The Jubilee celebrations were not just confined to the UK. Here in the Algarve many ex-pats – and not only British – got together to celebrate Her Majesty’s 60 year reign with a variety of events; garden parties, bowls tournaments, tennis, a grand ball … and the horsey crowd who got together at Pinetrees Riding Centre in Almancil. All events were coordinated under the umbrella of the Algarve Resident.
Living in the Algarve for expats can be a lot of fun in the sun, with many sporting and cultural activities to suit everyone. One thing that many get involved with is fundraising to help the local community.
This horse riding event raised money for three charities – The Riding for the Disabled Association working in the Almancil area, the Barlavento RDA Association working in the west of the Algarve, and the Royal British Legion. The choice of charities combined aspects very dear to HM, that of her armed forces and horses – the great passion of her life.
Five riding schools took part in the riding competition, all being members of the Association of British Riding Schools but based in Portugal and committed to supplying a quality service and good levels of teaching.
This brought together riders of a variety of nationalities from these schools in Bensafrim, Tôr, Ourique, Lisbon, and Almancil. There were Ukrainian, Russian, German, Dutch, British and Portuguese riders, most living in Portugal but also including riders with holiday homes in the Almancil area out on half term holiday, for whom the chance to win a rosette in red,white and blue was the highlight of the holiday!
This event was not like the usual horse riding competitions held at Pinetrees, it was something much more. Many local British-run businesses all willingly helped in many ways to create a fun event to honour the Queen, by supplying plants and flowers, trophies, bunting and rosettes.
The morning programme was dressage with a difference, being judged by Jet van Oers, a top level dressage judge living in the Algarve. These tests were judged giving more marks to the rider and their influence on the horse.
The look of surprise on the faces of the children in the leading rein class was priceless as when the rosettes were being presented a giant Emperor Penguin came waddling along to present a trophy of a little penguin, kindly given by Penguinaircon, a local British run company.
Special garden lunch
A delicious lunch was enjoyed by around 80 who sat in the prepared “garden” made with Grasshopper Greens carpet of artificial turf and decorated with plants by Sam and Della from Arquiscape. São Lourenço International School and Four Seasons Country Club helped with the loan of tables and chairs. Many volunteers had worked together to provide the lunch also supported by local restaurants The Vaults, Four Seasons and Dom Giovanni.
The British Consul, Clive Jewell, was on hand to judge the cake competition with local resident Diana Flynn, and to make a toast to HM with bottles of espumante wine, donated by Sir Cliff Richard from his Guia winery.
Clive also judged, with Vale de Lobo resident Karen Hoffmann, the Fancy Dress with an impressive variety of costumes all with the theme of Royalty; past or present, fact or fiction.
Two riders from Lisbon represented two significant historical characters, the King Dom João I who married an English woman, Phillipa of Lancaster, in 1387, date of the Treaty of Windsor, and the start of the great Anglo Portuguese Alliance.
Three jumping classes were held in the afternoon over a professionally designed course by national course builder Lucie Cabrita. Each jump was painted with the colours of the flag of different European nations and the barrels had been painted especially for the event to represent the castles of Windsor and Guimarães.
Two trophies for the highest placed school were presented to EquusOurique riding centre by local real estate firm MainProperties.
Agood day out was had by all – and in the sunshine!
Pinetrees Riding Centre