About Us

There is something magical, almost enchanting, about Scottsdale, Arizona.  Perhaps it’s the beauty of the desert with the Saguaro cactus and blooming flowers, the year-round sunshine.  However, it was the fact that Scottsdale is arguably the Arabian horse capitol of the world, and the extraordinary combination of it all why Joao and Annette Rodrigues decide to make their home in “The Valley,” and where Rodrigues Training Center could be built and flourish amidst it all.


Joao is no stranger to the horse community, coming from three generations of horsemen, including his grandfather, and father Zeze.  As he was growing up in Brazil, it was Joao’s father who began focusing his efforts solely on the Arabian horse, and the Rodrigues family established a successful training and breeding farm.  Even today, the farm continues to thrive under Zeze’s guidance. 


It was the time spent at Haras Capim Fino, Joao explains, was a tremendous opportunity growing up.  The Rodrigues family managed this top-breeding farm located on the rolling hills in Sao Paulo State.  Joao had hands on experiences with some star-breeding stallions such as *Almaden, *Aladdinn Echo and *Cajun Prince HCF.


With an exceptional foundation tracing back through generations, Joao developed invaluable training techniques and was fortunate to develop his own well-rounded horsemanship skills.  Joao recalls winning his first National Championship trophy in Western Pleasure when he was merely 11 years old, an early testament Vision showing of his absolutely grounded roots in the performance division. 


Having been captivated by the intricacies of Arabian horse breeding and halter realm, Joao found a new passion with the Arabian horse.  It is no mistake that having such a solid performance background has given Joao a better understanding of the fundamentals of the horse overall.   Joao was only 18 when he decided to turn his heritage and passion into a full-time profession.  It was only a few short years later he earned his first “moment in the spotlight” as a professional when he showed the striking bay son of El Shaklan, Backhar NA, to win Brazilian Reserve National Championship honors, and was also voted best handler of the show.  An extraordinary achievement for this young professional.


Soon thereafter, and realizing that in any career you most keep evolving, Joao made the choice to begin traveling to the United States in order to gain valuable experience assisting some of the nation’s best halter trainers.


It was the opportunity to work for well-known breeder Lucy Whittier, of Las Colinas, that landed Joao a permanent home in the States.  No doubt this was an incredible experience to acquire more knowledge about pedigrees, breeding and horse husbandry.   It was the exquisite black mare Regal Fada JP, who captured Joao’s heart from the beginning, and with Lucy’s support he led her to his first US National Top Ten title in a very competitive class. 


Joao’s quest for more experience and even greater education led him to opportunities with other legendary farms such as Ventura Farms and Midwest Station I with Bob & Janene Boggs.  With this reflection, Joao still holds strong that his biggest mentor is that of his father Zeze. 


joao5The most defining decision to make his home in the States came when Joao met his beautiful and beloved wife, Annette.  A Minnesota native and horsewoman herself, Joao and Annette make a solid team for Rodrigues Training Center.  Together they share their amazing love for the Arabian horse. Not to be outdone by her husband’s achievements as a youth, in 2006 Annette won a big title with a Brazilian National Championship in Western Pleasure, Ladies to Ride, on HSE Nolani. 


Fast-forwarding to present time, it was an easy transition to establish Rodrigues Training Center.  Joao and Annette agree that it was simply the right time, right place and right team.  As Joao adds, “Experience, liability, work ethic, marketing skills and horsemanship.  When I bring a horse to a show I want my client to have a sense of pride.  I cannot control the results but I can control how good the horse will look and that is a satisfaction I take seriously.  I can guarantee the client will be proud of their horse, the horse is going to be well trained, well conditioned and show with a good attitude.”


A Word From Joao Rodrigues:


“Annette and I welcome you to our facility here in Scottsdale, Arizona, a place we like to think of as Arabian horse Mecca.  Rodrigues Training Center is a full-service training, showing and marketing operation for Arabians and Half-Arabians.  Most of all we offer a fresh approach to the industry today and do it with a passion and love for the beautiful Arabian horse.  Please feel free to contact us anytime.”

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