April 4, 2008

Portugal is hosting the three-day International Congress on Equestrian Tourism from May 15.

Each session of the congress, being held in the historic town of Alter do Chão in the Alentejo region, will be presented in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

The congress will feature discussions of global equestrian tourism efforts, co-ordinated planning of equestrian events and trends in equestrian tourism from leaders in the industry.

Each day, visitors will be able to see exhibitions by riders from the Portuguese School of the Equestrian Art in the palace gardens.

The village of Alter do Chão is the home of the country's Royal Stud Farm - the Coudelaria Real - where the first attempts to restore the Lusitanon breed of horse took place beginning in 1748.

Today the Alter Real breed is much admired in the high school of equestrian enthusiasts. The Alter do Chã Professional Farming College is also situated there.