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Bernardo Alvarez-Calderon Dies at 78

Accomplished Peruvian horseman bred Mucho Gusto, had international success.

(L-R): Coty Alvarez-Calderon, Gabriela Alvarez-Calderon, and Bernardo Alvarez-Calderon

(L-R): Coty Alvarez-Calderon, Gabriela Alvarez-Calderon, and Bernardo Alvarez-Calderon

Courtesy of Gabriela Alvarez-Calderon

Accomplished Peruvian equestrian Bernardo Alvarez-Calderon died Aug. 8 at his home in Lima, Peru, due to complications from a fall. He was 78.

"My beautiful Dad rests with God," Gabriela Alvarez-Calderon shared on Twitter. "Blessed to have shared with him the love for horses. He loved life, loved his family, loved horses. Grateful for every day on earth with him, until we ride again together in heaven."

The breeder of 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Presented by Runhappy (G1) winner Mucho Gusto, Alvarez-Calderon was a passionate Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and enjoyed watching his horses compete in both his native country and in the United States. 

He was an accomplished show jumper in the early 1970s, good enough to compete in the South American championships. 

"Horses have been my life," he told BloodHorse this year.

Alvarez-Calderon's initial purchase in the U.S. was Redwing Blackbird (in foal to Proud Appeal) for $9,600 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky January Sale in 1986. The foal, a filly named Proud Emilia, won races at Suffolk Downs and made her way to New Jersey for the 1990 Garden State Park Budweiser Breeders' Cup Handicap (G3), where she ran third to future Hall of Famer Safely Kept.

Alvarez-Calderon-bred and -raced runners have twice won Breeders' Cup Challenge events in Peru, and both made their way to the U.S. to compete in the World Championships. Valiant Emilia finished eighth behind winner Untapable in the 2014 Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita Park, and Birdie Gold ran 12th behind winner Wuheida in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) at Del Mar. His Dominguin made his way from Peru to Dubai but was unplaced in the 2006 Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group U.A.E. Derby (G2).

The family broodmare band under the Teneri Farm banner in the U.S. numbers six, including Mucho Gusto's dam, Itsagiantcauseway, who is carrying a Medaglia d'Oro  filly, and Birdie Gold, in foal to Bernardini . The mares foal out at Shawhan Place in Kentucky. In Peru, Alvarez-Calderon had some 40 mares at his 250-acre Haras La Qallana.

Alvarez-Calderon is survived by his wife, Coty, sons Bernardo and Abel, and daughters Gabriela, Ines, Ani, and Marilu. His family plans to carry on his legacy in the Thoroughbred industry by continuing the breeding programs in Peru and the U.S.

A private mass will be held in Peru.