ZBS WITH ENRIQUE ZOBEL: What’s his most profitable farm product?

Raising thoroughbreds is most profitable.

Don Enrique Zobel, the ultimate livestock farmer wheelchair-bound after falling from his horse during a polo game in Spain.

WE INTERVIEWE D we interviewed Don Enrique Zobel in his home in Ayala Alabang in 1994. He was then wheelchair-bound most of the time since falling from his horse during a polo game in Spain in 1991.

MOST PROFITABLE FARM PROJECT – Early in the interview, we asked him what was his most profitable farm project in his 400-hectare farm in Calatagan, Batangas. His ready answer was raising thoroughbred horses. At the time, he had 70 breeders 90 percent of which gave birth every year. However, despite the high percentage of reproduction, he said his production was not enough to meet the local demand. 

P150,000 T0 300,000 EACH – He sold every two-year-old colt or filly at P150,000 to P300,000, depending on the bloodline. Those amounts could be equivalent to millions of pesos today.


The large meaty Indu Brazil is Don Enrique Zobel’s favorite cattle.

BEEF CATTLE – Of course, his biggest project was raising beef cattle, particularly the Indu-Brazil breed. At the time of our visit, he had 520 breeders, most of them Indu-Brazils. He loved this breed because it is a large animal (700 kilos at 2.5 years old) and is hardy for tropical conditions. It can survive on leaves during the dry summer months. During the rainy season, it does not suffer from foot rot which was common in some foreign breeds.

CROSSBREDS THAT ARE MEATY – Zobel said he crossed the Indu-Brazil with Limousin, a French breed, to produce crossbreds that are meaty and fast-growing, gaining about a kilo in one day.


Native and imported deer are easy to raise.

NATIVE & IMPORTED DEER – Deer is another project at the Zobel farm. At the time of our interview, there were at least 300 deer grazing together with the cattle. The stocks consisted of native deer and three imported breeds from New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. He particularly liked the Russa from Malaysia because it is twice as big as the native breed. It could weigh 110 kilos at maturity, he said.

EASY TO RAISE – Deer farming, according to Zobel, was profitable because there was no special treatment given them. They just grazed in the pasture most of the time. The only thing special that was given them was the salt lick impregnated with dewormer. The animals gave birth twice a year so they multiplied fairly fast. He sold dear meat at the Calatagan market at twice the price of beef.

AGGIE GRADUATE – By the way, Don Enrique took up Agriculture at the UCLA Davis. After  finishing his course in 1952, he came back to the Philippines and started developing his farm in Calatagan.—ZAC B. SARIAN, Memoirs.

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