Close-Up on the 2023 Portuguese Dressage Championships

Oct 04, 2023
Text: Lusitano World · Photos: Carlos Hernâni

The Sociedade Hípica Portuguesa, located at the heart of Lisbon, was the venue for the Portuguese Dressage Championships held during the CDI 3* from September 29th to October 1st, 2023.

The event featured participants from various levels, ranging from the pony level to Grand Prix, and drew an enthusiastic audience along with ambitious riders who were eager to vie for the championship title and sashes. Riders had the option to compete in either the CDI classes or National level tests to earn points for the Championships. The competition was fierce as everyone aimed for the prestigious titles and championship awards.


Senior Class brings a Fifth Title for Maria Caetano

The highlight of the weekend was the fiercely contested Senior Grand Prix Class. Emotions ran high, especially in the aftermath of the European Championships in Riesenbeck, where the Portuguese team missed securing the coveted Paris Olympic team spot. This national finale marked the conclusion of the current season for the Portuguese riders.

Eleven combinations competed in the 2023 Portuguese Grand Prix Championships, with seven advancing to the third round featuring the freestyle finals. Maria Caetano emerged as the standout performer, claiming her fifth National Grand Prix Champion's title. Riding her 11-year-old Portuguese Sport Horse, Hit Plus (by Bretton Woods x Peralta Pinha), she consistently outperformed herself in all three classes, achieving 69.522% in the Grand Prix, 70.830% in the Special, and 74.290% in the freestyle.

Notably, Caetano was the sole representative from the Riesenbeck team competing in Lisbon, as German-based Joao Moreira, Maria Amaral, and Jeannette Jenny chose not to participate in the Nationals.

In a field of seven riders in the freestyle finals in Lisbon, Rita Ralão Duarte, aboard the 10-year-old Lusitano Irão (by Rubi x Xaqiero), secured the silver medal with scores of 68.717% in the Grand Prix, 64.170% in the Special, and 72.520% in the Kur. The bronze medal went to Martim Meneres, riding his former Young Riders horse, the 12-year-old Portuguese Sport Horse bred Gucci Plus (by Sir Lui x Peralta Pinha), who achieved scores of 66.283% in the Grand Prix, 66.128% in the Special, and 71.165% in the Kur.

Grand Prix U25

The Grand Prix U25 category featured ten combinations vying for the title. This youth division showcased the promising future of dressage in Portugal, highlighting the incredible talent among young riders.

Sebastião Lucas Lopes and the 10-year-old Lusitano Inquieto das Lezírias, claimed the top spot with an impressive performance of 69.511%, securing a well-deserved victory. Mariana Assis da Silva closely followed in second place, engaged in a fierce competition for the top spot while riding Iji HP, achieving a remarkable total score of 69.172%. Pedro Garrido, a member of the Alter Real competition team, secured the bronze medal with his mount Jockey AR, posting a commendable score of 68.421%.

Youth Classes

The youth represents the heart of our future in the equestrian world! The Children, Juniors, and Young Riders levels are a glimpse into the promising future of our sport.

In the Children's division, there were nine pairs, and the victory went to Leonor Coelho riding Monarca do Lis, who achieved an impressive score of 75.164%. The runner-up position was secured by Guilherme Broega and Minuto, with a strong score of 74.892%. Margarida Ramos and Figo das Figueiras took home the bronze medal with their commendable score of 72.462%.

The Junior class also featured nine combinations. Briana Vintila clinched the gold medal, impressively riding Augusta MV to a final score of 69.270%. Mariana André and Iceberg De Tineo earned the silver medal with a score of 65.501%, while Martim Nunes de Jesus, aboard Je-Celta, secured the third position with a score of 65.210%.

In the Young Riders' level, Nicole Silva and Funji outperformed the field of six competitors to claim the title, earning a notable score of 67.259%. Francisca Castro Monteiro and Invictus VF were the runners-up with a score of 66.305%, while the bronze medal went to Afonso Sousa riding Eliseo, who posted a solid score of 64.079%.

All in all, this competition was nothing short of fantastic, hosted by an extraordinary venture that created an exceptional atmosphere for all participants. The level of competition was very high, with riders showcasing their skills and determination at every ride! Make sure to Check the Complete scores here.

What’s next in the agenda?

As we reflect on this memorable event, our anticipation for the upcoming championship continues to build. We eagerly await the next weekend, which promises to bring a new wave of excitement as the Young Horses Competitions take center stage in Alter Real.


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