal, we do an ultrasound and if it has an optimal follicle to inseminate, it is inseminated until the follicle breaks and comes out the ovum Fifteen days later, an ultrasound is done to see if there is pregnancy, if there is not, it is tried again. So until it is achieved.

* Mare in the foal


ultrasound monitor


     The mares can stay in the stall because there is an area for them, if they stay in Villafáfila:

  • You must accredit the corresponding veterinary certificate.

  • Pay for the daily stay: stay with meals €8, stay without meals €6.

     These mares are cared for daily by City Hall staff, and the money generated from their stay goes to the City Council.

arrival boxes

*Stables of the mares

         All but one of the stallions are new to the stall. They were joined years ago by a donkey, "Carolo", who died days before the campaign began. The choice of animals «is made after carrying out a study on the number of mares, most requested horses...etc. and then it is taken into account for the next year. Here an animal of the Arab breed would not paint anything because nobody requests it. Spanish is required here and it is mainly used for running of the bulls and hunting with greyhounds».


Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.

“Thanks to Mr. Francisco Martínez de Castro “El Rubio”, my grandfather, for providing data and photographs.

I dedicate it to you with all my love and affection, grandfather, this work that you were part of in your day, which led you to live in Villafáfila and have a family and offspring " .


Authorization and Data:

Horse Breeding Military Center of Ávila.

"Thanks to the Ávila Stallion Deposit, for the authorization and collaboration in the making of this report, to Mr. Brigada and Mrs. Cabo, for their kindness, collaboration and information . "


Francisco Martinez de Castro.

Personal information.


Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.

Personal information.



Francisco Martinez de Castro.

Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.


Transcription and montage:

Jose Luis Dominguez Martinez.


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