Gauguin Interagro Opens Doors to New Beginnings and the Paris 2024 Paralympics for Silvia Do Valle
Wellington, FL (April 21, 2023) – Overcoming adversity is where Silvia Do Valle excels, and life has dealt her more than her fair share. From a life threatening injury to the sudden loss of her young horse, Do Valle has persevered to show at the highest levels of paradressage, and with the help of a new mount, is making her bid for the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
Do Valle is from Brazil, and her family includes one of Brazil’s top international dressage riders, Isabela do Valle Arenzon. She has spent a lifetime riding, and when an accident on an Irish trail riding trek left her paralyzed, she refused to give up the sport. With the help of her retired horse, she slowly began her journey to get back into the saddle. She competed in her first Intro Level dressage test in 2020, and was training her homebred mare Carisma to take her to her dream: riding at the Olympic level. But destiny had other plans for Do Valle, as tragically her mare was killed unexpectedly one day while out in the pasture due to a lightning strike. Devastated and depressed, Do Valle turned to her sister in Brazil to help her find a replacement after discovering how expensive horses can be in the United States. After months of searching, they found a former combined driving horse with a sterling personality to match his silver dapples. As a driving horse, Gauguin would be ideally suited to adapt to Do Valle’s aids as she would not have typical driving aids from the legs and would also move more in the saddle than the average rider. With a little training, Gauguin Interagro became her new mount, and in 2023 the pair debuted at Grand Prix in the CPEDI level during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
Despite being green for dressage, Gauguin was exceptionally well mannered, calm, and a very nice mover, all ideals sought after for paradressage. They both made their paradressage debut in March of 2021. In their Global Dressage CPEDI debut they scored just under the qualifying score for of 64% to go to Paris with a 64.556%, and received a personal best in the CPEDI ring during for their Freestyle: 65.98%. Their best score is 73.382 % in December, on the Para-equestrian Grade 3 Individual Test B.
“We are still getting to know each other, and are both still a bit green to be performing at the Grand Prix paradressage level,” said Do Valle. “I have a very hard time cantering and luckily the tests do not include canter, but for him to work well and be truly through he needs the canter so we are working on that in addition to more collection, transitions, and other basic Second Level type work. He seems to understand my lack of proper leg, and doesn’t mind my floppy arms or bouncing seat. He always tries his best and I love being able to ride and train him.”
Sired by one of Interagro’s most prolific and talented dressage stallions, Nirvana Interagro, Gauguin was bred and trained at Interagro Lusitanos outside of São Paulo, Brazil. He and his half brother Gatão Interagro, also by Nirvana, were a competitive pairs driving team for the stud farm and breeding center through 2016. Nirvana Interagro was a Brazilian dressage Champion, competing through the FEI levels, and imparted his movement and trainability to Gauguin.
Interagro’s breeding program aims to produce modern Lusitanos with all of the movement, temperament, and rideability needed to excel in the FEI disciplines. Their program over more than 40 years has produced internationally successful horses, including in paradressage. In 2016, Zizifo Interagro and Patricio Guglialmelli competed successfully in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics.
About Interagro Lusitanos
Established in 1975, Interagro Lusitanos has over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos. More than 300 horses have been exported from their Brazilian-based breeding and training center to the US alone (as of 2020), and Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.
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