ABOUT THIAGO BOECHAT
Exposed to horses at an early age, Thiago Boechat grew up surrounded by horses on his father’s farm in Brazil. By age 5, the young horseman was competing in roping, barrel racing and pole bending, while also helping his father’s workers move horses and cattle on a daily basis.
Later on, Thiago got a reining horse and went to a clinic given by Jango Salgado in Brazil. Salgado, who used to work for Doug Milholland, is one of the top reining trainers in Brazil. At that clinic, Thiago learned how to show his new horse, and more importantly, that a career in reining “might be his future goal.”
With a newfound passion, Thiago worked on his reining skills for he next several years, and then came to the United States in 1993 to work for NRHA trainer and Judge Joe Hayes, in Gainesville, Texas.
After his stint with Hayes, Thiago returned to Brazil, where he attended Veterinary college. It would be several years before he would have a chance to step back into the reining arena, but when he did, it was in a big way.
The young trainer got his first horse for training in 1996, and by 1998 Thiago had won the Brazilian Limited Open National Reining Championship, and the Limited Open and Open Championships at the Brazilian Reining Futurity. A year later in 1999, Thiago won a Breeder’s Cup at what was Brazil’s largest paying reining show at that point. That same year, he also graduated from vet school, and started his own reining, cow horse, and breeding business. From that point on, Thiago started to develop a big goal that included a trip back to the United States.
“Everything that I try to do, I want to do the best that I can. The NRHA Futurity is the biggest reining horse show in the world and I had a dream that one day I could be part of the futurity finals in Oklahoma City. I didn’t know how long it would take, but I knew if I had a horse good enough I could do it,” says Thiago.
After meeting Doug at the 2002 USET Festival of Champions, Thiago Boechat returned home to Brazil, and continued to train and prepare for the futurities. Amongst the horses in his barn, there was one that he had particularly high hopes for, named Roosters Tru Luck.
With a good showing at the Brazilian Futurity, Thiago turned his dreams into reality when he shipped the stallion to Milholland’s facility in Purcell, Oklahoma in September of 2003. He spent the remaining months until the futurity training out of Milholland’s ranch, getting further help from Doug during that time.
With the crowd behind him, this Brazilian reiner rode Roosters Tru Luck through a dynamic pattern, marking a 222 to capture 7th place out of 434 entries. Boechat and the fluid moving bay stallion also finished 3rd in the Intermediate Open and Limited Open divisions, bringing their total earnings for the NRHA Futurity show to over $50,000.
After the Futurity, Thiago and his wife Izabel Kristina Boechat moved to Purcell, Oklahoma, where Thiago is now embarking on a new career managing Xtra Quarter Horses.