A pure bred Lusitano is an individual whose parents are registered, ultimately, with the APSL in Portugal (this can be done through various national associate societies such as our own), and who have both also been graded by the APSL as good enough specimens to represent the breed (again this can also be done via the national society). Even if an individual has the correct pedigree and is entered in the “book of births”, its own offspring cannot be registered unless the parents are graded and in the “book of adults”.
So, grading is quite important as any subsequent breeding ability will be affected by performance at grading.
The generally perceived wisdom is that the animal will have a higher mark, the closer it is to totally fulfilling its genetic potential, so don’t rush your four year old colts into grading! Better to let them develop with some serious ridden work and finish growing first. Colts/stallions must be shown ridden, whereas fillies/mares can be shown either in hand or under saddle. You will probably stand a better chance of a higher grading if the mare is shown ridden. You can grade your horses at any time in their adult lives, providing they are in the book of births.
Half breds are exactly that, one of the parents must be a graded pure bred Lusitano, entered in the book of adults. Cruzados are horses that can demonstrate at least 1% graded, pure bred Lusitano ancestry in their pedigree.
If buying horses in Portugal that are described as Lusitano, do make sure that you see the passport and look for the birth number. Make sure the passport refers to the horse you are buying, make sure that the horse travels with and is delivered with this passport. If the horse is Lusitano, the vendor should provide you with and APSL change of ownership form, signed by them, and also a photocopy of some personal identification that has the vendors photograph and signature. Without this you will not be able to register the horse in your name when you get it back to UK.
If you are having your horse vetted, make sure that it is not the vendor’s vet! Vets in Portugal are not necessarily all as professional as we expect them to be in the UK.
Make sure you use a carrier that is not going to keep your horse on a lorry for a week, all around Spain and France.
Don’t be frightened to ask for advice, we are all enthusiasts of the breed, and will be pleased to help you!
NB. Applications for grading need to be made as soon as possible in order to check all the paperwork well in advance of the show date.
If you have any questions or need further advice then please don’t hesitate to contact us on email@example.com