Thanks to Dr Tia Nelson and Derek Brown, our hosts for the event, the weekend ran without a hitch. USMMA members traveled from AZ, CO, FL, MN, MT, OR, PA, UT, TX, and SC to attend.
The USMMA 2019 Mangalarga Marchador Gathering was held at the historic Haras Vista da Serra Ranch in the breathtaking mountains of Montana, home to about 30 Marchador horses. Just being here was special.
Two independent events were held during an extended weekend of August 15th to the 18th.
The first two days, was the ABCCMM (Brazilian) inspection process with Dr. George Vilar, a vet and inspector from Brazil. The ABCCMM inspection process examines the conformation, the gait and the temperament of the Mangalarga Marchador according to the breed standard. There are two inspections and we held both: 1.) a foal inspection (for ABCCMM provisional registration); and 2.) a 3 year old riding inspection (for ABCCMM definitive registration). After the 3 year old riding inspection, the Marchadors will be dual registered with the USMMA and the ABCCMM. After the definitive registration, the Marchador is branded with the trademarked Horseshoe M Brand. During each inspection, there was time for discussion and questions about an individual horse or the Marchador breed.
The second two days are the Marchador Cavalgadas (a long ride). Haras Vista da Serra provided a list of Marchadors available to ride and their assessment of the riding skill required for each horse. Many of these horse were mares with foals at their side. The foals were ponied by the riders and it all worked out so well. A few members brought and rode their own horses in the mountains of Montana!
A cavalgada is portuguese for a long trail ride, very popular in Brazil. In Brazil, there are many, many riders often followed by a barbeque and party. We did the same! Saturday night had a wonderful pot luck dinner with the USMMA members and neighbors from nearby ranches. A band and lights strung in the trees made the whole experience magical.
The Mangalarga Marchador is the National Horse of Brazil. Our event honored their heritage in every detail – riding with with friends and having fun with a Marchador.