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The History of the Mix

this purpose is the Veiga (MV). At the same time, the Portuguese Crown, through the Coudelaria de Alter and Coudelaria Nacional, and the Spanish Crown through the Coudelaria de Cordoba, were very active in breeding sturdier horses for classical dressage and driving. The two main functional lines were rarely crossed; breeders kept their lines more or less “pure” and their selection target was very focused in one or the other of these two objectives. By the end of the nineteenth century, the


he Lusitanos were for centuries selected for war, and later its modern form, bull- fighting. The most successful lineage for

by Dr. Paulo Gonzaga

Andrade (RA or SA) lineage was developed with the objective of selecting a Lusitano for modern equine disciplines, mostly dressage, but without losing the basic standards of the breed. Later, around the early 1970s—to reduce the excessive consanguinity built in both lineages—the Andrades offered one of their stallions to the Veigas and the latter ceded one of theirs to the Andrades. The Andrade stallion lent to the Veigas was the famous Firme (SA) and the Veiga stallion sent to the

The famous Andrade stallion Firme given to the Veigas in the 1970s.

Andrades was Trovador II (MV). To make a long story short, Firme(SA) sired some of the most famous modern Lusitanos at the Veigas: Novilheiro (MV), the European Jumping Champion ridden by the British John Withaker; Opus II (MV), a famous bullfighting and dressage horse used by the Domeqs from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain; Nilo (MV) who was bought by Coudelaria Nacional (CN), the Portuguese Government breeding establishment to serve as one of its official stallions, and there are others. From the extraordinary success of this crossing was born the new Lusitano lineage known as Veiga-Andrade,

nowadays the most sought after for dressage. The Veigas used Nilo (MV) for two years before selling him to Coudelaria Nacional. From Nilo (MV) came Zimbro (MV) who then sired Dardo II (MV) and Danubio (MV); these two in turn sired important animals in the Veigas, and both were exported to Brazil. Danubio (MV), the most famous of the modern Veiga stallions won the title of Champion of Champions in Portugal, but his biggest merit was to have sired an impressive offspring which includes Ofensor (MV) considered as the best Lusitano stallion of the last decade along with Quixote Interagro, another exceptional sire. When the Veiga-Andrade lineage became the most cherished of all Lusitano strains, much attention was

directed to its origin and many studies were conducted on the maternal side of the lineage’s ancestors. In this process, Arsenio Raposo Cordeiro, one of the most respected breeders and author of books dedicated to the Lusitanos, raised the point that a great part of the success of the Veiga-Andrade lineage was due to a mare called Toleirona (MV), the mother of a handful of excellent stallions, like Maravilha (MV), Emir (MV) and Lidador II (MV). However Toleirona made a fantastic contribution, still mostly ignored, by producing her daughter Guerrita (MV). Guerrita (MV) was the mother of Novilheiro (MV) and Opus (MV), both sired by Firme (SA). The importance of Toleirona (MV) continues to grow unabated. A few breeders, such as Arsenio Cordeiro (RC) in Portugal and Interagro in Brazil, became a reference for the new modern lineages formed from a Veiga-Andrade origin. Both have had access to pure mares from the Veigas and the Andrades and have been able to develop their own kindred lineages and selection of top-class dressage horses while keeping the morphological standards and the unique character of the Lusitano. A more extended commentary about this process and an extensive analysis of the founding mares of the basic Lusitano lines can be found in Paulo Gonzaga’s book, The Lusitano Lineage. About Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga: He founded Interagro Lusitanos in 1975 and owns a 1,200 acre ranch with almost 800 Lusitanos located near São Paolo, Brazil. Today he is the largest breeder and exporter of Lusitanos. v

62 January/February 2011

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