Maurício left Uruguay in 2002, coming to Brazil initially with the intention of knowing and learning from Brazilian riders before heading on to Europe, but as he got here, he changed his plans. “When I set foot in Interagro, I really felt myself at home, and being proposed to take over the works in the Picadeiro enchanted me so much that, really, my plans of going to Europe were shelved.”
Meeting the Purebred Lusitano
The first contact he had with Lusitanos was in 1992, through Ito Ricciluca, who had been indicated to him by a friend of his family. And if it is the first impression that counts, Maurício had no doubts that he had found the horse of his life. “I had already ridden and worked with all kinds of horses, but, when I rode a Lusitano, I went absolutely crazy for them and fell in love with the breed”. It seemed as if I had always ridden Lusitanos, although it was the first time.”
In Maurício’s view, “The Lusitano is a horse that touches the very vanity of a rider. They are so refined that there are few people capable of riding them and be more of a protagonist in the spectacle than the horse itself...” The Purebred Lusitano has an enormous potential, and this is why I feel so honored to participate in their development through the works of Interagro, which are always aimed at and focused on breeding a modern and up-to-date horse. Interagro works in tune with the world and not only looking at its own breeding.
Qualities of the Purebred Lusitano
For Maurício, easy collection is the main quality of the Purebred Lusitano. “That enables even riders who aren’t strong to mount them brightly and with quality”, he affirms. The challenge of breeding them is, in his experienced rider’s opinion, to improve their structure, solidity and time of suspension, so as to enable the Lusitano to compete on equal grounds with other sport breeds. But this, he affirms, must be done without losing the ultimate ‘essence’ of the breed. “The Lusitano learns with great ease and he is not resentful,” says the rider, who also explains “the Lusitano has a short-memory for bad things and an excellent memory for good things. Lusitanos are forgiving.”
For Maurício, who worked with several equine breeds, the Lusitano is “the best tutoring a learning rider can get. Riding a Lusitano is like learning to tune an instrument… once you know how to, you can tune anyone of them.”
Activities developed in the Picadeiro
The main challenge for Maurício is to find the perfect harmony between horse and rider and, to do so, he needs not only to know the qualities and imperfections of the horses, but also work finely in tune with everyone else in the team, which is composed of riders and apprentices. All of them are closely related to the Lusitano world. “The ‘apprentices’, tells Maurício, “are children of the riders and are deeply involved with all about the activity. My goal with them is to produce riders who’ll become better than myself.”
For Cecília Gonzaga, manager at Interagro, “Maurício took over the Picadeiro’s existing team in February 2002. This team was supervised by Jorge, who worked with us for 12 years coming twice a year to train and ‘recycle’ the riders.” Maurício works in fine tune with Antonio, Head of Driving. “Future driving horses must be ridden before they ever get harnessed”, he says.
At the end of 2005 Maurício returned to Uruguay coming to Interagro a week per month to watch over the work of our young horses.
“The objective of our works in the Picadeiro is to have all of our animals achieve international standards of dressage. So, when customers acquire one of our Lusitanos, they will know, objectively, what standards these are.” The work of Maurício and his team consists of a careful refining of abilities, as the multipurpose nature of the Lusitano is many times surprising. “Biotype counts a lot to direct a horse, but it isn’t everything. We get surprised every day by the new capabilities our animals display and which, before initiating the training, we had not noticed.”
“We seek to produce a horse capable of performing whatever activity his owner wants him to. I want people to see our horses and dream of riding them. I want the horses we sell in auction to be ridden safely and trouble-free by anyone anywhere in the world,” says Maurício.
This experience has been more than beneficial and challenging for Maurício. As he puts it: “it’s no use having the best facilities in the world if you don’t have any feelings for the horses; but at Interagro, we breathe and we feel horses 24 hours a day ; and he adds: “our horses really socialize, we know their names… and that’s what makes the difference of Interagro.”
Currently beside working at Interagro , Mauricio also work with breeders from Uruguay and give clinics abroad , to know better about Mauricio visit his web site www.delucchidressage.com