As bad as the weather was last year, this year entirely made up for it! Wow! Sun and warmth and just the right cooling off in the evening kept us all, and the horses, comfortable! We had wonderful days of touring medieval castles, monasteries and Abbeys, some Sopa da Pedra in Almeirim (among many delightful meals), stayed in some marvelous pousadas and a castle or two, and even met the brother of a dear family friend from Healdsburg. It truly is a very small world.

One of the most touching moments of the trip was watching Mestre Luis Valença on horseback after an hiatus of many years. Everyone in the crowd was moved. Parabens, Mestre! He was flanked by two of his daughters and two of his grandchildren, Ines and Luis, both doing very well as young riders in Portugal, both for the family spectacles and in European dressage competitions. Congratulations to the entire family.

Riding for Mestre Luis and the Centre Equestre de Leziria Grande, Paulo Sergio Perdigao gave a wonderful long reining demonstration that was also a crowd favorite. Paulo Sergio is a long-time rider with the Portuguese National School of Equestrian Art. We have had the pleasure to watch him on both occasions when the Four Schools performed in Paris.

The champion three year old stallion was shown in hand by our friend, Carlos Oliveira, for owners who are friends from France. The champion, Hippus, was bred by Manuel Braga at Sociedade das Silveiras. Parabens para tudos!

And the best part? Faisao Vaz Freire, a grandson of Larapio, was Champion of Champions for Golegã 2015. And…another Larapio grandson was ridden to second place (72.39%) in the Grand Prix Kur by Rodrigo Torres of Torres Vaz Freire…and yet another Larapio grandson, Zimbro, took fourth place in the Kur, ridden by Maria Amaral, with a score of 67.80%. Congratulations to our friends at Torres Vaz Freire for a marvelous showing.

Enjoy the gallery of images from Keron Psillas…and make plans to join us next year. We can’t guarantee the weather, but we absolutely will guarantee a marvelous experience! Thank you to Rita Fernandes and Jose Neves for two of the photos below.