Lusitano Owner Maggie Mell Wins Two Tickets To The 2011 Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction During World Equestrian Games

Lexington, KY – As a result of winning two tickets to the 2011 Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction, Maggie Mell, who lives in Minnesota, will get to escape her state’s cold weather in February to attend the annual auction held in Wellington, Florida.

The Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction features Lusitano horses from the world’s top Lusitano breeders and will take place at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, in Wellington, on February 23-26, 2011.

“My daughter and I recently bought a Lusitano mare named Ximena Da Jurura. We adore her and she is my daughter’s dream horse,” Mell said, adding that she entered the raffle for the Lusitano auction tickets while visiting the Member’s Lounge of the USDF National Education Center during the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington. “We loved the World Equestrian Games. The dressage freestyles were incredible. We loved the Spanish horse Fuego, what an incredible ride!”

Mell, who said her 15-year-old daughter is riding dressage on their Lusitano, became involved in the horse world seven years ago. “My daughter got me into horses and since then I have created an entire business around horses. I own and sell bright tack that is animal prints, neon colors and full of bling!”

Mell said she used to live in Jupiter, Florida, and looks forward to returning to the Sunshine State for the auction. “We still have family there so we are so excited about the chance to go to the Lusitano auction,” she said. “Florida is our favorite place to visit.”

The Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction takes place during the prestigious Winter Equestrian Festival, and Mell’s two free tickets, valued at $350, will give her the chance to attend the welcome reception and horse showcase on February 25 and the horse auction and catered dinner on February 26. “I am really excited about this opportunity,” Mell said.

The Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction gives interested buyers the unique opportunity to purchase Brazilian horses without the hassle of import fees or quarantine periods. The auction is a social and equestrian event that draws previous buyers as well as trainers, Olympians, and horse lovers from North and South America.

Cecilia Gonzaga, who operates Interagro Lusitanos of Brazil, one of the breeders taking part in the auction, said the 2011 auction will feature mares, geldings, and stallions that are all well suited for dressage due to their athleticism, trainability and ability to compete and succeed at the FEI level. “The Lusitano breed is renowned for its willingness to please its owners. Possessing a higher than average intelligence, the breed is well known for its exceptional performance in all equestrian disciplines,” she said, adding that Mell also won a copy of the book The Lusitano Horse, written by her father Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga.

The 2011 auction will offer the most prestigious collection of Brazilian Lusitano horses selected specifically for US sport horse enthusiasts. In addition, the USDF will feature a booth at the auction. For more information about Lusitano horses or The Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction, scheduled for February 23-26, 2011 in Wellington, FL, visit

About Interagro Lusitanos
Founded in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga to preserve the Lusitano breed, Interagro Lusitanos is now recognized as the world’s largest breeder and exporter of Lusitano horses. Dr. Gonzaga started with a small band of four mares and one stallion imported to Brazil from the breed’s native Portugal; to date nearly 800 horses populate the 1200-acre ranch outside São Paolo. Today, Cecilia Gonzaga manages the farm and operations. Interagro Lusitanos are handled, prepared, and evaluated from birth, with a handful of the best stock presented at auction each year. The annual Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction gives buyers a unique opportunity to evaluate, experience, and purchase top-quality Lusitano horses in the U.S. without the complications of importation and quarantine. Interagro Lusitano horses are now successfully competing, and winning, on four continents.

Photo: Maggie Mell and her daughter Drew Gocke, of Minnesota, pictured with their Lusitano mare Ximena Da Jurura.  Maggie Mell won two free tickets to the 2011 Lusitano CollectionTM International Horse Auction featuring Lusitano horses from the world’s top Lusitano breeders.  The auction takes place at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida on February 23-26, 2011. (Photo courtesy of Bonne Sogge)