I wonder how many of us have visited Golegã and returned with a Lusitano – their first Lusitano??!!
by Morwenna Hext-Howe
I was invited to join a team of Luso aficionados on a trip to Portugal to enjoy the winter fair at Golega. It seemed like a bit of fun and a great way to avoid a week of winter weather in the UK so I agreed to go. Amongst other things that we had planned for our trip was a visit to see RUBI AR who was freshly home from his wonderful performance at the London Olympics.
We all had our photos taken with Rubi who clearly loved the attention. Having taken up a lot of Gonzalo’s time we were invited to stay and watch him carry on with his morning schooling of a 5 year old son of Rubi. I was so taken by the ability of this Rubi youngster that I had an idea to try and breed a foal by this young stallion before he became famous, and expensive! Not wanting to own a Luso mare I tried to lease one for the duration of a pregnancy and up to weaning of the foal. After some research it became clear that unless I had a substantial cheque book leasing a mare didn’t seem likely! However I was introduced to a very well respected mare owner who invited me to look at his mares with my project in mind. I had the first of many delightful days at Tramagueira where I shook hands on a deal to borrow a mare from the Tramagueira stud for my project. Of course we then had to look at all the other young horses in their age groups in the fields at Tramagueira. Amongst the yearling colts was a bay with white on his face who stood out from the others partly because all the others were greys but partly because of the amazing nature of this little horse. Everywhere you turned this chap was practically in your pocket! Every photo of this group of horses always has this bay colt right in the middle of the photo. He was like a big friendly dog who just had to be the centre of attention. And he wasn’t going to make a great height and I prefer smaller horses. By the time we had stayed for dinner and had drunk quite a lot of red wine and a serious amount of beautiful Port my project to breed a Lusitano had gone out of the window and instead I became the owner of a Campeador bay yearling colt!! So I went to Portugal just for a fun week and came back with a horse – my first Lusitano HINO!
Hino (right) as a 3 yr old. He’s now 5 and in training with Vasco Miro Godhino.