United States PRE Breeders Association



D. Tomas Batalia – The End of an Era





It was with great sadness that I was informed this morning of the passing yesterday of renowned Costa Rican Breeder and P.R.E. Advocate, D. Tomas Batalia Esquivel.

I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have met D. Tomas Batalia nearly a decade ago when I travelled to Costa Rica for the first time in the company of Barbara Currie. It was evident  to me then that a deep friendship existed between the two Breeders which had been seeded several decades earlier. It was on this occasion I visited his ranch and had the unique opportunity to witness D. Tomas present his young horses to Barbara Currie. It was a magical experience to see this frail but stately gentleman take such great pride in presenting his horses to the Godmother of the P.R.E. in the United States. I can still recall her whisper in my ear: “ Moderate your enthusiasm because you might just wind up with the gift of a horse ”.  Such was his good nature and generosity.

I later came to learn that Don Tomas was the very first Costa Rican Breeder to import Pure Spanish Horses from Spain in 1961. In fact, he later made equine history for importing 55 P.R.E. horses in one plane. Several years later, while I toured the country to assist with Stud Book Inscriptions and Revisions, I came across offspring from his farm throughout the country.


His commitment and dedication to the Pure Spanish Horse have earned D. Tomas the prestigeous  ” Golden Horse Award ” from the Mexican P.R.E. Association and many other distinctions received in countries such as Spain, United States , Guatemala and Honduras and many others.


While I could hardly do justice to the scope of recognitions and contributions of Don Tomas to the P.R.E. horse, I am grateful to him for enriching my visits to Costa Rica and for affording me the opportunity to meet his entire family over the years most of whom I now call friends.

A rich era in the history of the Pure Spanish Horse in North and Central America ended today.

On behalf of the PREBA Board of Directors, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Batalia and Xirinachs Families. 

May Don Tomas rest in eternal peace.


Alexander B. Zilo