The Sela de Ouro is Portuguese for “Saddle of Gold”, the WAY OF THE MARCHADOR. It is a multi-day event that the Brasilians use to test the Marchador horses and the Marchador riders.
In Brasil, throughout the year are qualifying rides for the final Sela de Ouro held at the time of the Mangalarga Marchador National Show in July. The European association has hosted a Sela de Ouro in Germany since 2009. Now in 2012, the USMMA and ABCCMM are helped Connie Claire host the first ever in the U.S. at the MM Clinic in Ocala, FL.
Riders from the US and Europe that finish the Sela de Ouro in their country can qualify to ride in the final Sela de Ouro in Brasil!
During the ride, the horses and riders are evaluated on the trail, on a track and in an obstacle course over several days.
Marchadors are evaluated on their marcha in these aspects:
- Length of stride
In addition, a vet check tests them for endurance fitness and integrity.
The riders are evaluated on riding skills and also on the functional test.
- Seat and leg contact
- Center posture and balance
- Use of the aids
- Control and security
- Functional test (like an obstacle course – see the video below)
Each competitor has to demonstrate minimal skills of a good rider and good knowledge of his horse on the trail. The tests and judging are conducted in environments and situations that simulate the roads, sports and travels of ancient knights in speed and distance variables. The trail has natural hazards in varied terrains of forests, rivers, valleys and mountains.
It was so much fun! Brasil, anyone?