Loving the Lusitano: Germany warms to South American equine star

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Pedro Ribeiro and Antiochus Interagro in Working Equitation in Germany.
Pedro Ribeiro and Antiochus Interagro in Working Equitation in Germany.

Well-travelled Lusitano gelding Antiochus Interagro is giving the warmbloods a run for their money in the popularity stakes in Europe.

Bred in Brazil, Antiochus Interagro has been making waves in Germany’s fast growing competitive working equitation scene, bringing some Iberian agility and athleticism to the historically horse centered continent.

As one of the explosively growing equestrian market segments, working equitation is traditionally Portuguese, as is the Lusitano breed, which is the preferred mount for the three or four-phase discipline.

Ridden by Pedro Ribeiro, Antiochus Interagro debuted at the Master Class level in Austria in September, after excelling quickly through the lower levels of the sport in what is his first year of competition. Ribeiro, who is a Portuguese native and proficient in dressage, working equitation, and the highest levels of garrocha riding, notes the horse’s speed and balance, despite being barefoot, and an exceptionally willing attitude as contributors to his success. In his first season of showing, Antiochus has consistently placed in the top of the class, with great aptitude for the speed and cow events, the latter of which are more common in Europe than Brazil and the US.

Antiochus Interagro and Pedro Ribeiro.
Antiochus Interagro and Pedro Ribeiro.

Antiochus’ story began in Itapira, Brazil, where he was hand selected to be featured at the 2011 Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction held in Wellington, Florida. Lisa Cosgrove bought him from Interagro Lusitanos after a nine-month search for talented six-year-olds, and shipped him to Europe to continue his training. Antiochus is a pure Veiga Lusitano, Antiochus Interagro (Ofensor (MV) x Opera II (MV)).

“In addition to his talent, speed, and agility, Antiochus is an easy going and fun to ride horse who is just as comfortable working at peak performance with Pedro as he is going for a trail ride with me,” Cosgrove said.

“In the dressage and obstacles he is obedient and relaxed, but can switch seamlessly to the high octane power of the speed or cow class which is extremely important in the discipline. We are excited to see how far he can go!”

Antiochus Interagro and Pedro Ribeiro.
Antiochus Interagro and Pedro Ribeiro.

Antiochus Interagro’s success in Europe marks a new milestone for the breed and the sport, as the gelding’s origin and journey to Germany highlights the growing demand for athletic, intelligent, and trainable horses to succeed in sport and working disciplines.

Interagro Lusitanos is the largest breeder and exporter of Lusitanos in the world. Its skilled dressage, driving, jumping, and even yearling Lusitanos have boarded transcontinental flights to the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

On Interagro’s 1300 acre stud and training center, based in Itapira in the state of São Paulo, the concepts of working equitation are used as much outside the competition arena as within, during the daily tasks of managing its 3000+ horses and the property itself. As such its Lusitanos are naturally inclined towards the discipline, which includes dressage, obstacles, speed, and cow events. In 2016, Xaveco Interagro topped Brazil’s inaugural Working Equitation World Cup, and many of Interagro’s horses have gone on to top titles in the US and Brazil.

Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

Pedro Ribeiro and Antiochus Interagro in Working Equitation in Germany.
Pedro Ribeiro and Antiochus Interagro.
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