It will be a first Badminton and first four-star for Portuguese rider Joao Duarte Silva (30). Joao comes from the city of Evora, the capital of the High Alentejo in Portugal. Joao, who comes from an equestrian background – his Grandfather Joaquim Miguel Duarte Silva, a General in the Portuguese army, competed in the Military at three Olympic Games 1952 – ‘’60 (Helsinki, Stockholm Rome) and in showjumping in Tokyo 1964 where he was fifth.
Joao is the third of four boys and started riding aged four and began competing aged 11. Due to his Father’s wishes he continued his education unaware that riding could be a way of life, gaining a degree in civil engineering from the University of Evora.
In 2001 he competed in his first championship and for Portugal at the 2004 Young Rider Europeans. In 2006 he decided to make a career of riding and so entered the horse science school in Santarem graduating as an Instructor of riding.
After this is moved to Ireland to work for Carol Gee of Fernhill Sport horses and after eight months returned to Portugal to ride for the Calca e Pina Stud Farm (AC Sport Horses) to produce, compete and sell the horses. This stud farm was once owned by his Grandfather.
He also competes in national showjumping and teaches in the Horse Science School at Alter do Chao. He has competed at Le Lions on three occasions and won two gold medals, one silver and one bronze in national championships
Joao trains with Portuguese international rider Duarte Seabra and enjoys hunting
Xaft is a 13-year-old Portuguese sport horse mare. She is homebred by the thoroughbred Finissimo out of the Selle Francais mare Orli by Rollon des Mallai. Orli is also the dam of Fernhill Urco (bred by Joaquim Duarte Silva), produced by Joao then ridden by Mary King and now competing with Yasmin Ingham.
Portuguese Sport Horse,
1.70 meters, Chestnut, Mare
Dam Orli (Rollon des Mallai)
Breeder AugustoCalï¿½a e Pina
Owner(s): Augusto Calï¿½a e Pina, Sousel, Portugal