More news about our Brazil trip…..

While Brazil is certainly our favorite destination, often, the best part of travel is the company you keep.  This was especially true for our trip.  We had great friends along and were able to take everyone to visit farms that are owned by friends we have made on our trips to Brazil for the last ten years.   Scott and Pam started out looking for a young horse to train, Linda was looking to ride as many horses as possible, Jennifer was looking for a young horse as well, and Nancy was looking to gain riding experience on upper level horses.

Our first visit was to Japu Top, the home of Tonico Pereira and Tatiana Pontifex.  Tatiana and Tonico have built upon the legacy created by his father, Mr. Toni Pereira, so that now he can offer the finest bloodlines of Lusitanos anywhere.  His horses have such quality and the hospitality is warm and gracious. We got to see Zucchini Do Top, Xama Do Top, Brazil Do Top, and many other exceptionally fine horses.  Linda had a great lesson in piaffe, passage, and flying changes on Zucchini, and Nancy did great canter work with him.  Tonico and Tatiana also have a marvelous aviary and we enjoyed learning about all the species of birds that Tonico keeps on the farm.

Visiting the stunningly situated farm, Coudelaria Rocas do Vouga, owned by Manuel and Thereza Almeida, and home to Olympic rider Luiza Almeida and her talented siblings Thaisa, Manuel, and Pedro, was a special treat. It is easy to see Olympic dreams and aspirations being nurtured in such an environment.  A special thank you must be offered to Raul Silva, our host and guide for the day. Raul’s exemplary management and gentlemanly demeanor are in evidence in all facets of the the farm.

We went next to Haras Juliana to see several of the horses that were slated for the auction, including Zaire and Al Capone.  A rainy cool day was warmed by the hospitality and opportunity to ride many horses.  Everyone enjoyed a fun ride on Al Capone, and we all enjoyed watching the schooling of Xodo and Zaire. (And if you remember from the first post, Zaire is now headed to his lucky new owner, Laura, in Salt Lake City!)

We found ourselves next at the home of our dear friend Davi Carrano.  Manege Sant’ Adelaide is located, amazingly, within 20 minutes of downtown Sao Paolo, but is a soothing green oasis.  We saw a number of Davi’s horses, watched them schooling, and rode Bacco, Ataualpa, Xamorro, Biscuit, Prince, and other amazing fellows.  The quality of the training shines in Davi’s horses….as there are often children coming to ride the stallions…and riders of all levels can learn from each of them.  Though we had to leave that night we were all happy to know that we were having a three day clinic with these wonderful horses beginning the next week.  And Nancy came away with her head reeling, as it seems she had been chosen by a horse…….stay tuned.

Next up was a visit to Coudelaria Ihla Verde, the home and farm belonging to our friend Victor Oliva….and the site of the 13th Annual Luso-Brasileiro Auction.  The farm was a beehive of activity with all the preparations for the auction in full swing (and only 2 days away)….but we were graciously welcomed in a style that only Victor can offer.  We settled in to watch and to ride.  Rogerio Clementino, Olympic competitor, brought out Veneno and had a lesson with Daniel Pinto, World Champion and Portuguese Olympic veteran.  After the lesson, Linda, Scott, and Jennifer were able to ride Veneno for a bit….and Linda treated us all to an exhibition of piaffe and passage.  Well done Linda!

We had a great lunch with Victor, Daniel, and Carlos Lopes, head of the Portuguese selection committee….and a lively discussion arose about the controversy in the FEI. We didn’t come to any agreement, but talking with competitors and judges at such a high level offers insight and can inform later discussions.

Here is a gallery of images to enjoy.  In another day or so I’ll have the complete auction report (it was VERY exciting) and the promised article about the thermographic imaging of my saddles.

Amities ~ D Barbier