Filipa, Sofia, Luisa...

To speak of the Equestrian Centre, of the Lusitano horse, of the Tradition of Equestrian Art, is to speak of the dream of a horseman … Luis Valença Rodrigues - whom, along with his wife, who shares his hopes and dreams, accompanies him and assures the future of their descendents.

uís Valença's background is from a family to whom the horse was central, he learned to ride at an early age and had Masters to teach him throughout his childhood and youth, and into his professional training. He learned the secrets and mysteries which today he can pass on to his students!

In the heart of an important horse breeding area is to be found the Centro Equestre de Lezíria Grande, created especially for equestrian activities of all kinds.

In 1980 Luis Valença acquired Sultão , a Palomino horse with proud carriage and a special character, the centre of the project with a magic of his own. For many years he was the focal point and adorned the visiting card of the Valença family.

He is a horse with an outstanding history. In 1984 he made his debut in the Salon International du Cheval in a spectacular show with sound and light, bringing Paris to its feet in a standing ovation. Today, a true Globe Trotter, having appeared in all the main equestrian venues in Europe, he is the horse every visitor to the Centro Equestre wants to see.

In the words of the Mestre, the Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande has as its mission, through training, the continuation of Portuguese Equestrian Art, which rose to its greatest height in the eighteenth century. Throughout the years an incomparable cultural heritage has formed a bond between highly trained horses and students - these latter coming literally from the four corners of the earth. The Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande has retained its initial inspiration and the magic of those early days, proving that the love of horses is worth their weight in gold!

The love of the horse, of Equestrian Art, ... with Sultão as the bedrock. This is how we present the Centro Equestre de Lezíria Grande. Almost twenty five years of history which seems like a fairytale.

The location, when it was acquired in 1981, was an arid zone where not one flower bloomed.

Most people thought the Centro would be short lived, as the profit margin was not estimated to be high.

Luis Valença, its founder, thought exactly the opposite; as far as he was concerned his love of Equestrian Art and of the horse would enable all difficulties to be surmounted. A firm dedication to the world of Equestrianism resulted in him being given the ultimate accolade, the title of Mestre.

For him the horse is the most important factor in the history of civilisation. He was the great helper of Mankind, for better or for worse. He was the principle means of transport, and the most powerful weapon in war - especially the Iberian horse because of his swiftness over the ground; in agriculture, where he ploughed and harrowed the fields; in education, since the first formal lessons in schools were music and equitation; and finally as the inspiration for artists, in painting and sculpture.

Luis Valença Rodrigues , that worked during a lot of years with the famous "Mr. Nuno Oliveira" is recognized today like one biggest contemporary trainer of Iberian Horses.

At him in the "Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande" located in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal he teaches the classic horsemanship has the horses and riders who come from the four corners of the world.

With his classes he reveals us his perception of the nature of the horse and demonstrate us by adapted lessons how to get strong bases for the classic horsemanship, he presents methods of work to master the high school.

The horsemen breathed life into the Centro, and the formal inauguration took place two years later. Here we are in 1983.