If breeding event horses is a lottery, Ramón Beca hit the jackpot in breeding Nereo and Armada. These full brothers are registered with the Caballo de Deporte Español (CDE) Studbook, by the Spanish Thoroughbred stallion Fines and out of the CDE mare Berganza, by the Hanoverian stallion Golfi I.
Over the last 10 seasons, Nereo and Armada are the only two horses in the world to have posted 15 clear cross country rounds at CCI3* and CCI4* level.
Nereo clinched his 15th clear at Burghley this year to cap a banner season that saw him carry Andrew Nicholson to his first Badminton win in the spring. But let’s take a longer look back …
Nereo made his CCI3* debut at Saumur in 2008. In 10 seasons he contested 18 total CCI3*/CCI4* competitions, jumping clear on cross country in 15 of them for an 83.3% clear rate at those levels.
Along the way Nereo …
- Won his first international at Bramham CCI3* in 2009
- Won individual bronze at the 2010 World Equestrian Games to give Andrew Nicholson the first individual medal of his career
- Won his first CCI4* at Pau 2012
- Won Badminton 2017
Armada, who retired in 2017 at 18 years old, is an equal cross country legend. While he also delivered 15 cross country clears at CCI3*/CCI4* over the last 10 seasons, he has 17 clears in all at those levels across his entire career …
In 21 total CCI3*/CCI4* runs, Armada delivered 17 clear rounds — 10 with Andrew Nicholson and seven with Oliver Townend — and made the optimum time 13 times for an 80.9% clear jumping rate.
Armada is the undisputed speed king of the two brothers, making the time four times at Badminton and three times at Burghley. Nereo has never made the time at Burghley, but he has beaten the clock three times at Badminton.
If Nereo returns to Badminton in 2018 to defend his title, he has the opportunity to tie Armada with four clear rounds inside the time at the world’s biggest event.
These two brothers tackled the biggest and best courses we have seen over the last 10 seasons, displaying incredible longevity and an impressed aptitude for cross country. Cheers to Nereo and Armada!