Almost 300 guests were in attendance at the 2011 Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction when dressage rider Nancy Kempe purchased her dream horse, a beautiful Lusitano Isabel stallion named Cupido Interagro, that she described as “the love of her life.” The four-year-old stallion with a sterling pedigree was the highest selling horse at the glamorous auction, and Kempe’s story touched the audience and rounded out an evening filled with festivities and splendor set amidst the backdrop of the beautiful Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. The audience applauded for Kempe, who lives in Houston, Texas, when she hugged her horse during a touching awards presentation following the auction. Kempe was the highest bidder of the evening and won a beautiful brand new dressage saddle from Custom Saddlery as a result. Kempe was also thrilled to learn that she had won a complimentary weekend getaway from the Ritz Carlton Residences of Singer Island for being the highest bidder, and that she would get the chance to be pampered in a luxurious setting right on the ocean.
Kempe was given the opportunity to address the audience and explained in her heartwarming tale that she has a lung condition which made it difficult for her to sit the trot on the warmblood she already owns. Her trainer recommended Kempe buy a Lusitano and Kempe flew to Florida three weekends in a row to view and ride the horses available in the Lusitano auction.
“Cupido Interagro is amazing and I told my husband when I first met the stallion that I was bringing home a blonde haired, blue eyed boy,” Kempe said. “Cupido’s trot is so smooth that I can sit it and talk at the same time. I bought the love of my life and I am so happy.”
Kempe also purchased another stallion at the auction, a dazzling gray four-year-old named Capa do Vouga. All of the horses offered at the auction, hosted by the Lusitano CollectionTM, came from Interagro Farms and Coudelaria Rocas do Vouga of Brazil. “My goal is to take both of these horses to the Grand Prix level,” Kempe said, adding that Cecilia Gonzaga, of Interagro Lusitanos, told her that when you buy an Interagro horse you become part of the family. “It’s really amazing, I am thrilled.”
While Cupido Interagro’s unusual color makes him a standout in the ring, he is following in the footsteps of his full older brother, an Isabel stallion named Alvarinho Interagro who is trained and shown by Grand Prix rider Gary Lane. Cupido Interagro’s pedigree contains some of the more renowned names in the Lusitano breed.
During the action-packed evening, The Lusitano Collection auctioned off a ring donated by the exquisite Italian designer Vhernier. The winning bid brought in $5,000 which was given to their official charitable partner for the event, the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF). The EAF assists those in the horse community suffering from catastrophic injury or illness during their time of need.
The evening’s festivities kicked off with Paulo Gualano’s performing company creating a spectacular entrance with scantily clad Samba dancers and the drumming of the Rhythm Beaters. The carnival-style atmosphere had the guests on their feet, taking part in a train of participants who wove and danced around the tables. Following the high-energy dancers, announcer Claudia Anderson and auctioneer Tom Biederman introduced the horses and got the bidding underway.
Each year, the Lusitano Auction brings the magnificent breed to the United States where a growing number of discriminating riders have discovered the joy, beauty and talent of the amazing Lusitano breed. For more information on Lusitanos, please visit www.lusitanocollection.com.