For many years I have said that the CEPRC must be for all the breeders of the Presa Canario, and for all the fans, without exclusions, and that the Monographic Exhibition of the Breed must be celebrated one year in Tenerife and the next in Gran Canaria, year after year, not only in Tenerife, as it is happening. These ideas, which seem to me absolutely logical, were not considered by the CEPRC at any moment. I must also say that from its foundation the CEPRC has been directed by breeders coming only from Tenerife. Besides, their respective directors have almost invariably been composed of the same people (as the facts show).
But in 1999 the director of the CEPRC decided to make an exception. The Monographic X of the Presa Canario has been celebrated, for the first time in history, in Telde, Gran Canaria (where the brothers Leon Peñate breed, and the brothers Martín Abrantes breed with the name La Jacha).
For those people who are not informed about the true reasons for the celebration of this Monographic X of the Presa Canario in Gran Canaria and not in Tenerife, I will say that it was made only and exclusively for economic reasons. Let’s see on what I am basing that statement. In Gran Canaria there is a delegation of the CEPRC that is presided by the Judge Specialist Agustín Lopez Melo (vice-president is Jacinto Martín Abrantes, breeder of Presa Canario with the name La Jacha), the one who, according to rumors, will go as a representative from the CEPRC to Milan, upon recognition of the Breed on the part of the FCI, yes, man, the one who judged in the USA and gave initial registries, confirmations of breed, etc., without being a judge, (remember?), the one who attended as a Ring Commissioner, without being so, the administrator of the Forum, “Presa Canario on the Web”, Elías Rodriguez, aka Jackal, aka, El Dogo, commercial intermediary of the named parties, and others.
It’s clear that all this history cannot be carried out without the knowledge, and collaboration, of the president of the CEPRC, Antonio Gómez Ramirez. The market of the USA, with its 200 million possible buyers (that is not minutia) apparently was the real interest, and Canada, which also comprises rich America.
“But if the world of the dog is rotten everywhere”, somebody said to me the other day, “Yes, sure, and the policy I say, and…” But I know clearly that there are politicians and politicians, breeders of dogs and breeders, trainers that know an egg (a lot), according to what they say, that they defy everybody, although in reality they can’t differentiate a Pargo (Pargo is a fish) from a Sama (Sama is another fish), as would say my dear friend, Ramon Sosa Roger, of the island of Fuerteventura.
Having made this pertinent introduction, let’s start. It was 10 o’clock in the morning of the 28th of November of 1999. Within a Ford van we arrived (José Manuel Granados Guerra, at the steering wheel, Juan José Padrón Pérez, Juan José Henríquez, who writes this Chronicle). After we stopped the motor, we got off the vehicle, and when we were going to cross the road in the direction of the sports centre “Rita Hernandez”, where the event was going to be, here we saw coming a caravan made up of five vehicles with their trailers transporting Presas Canarios (of Tenerife). At the head was Antonio Gómez Ramírez. Juan José Padrón, when seeing his president, greeted him martially, to which he responded (Antonio Gómez Ramirez) by showing obscenely him the finger. We (the four), perplexed, waited while they finished passing with their vehicles, and then we crossed. Next at the Rita Hernandez I greeted Paco the “Electrician”. Several years ago, this friend lent to me a Presa female of black coat named Mora (so that I could breed her), daughter of Moreno (of black coat), brother of Tinto (black also), of Demetrio Trujillo.
Seeing that at the moment of the litter Mora had problems I took her to a veterinary. He said to me that I could leave her in his hands, that not to worry, and when everything is finished he would call me. And he called, saying to me, “Hello, Manuel, there is good news and bad news…” You already understand what was the bad news. My friend Paco remained without Mora. If I have not a bad memory, I sent him two of the puppies that were nursed.
Those of the Presa went from here to there and at the bar there were some people seated around the tables, Carla and Steve among them (Carla, blond, small and a bit plump, she seemed to me, Steve, tall, fat, with a cap visor with which he tried to disguise his bald pate, with arms the color of cheese showing his several tattoos), watched as if saying of me, that one is Curtó, and I said to myself, there is the North American representation that has come to see in life the Presa Canario that Elías Rodriguez wants to continue selling to them..
At another table another foreign representation, two men and one woman, who also watched me, with dissimulation, soon turned out to be Mateo Sgherzi, veterinarian and founder of the Club of the Presa Canario in Italy (as he presented himself to me), and two friends. The three were very, very interested in the Presa Canario, that they wanted to know me, to speak with me, etc. etc., and we spoke of the Presa Canario and its pathologies, and of the need to breed with the healthiest and more apt Presas, not with the defective. They agreed, Mr. Sgherzi is a veterinarian, and therefore understands these things, and he proposed to collaborate with me, with my advising, articles, etc. To everything I said to him yes, that which for me was not an inconvenience. The Italians took leave and they went to other things. Then I saw them spending a lot of time in company of the president of the CEPRC, Antonio Gómez Ramírez, and their power group, speaking of their things, that I imagine were very substantial.
In the short while I spent greeting, and speaking, with known friends, Juan José Padrón Pérez called me to say that Carlos Ouzande, the owner of the CH Ralph, just commented to him that Antonio Gómez Ramirez had gone to him with the story in which I had criticized Ralph in an article that I had published in the board of Elías Rodriguez (Gran Canaria). Then I went to Carlos and I requested that he come, that we had to speak. While Carlos and I were speaking, Antonio Gómez Ramírez with face of congested dog and beside himself, said to Carlos, “Do not believe anything this gilipollas (stupid) says to you…!” I requested to him that he leave, that he go about his way, that the only gilipollas there was him. But the president of the CEPRC continued saying silly things and doing obscene gestures while walking in the direction of the front door of the “Rita Hernandez”. He was furious, he continued insulting and gesturing with his hands and face, and threatening, so then when I went to him, saying “wait a moment, (he had been distanced about ten meters already), you have only to face me”, and then when he saw me approaching him, he turned his back to me and exited the “Rita Hernandez” running like the devil.
At sight of this, Carlos Ouzande remained stupefied, like most of those present, I imagine. I am a calm man and I do not become nervous easily. The reaction of that energumen were some disapproving commentaries (Antonio Gómez Ramirez, president of the CEPRC and specialist judge of Presa Canario).
I took off the bad flavor in my mouth speaking with Clemente Reyes Santana, Antonio Navarro, of Fuerteventura, who organizes the National Exhibition of that island, with Miguel Vega, president of the Club del Perro de Presa Canario de Gran Canaria, while I was drinking a mineral water. And like all the monographic of the Presa Canario more than to see Presas (because what usually appears there are pseudopresa) I go to meet the friends, that is always a pleasant thing. Then I saluted a peninsular breeder, who took occasion to say to me that a rumor had been run that the Excellent 1º of that monographic was going to be a certain Iru, that had been born in Irema Curtó Kennels, but that appeared with false papers. “But you did not know it?”, he asked me surprised seeing my incredulity. No, I did not know anything. Then yes, in Fuerteventura they already gave Excellent 1º to him, and in the specialty of Las Palmas also, and they want to make him champion of Spain. Soon I found out that Iru was not going to be present, that he had remained in Tenerife, because a leg has been turned, (they said). Antonio Navarro brought an album with several photographies of the last National Exhibition of Fuerteventura, and there was Iru, a brindle-coated Presa, nothing exceptional. The truth is that it did not sound right to me, he could have been breed by me or no, rather no, because it was outside the type of my Presas. But you do not worry, I said to my informer, I will investigate the origin of IRU.
Today, 26 of December of 1999, I have the information, the real genealogical tree of IRU. In the papers he appears as Iru de Mayantigot, son of Danto (of Mayantigot) and Dyrma (of Mayantigot), with RRC 66831, born the 10-08-97, breeder: Mayantigot (that is to say, Antonio Gómez Ramírez, president of the CEPRC and Specialist judge of Presa Canario), owner: Atlantida Can (that is, Andrés Cabrera Pérez, treasurer of the CEPRC). But the reality is really another one. Iru was breed by Manuel Chico Leon, and the real genealogical tree is this: father, Porqué (Porqué son of Mora x Tamarán). Mother, Quina (Quina daughter of Tana x Pinto). Manuel Chico Leon sold Iru when he was a puppy, to a boy of the Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife, Spain), for forty thousand pesetas. Some months later, after long insistence, Andrés Cabrera Perez bought Iru. But Iru did not have papers, because the mother, Quina, had not been confirmed. The truth is that Quina was confirmed by Antonio Gómez Ramírez (without having to be displayed at least for confirmation) a year later, more or less, after the birth of Iru.
By this I mean that Antonio Gómez Ramírez gave confirmation to Quina one day, without having left his house (neither Quina nor Antonio), because he is the president of the CEPRC and Specialist Judge of the Breed (realize, this is the way that things are done, in the CEPRC).
Once Iru was in the hands of Andrés Cabrera Pérez, Antonio Gómez Ramírez rigged him with the papers as they appear now. According to what I have understood, Manuel Chico Leon was not in agreement with this “adjustment” of papers, but the president of the CEPRC is the one who commands. There are many cases as the one of Iru, that little by little we will discover. The next one will be Tamara de Taguluche (Champion of Spain), if the informants do not fail us.
“And will you send this information to the Real Sociedad Canina de España?”. asked, with certain anguish, a partner of the CEPRC. This we will see.
I bet my shirt that from now on, Iru de Mayantigot will not be champion of anything, do you want to bet something?
I saw also, outside and inside the “Rita Hernandez”, Stefan Baumgartner, mariposeando (butterflying) between those of the CEPRC. This man I knew several years ago, when he came to my house at the hand of Rudolf Sewerin. I am going to tell you as it was. The telephone rang, I took it in my hands and I said, “Yes?” It was Manuel Sanz Timòn, veterinarian, ex-president of the Commission of Spanish Canine Breeds, of the Real Sociedad Canina Española. He called me from Hamburg (Germany), if I remember well, he was with a friend named Rudolf Sewerin, great canine fan (he said), great trainer (he added), a great friend of mine (he pointed out), who was going to come to the Canary Islands, that if I would arranged to receive him in my house, that we could speak, that due to his deep knowledge of dogs and re-foundation of breeds (canine) could be very useful to us in the recovery of the Presa Canario. I said to him that yes, that’s very well, that he could come, that I would do all the things I could for him. Manuel Sanz Timòn is an expert in several Spanish breeds, and hunting dogs. Manuel Sanz Timòn wrote a book on the Spanish Mastiff, that pleased some very much and others not, as it always happens. Manuel Sanz Timòn has had problems with the Real Sociedad Canina Española, I do not know the reasons, and was suspended. The truth is that for years I have not seen him, nor have I heard from him. On the following day of the Monographic X of the Presa Canario, a young veterinarian of Madrid said to me that they were friends, that he frequently sees him. “Then give him my regards”, I said.
Then, Rudolf Sewerin appeared at my house accompanied by two men (one older and the other very young (Stefan), who had a certain timidity and did not open his mouth all along), and a woman (young). Rudolf Sewerin speaks in Spanish correctly, he is an extroverted man, and he likes the dogs with temperament. He did had only a small idea about the Presa or only what was told to him by Manuel Sanz Timòn, by that I mean, nothing. After long conversation, I tried to bring him current, showed photographies to him (enough) of the Presas of the moment, all product of very recent crossings. There is no breed Rudolf, I said to him, nothing of anything. Soon we saw ourselves in Gran Canaria, in the occasion of the First Registry of Breed, that was carried out the 28 of April of 1989. The president of the Real Sociedad Canina Española, Valentin Alvarez was there, and the secretary, Andrés del Rio, y Carlos Salas Melero, and Ana Mesto, and the judge of Spanish breeds, Evaristo Sanllehí Piera, and Carlos Cuenca, and José Antonio Cabezas Albamontes, the more peculiar and important handler of the Spanish cinofilia (retired at the moment), and somebody else that I cannot remember.
At that time the confrontation between the “aficionados” of Gran Canaria and the ones of Tenerife (the official one) was well-known, then came Rudolf Sewerin and said, “Manuel, let me be the Celestine (procurer), I am going to speak with those people (those of the CEPRC) so that we can have a meeting and speak”. I said to him that for me there was no inconvenience. After a short while Rudolf came again saying me that Manuel Martín Bethencourt (president of this club, at that moment, if my memory does not fails) said that they had arranged to meet with the director of the Club de Presas Canarios de Gran Canaria (that in those days was presided by Agustín Lopez Melo) but not with me, to which I responded that if I could not attend the meeting there would not be a meeting – the thing was clear, those of the club of Gran Canaria did not want to know absolutely anything of the CEPRC, because of the policy that the club had taken until that moment, ignoring the fans of their province. “Go there and say it to them”, I said to Rudolf. After about ten minutes, Rudolf came to say to me that good, that Carlos Bengson Reverón (secretary of the CEPRC in those days, it seems to me) was going to meet me himself. Carlos Bengson and I spoke. In agreement, we went to have a lunch together (non scrambled) at La Isleta, where there are two good restaurants of the same proprietor, close together, one of meat and another one of fish, which you prefer? The majority of us are inclined towards meat, because the claim of fresh fish not always the truth, not in the Canary Islands. What happened after that moment is described, in a certain way, in my book “El Perro de Presa Canario, Its True Origin”. After the visit of Rudolf Sewerin, I have seen Stefan Baumgartner three or four times in Tenerife during these last years, but I did not know that he was the boy who came with Rudolf. I know that he has bought Presas in different occasions, I have understood that he looks for those with temperament, while the prototype, the phenotype, the origin, the papers, seem not interesting to him. In Tenerife he bought a puppy of more than a year of age from a friend mine, Oscar, and took it to Germany (I do not know if Stefan lives in Germany or Austria), then he called to Oscar to tell him that the dog had displasia, that he wanted to give him back, or to change for other one, fixing the price, and thus they did it. Recently Oscar has sold him a female called Mora, and a male completely unbalanced psychically for 140.000 pesetas (with this money you cannot buy a Presa Canario with a minimum of breed and quality). Stefan also took Tinguaro, a Presa of little size, of enough character, but uncertain, that I had given to a friend mine, Luís. Luís says he was sold for one hundred thousand pesetas, when Tinguaro was already about nine years of age, in addition he was infertile (a Presa from the remainder of Irema Curtó Kennels).
In the occasion of the IX monographic of the Presa Canario, Stefan Baumgartner came to Tenerife, with two friends from his country, it seemed to me that they were trainers. Stefan called by telephone from the airport Reina Sofía (South of Tenerife), to say to me that he wanted to visit my kennel, that he was interested in the purchase of a Presa Canario. He did not say to me that he has already been in my house, and kennel, with Rudolf Sewerin, and when he appeared in my kennel with his two friends the truth is that I did not recognize him, nor occurred I should know; I knew that he was the German, or Austrian, who came to the Canary Islands to buy a Presa, that he had relation, or friendship, with Agustín Lopez Melo, because he was seen speaking with him, nothing else. Stefan said to me that he was not interested in the purchase of puppies of Presas, but in males and females, of more than a year. “These I do not have”, I said to him. “But the Presas can be seen?”, he asked me. Yes, of course, I responded to him, and I showed him my Presas, included some puppies that were there with the mothers. One of his friends was interested in Dama, wanted to buy her at all costs. I said to him that she was not for sale. But the man insisted. I, to hear him speaking, asked, how much would you give to buy her? After certain murmurs between the three, Stefan said that the price was two hundred fifty thousand.
I responded to him that from the previous litter I had made eight hundred thousand, and that I thought to continue breeding with her, etc. etc. “Perhaps you would sell the hen who lays golden eggs?”, I asked him. The three Europeans smiled. Once again I said to them that I did not have adult Presas for sale. They liked Dama very much, they said, and I commented that she goes very well to the attack, about Godo I said to them that he is a phenomenon working, that is not scared of anything, that he makes spectacular remote attacks and revirs. Then seeing that there were no adult Presas to buy in Irema Curtó Kennels, Stefan and his friends went away. There was no more. At no moment did they propose to test some of my Presas. By those dates Tomás had already died, and he was not spoken of.
Within the “Rita Hernández”, Clemente Reyes introduced to me Fernando, a journalist, during the display of the adult Presas. Fernando said to me that he had a Presa Canario, “he is son of that fawn”, he added. The father of the Presa Canario of Fernando was a species of hot dog with legs of a Basset, with deviation of forelegs included. While I watched the presas I saw in the corner of my right eye Elías Rodriguez and Steve (Presa Dog) who came towards where I was, stopped behind, and coming to me, Elías Rodríguez said, from about two meters of distance, “pardons, Steve and Carla are going to be in Tenerife tomorrow and want to know if they can visit your kennel”.
“Will it be possible?”, I thought, and I responded to him, “look, you do not have to speak to me for nothing, I am a serious and honest person, and you are mierda (s#*t)”. Elías insisted, nervous, had changed color, Steve, nervous also, with his cap visor, his tattoos, I added, “you do not have to come to my kennel for nothing”. Elías (dressed in black) and Steve went away. How was I going to receive in my kennel Carla (Presa Dam) and Steve (Presa Dog) after the amount of slanders they had seeded (with their messages in the board of Elías Rodríguez) against my person and my Presas? My kennel are open to everybody (except to people like Carla, Steve, Elías Rodriguez, etc.) from 10 to 13, and from 16 to 20 hours, every day, except Saturdays in the evening and Sundays, when I close to relax.
When the Monographic X of the Presa Canario was finished, Clemente Reyes Santana, José Manuel Granados Guerra, Juan José Padrón Pérez (alias El Herreño), Juan José Henríquez, and I, went away to eat. Clemente was not loquacious, as usual when he does not know people. Juan Jose Henríquez, because of his hearing problem, listened more than he spoke, José Manuel Granados Guerra and El Herreño spoke, I took part when I could, or they left me. The truth is that we were already tired, and with the disgusted sensation that it had left in the head and the heart… The food was not absolutely bad.
During the return in the ship Jose and I spoke of Presas, of hip x-rays, of prognatismos (undershot), of deviation of forelegs, of angulations in the back legs of Presas that sometimes give pain, that it seems they walk on stilts, that without temperament and without guard instinct there is no Perro de Presa Canario. Do you not think so?
30 of December, 1999
Menuel Curto Gracia
Published in UKC Presa Canario – United Perro de Presa Canario Club
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