For the second time at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals in Las Vegas, the classical equestrian artistry of Oliveira Dressage will be featured on opening night Thursday, April 19, 2007 and on Saturday night April 21, when four Lusitano stallions trained by the legendary Portuguese Master João Oliveira will perform at the Thomas and Mack Center in two exhibitions.
A return of Oliveira Dressage’s stunning Lighted Horse performance, which brought standing ovations at the World Cup Finals in 2005, will add an extra glow to Las Vegas when four Lusitano stallions silhouetted by lights from poll to tail, perform on Saturday night. Featured in the Oliveira-trained Lusitano stallion lineup are: Trinco, Vittorio, Pensamento, and Unitario.
Master Oliveira, who planned the exhibitions with his cousin Ana Luisa Valença, will not perform. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in January and is currently undergoing treatment. He hopes to attend the World Cup exhibitions. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Master Oliveira is the heir to the classical riding legacy of his father Nuno Oliveira.
USDF Gold Medalist Linda Alexander Walton who owns Brookside Equestrian with her husband Keith Walton remarks, “I’ve watched João work with these horses since the day they arrived from Brazil and have seen the patience, love, and training that he puts into each one. Three of the stallions were trained exclusively by him—the oldest of which just turned 7! João has a way of taking what they offer and turning it into something incredible. It’s really a tribute to him. I feel honored to have seen him transform young, green horses into living art. Nothing is ever forced.”
At the World Cup Finals, Master Oliveira’s family and friends perform as part of Oliveira Dressage. His cousin Ana Luisa Valença, a top ranking Portuguese rider and star in the European equestrian spectacle Apassionata, will again appear. She was featured with him at both the 2004 U.S. Olympic Selection Trials and the 2005 World Cup Finals. Joining Ms. Valença in this year’s exhibitions are Portuguese matador Mario Miguel; Frederico Cardoso, who also stars in Apassionata; and Carlos Carneiro, a longtime performer for the Valença family of Portugal.
Based at Brookside Equestrian in Walnut, California, a training facility for the USEF Olympic Dressage Team competition training programs, Oliveira Dressage joined forces with Linda Alexander Walton and her husband Keith to establish Oliveira Dressage Brookside—the leading West Coast importer and trainer of quality Lusitano dressage horses.