By Claartje van Andel
Photography: Claartje van Andel, FEI
Inheriting a breeding enterprise that’s been handed down through family generations is one way to launch a career as a sport horse breeder – having a heart attack at the age of 37 and realizing that life is more precious than working as an international architecht was the defining moment for Diogo Lima Mayer, demonstrating that success is driven by commitment and passion
In Monte Velho, a little more than one hour drive east of Lisbon, in the Alentejo region of Portugal, the Lima Mayer family has established a wonderful Eco-Resort (for both humans and equines). It all began when Diogo Lima Mayer Snr – an international architect – suffered a heart attack in 1989 at the tender age of 37. His doctor advised a new hobby as a way of avoiding stress, so Lima Mayer decided to start riding lessons, and purchase a Lusitano. As happens with so many people, this introduced completely changed his life and that of his entire family, including his four sons. Today, Monte Velho is a luxurious boutique hotel for guests who appreciate scenery, history – with many local sites – Portuguese food, Monte Velho wine and, last
but not least, the horses. Lusitanos to ride and to simply admire.
Never refrain from looking for good movements, of course. As dressage is very competitive, we also like to have better movements. But the walk and the canter are the most important gaits. I believe trot is extremely over-estimated by many people. The trot is the least important gait, as you can reproduce it. In our personal of developing our home-bred Equador to European level, we travelled to Carl Hester in the UK to train and get his advice. It was amazing how much we learned in a few short months. This was the first ever Grand Prix season for our rider João Torrao and he made it to 68% at the Europeans, and rode very good tests in Hickstead. We are proud...To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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