Ênio Monte (1928 - 2020) - English
The origin of the Fila Brasileiro breed - a descendant of dogs brought by European settlers - is controversial and has already given rise to several theories about the possible components of its development. It is not appropriate to discuss them here. Historically, the first specimens to receive R.I. (or Initial Registry) at KCP (Kennel Club Paulista) and endorsement from BKC (Brazil Kennel Club), in 1946, were Bumbo and Rola da Vila Paulista, owned by Carlos Alberto Euler Bueno, both born in 1945. And the first three litters were registered in 1947, 1948 and 1949 owned by João Ebner, who started his breeding with the puppies produced by Champion Bumbo of Vila Paulista in Tita do Rancho Alto. In 1951, the fourth litter to be registered at KCP was born in the city of Santos, on the coast of São Paulo, from the Parnapuan Kennel, owned by attorney Paulo Santos Cruz (1915 - 1990), who would later be considered the “Father of the Fila Brasileiro” (for historical record purposes, these puppies: Abaeté, Anaí, Anaú, Albatroz, Ariti, Acácia and Amoreco, were children of Natuno of Parnapuan and of Champion Lupevon (Cadiz y Cadiz). That same year, he was part of the trio - also made up by veterinarian Erwin Waldemar Rathsam and engineer João Ebner - responsible for writing the first official standard of the breed, published by KCP.
At the turn of the first to the second half of the 20th century, British William Frederick Chalmers (1921 - 2002), who lived in Pedro Leopoldo (MG), in the historic Fazenda Jaguara, founded in 1724, also stood out as an important breeder.
In the south of Minas Gerais were the main barns supplying the genetic material that supplied those pioneers, with emphasis on the properties of José Gomes de Oliveira (1903 - 1998), in Varginha; Pedro Ribeiro Junqueira de Souza (1908 - 1991), in Carmo de Minas; and João Costa (1905 - 1981), in Itanhandu. And one of the most enthusiasts among Paulistas interested in the then still often called Fila Nacional was a young civil engineer, named Ênio Monte, graduated from USP's Polytechnic School in 1951. Specialized in the construction of movie theaters, his professional activity made him travel constantly through inland towns, where he began searching for dogs similar to the ones he used to see in his childhood, helping workers herd the cattle around the city of São Paulo, in the historic neighborhood of Ipiranga, name of the stream on whose banks Dom Pedro I proclaimed the independence of Brazil. Some time later, already very professionally successful, it was in this same region, on Rua Bom Pastor, that Ênio settled his engineering office, his building materials store and his ABC Kennel. At that time, due to his enthusiasm with the breeding of the Fila dog, he started keeping intense contact with Paulo Santos Cruz, of whom he became a friend and from whom he received a puppy called Orixá de Parnapuan, who would become one of the most awarded dogs in São Paulo exhibitions.
Until the 1960's, Ênio Monte was one of the greatest breeders in the country, in addition to being the main designer of the Clube Paulista do Fila Brasileiro. Unfortunately, several members of this entity, from the 1970's onwards, perhaps enthusiastic about the impressive growth of the breed - at the time, the champion in number of puppies registered with the BKC -, started to crossbreed with Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs and Great Danes. The production of these crossbreeds, in principle, would be registered in a parallel Stud Book and should, afterwards, undergo rigorous technical evaluation. In practice, this parallel registry was never done and the miscegenation was spreading in an uncontrolled way, without any zootechnical criterion; and, what is worse, the puppies were registered with false genealogies, as if they were products of Fila Brasileiro's father and mother. The enormous popularity of the breed made this mixbreeding an excellent commercial activity for the crossbreeders, who started selling, at high prices, puppies with exotic characteristics, according to the taste of the buyer. Unfortunately, the traditional ABC Kennel was involved in this process, with the intense use of the Mastiff breeding animal. Many years later, in 2011, Ênio Monte, in a meeting with CAFIB directors, at Sociedade Hípica Paulista, confirmed this miscegenation. In an excerpt from his testimony, published on our website on August 15, 2011, he says:
... “In my opinion the ideal would be a blood clash with the Fila Brasileiro's breeding breed and then I imported an English Mastiff dog. A very beautiful dog came, but it was inferior to the Orixá of Parnapuan, buandt I was unable to use it in breeding, because it was not fertile. I knew then that João Batista Gomes had brought another Mastiff and managed to have him mated. It was a very big, strong dog. The descendants of João Batista Gomes's Mastiff produced good results, had good phenotype and temperament, unlike the descendants of the Neapolitan Mastiff who were unpredictable ... ... these Neapolitan Mastiffs had a problem, they were very treacherous dogs, they had a lot of problems with these dogs. I understood that the ideal would be to continue crossing with English Mastiffs to return to the origin. The Neapolitan was already a parallel cross that had not worked out very well. ”...
On that same occasion, Ênio praised the value of CAFIB's work and said that he recommended our Filas to anyone who asked him for guidance in buying puppies.
In his cinematographic curriculum, it is still necessary to mention the co-authorship, with Procópio do Valle - and 43 other collaborators, among them Erwin Waldemar Rathsam and Luís Hermany -, of the great work “O Grande Livro do Fila Brasileiro”, published in 1981.
As his great passion for animals was not restricted to dogs only, Ênio acquired a rural property in Arandu, in the São Paulo region of Avaré, where he started devoting himself, mainly, to equine breeding. In this area of 1,200 hectares, Haras Itapuã was installed in 1970, a pioneer in Brazil in the breeding of classic equestrian horses. With careful technical care, the pastures were established with the assistance of renowned specialists and the first two imported Anglo-Argentine stallions immediately proved themselves to be exponents in jumping events, mounted by Olympic riders. Chifle, who later came to be called Alliage, was the mount of José Roberto Reynoso Fernandes, the famous “Alfinete”, and Lancero was led by Colonel Renyldo Ferreira (these two notable riders had joined the team that, in 1967, won the first gold medal of Brazilian horse-riding in Pan American Games, in the city of Winnipeg, Canada). Then, Ênio started prioritizing the use of European lineages and, from well-managed crosses with specimens mainly from the German Trakehner, Hannoverian and Holsteiner breeds in Purebred base mares, he developed the Brazilian Equestrian Horse (better known as BH), whose official entity, the Brazilian Association of Equestrian Horse Breeders (ABCCH), with support from the National Horse Breeding Coordinating Commission (CCCN), was founded in 1977 as a delegate to the Ministry of Agriculture, responsible for its Genealogical Registration. Ênio Monte was its first president and he also presided over other terms. Haras Itapuã is the only one in Brazil to produce Olympic and Pan American animals awarded in the three modalities of classic horse-riding (Jumping, Dressage and Complete Riding Competition).
Ênio Monte was also one of the founders and members of the first board of the Brazilian Association of Breeders of the Andalusian Horse, developed in 1975 and, until 1978, based on his property, at Rua Bom Pastor, 2,530. This entity later became the Brazilian Lusitan Horse Breeders Association (ABPSL) and, in 1991, signed a Reciprocity Protocol with the Portuguese Lusitan Breeders Association (APSL), which allows all the specimens of the breed registered in Brazil to be also recognized by the Portuguese Stud Book. This story began in 1975, at the height of the Carnation Revolution, a troubled political moment in Portugal that overthrew Salazar's dictatorial regime and led to the country's redemocratization. At that time, when farms were taken and the breed started to run serious risk of extinction, José Monteiro, director of the National Stud of Portugal, to preserve the institution's ancient genetic selection, offered to a group of Brazilian breeders the cream of that breeding stock. These enthusiasts, including Ênio Monte, brought, without delay, to Brazil, in 1976, all the animals that they managed to accommodate in a chartered cargo plane. After more than four decades, Brazil has come to be considered the best Lusitan breeder in the world and has exported several specimens to the United States and Europe, including Portugal, a country with a long and respected equestrian tradition. As a curiosity - although the oldest treaty on horsemanship that is known is the “HeppiHippike” (“About Equestrian Art”), written by the Greek general and rider Xenophon 380 years Before Christ -, the first technical manual on the noble equestrian art was published in Portugal in 1433, entitled, in the language of the time, “Livro da Ensynança de Bem Cavalgar toda a Sela”, by Dom Duarte de Aviz, son of João I, King of Portugal and Algarve and Master of Ceuta.
And, as if that were not enough, Ênio Monte is also considered the coach of the so-called Brazilian Andalusian Horse, which is based on the best mares of the Purebred Lusitan, Purebred Spanish, and some other lineages, with the objective of producing a complete animal for all types of equestrian sports.
He died on Wednesday, January 12, 2020, at the age of 91. Just like Paulo Santos Cruz, Ênio Monte's health also began to fail significantly after the death of his Antonieta (yes, both were married to Antonietas), which occurred in December 2019, also at the age of 91.
CAFIB's respect and homage to the successful engineer, passionate cinematographer, internationally renowned hypologist and, above all, excellent person, Ênio Monte, are registered here.