California Riding Magazine • August, 2012

Marchador Event
First North American Sela de Ouro

by Lynn Kelley • photos by Adele Pennington

Connie Claire with winning gelding (conformation and marcha) DaVinci do Summerwind. Connie was the clinic organizer.

In April, two Marchador associations, the USMMA (North America) and the ABCCMM (Brazil) cooperated to hold the first-ever Sela de Ouro in North America.

The Sela de Ouro literally translates to Golden Saddle, the way of the Marchador. The Ocala Florida Sela de Ouro and clinic were hosted by Connie Claire. It consisted of three phases held over three days: a long ride similar to an endurance ride with vetting and judging, classroom and arena instruction and judging of conformation and gait, and also a functional test, similar to an obstacle class.

Lynn Kelley riding Estique do Premier, owned by Aline Greene, Saint Horse, SC. The long ride was held on Friday.

The instructors were flown in from Brazil to evaluate the 18 USMMA members and 12 Mangalarga Marchadors that participated. Most were from the East Coast, but some came from far away, like Arizona and Oklahoma. The breeders and owners there represent 40 percent of the Marchadors in the U.S. (Next year, the clinic moves West.) The instructors were ABCCMM (Brazilian MM association) professionals Tiago de Resende Garcia and Kate Moura da Costa Barcelos, both licensed veterinarians and judges in Brazil.

Tiago is the ABCCMM Director of the ENA—the National School of Judges. The ENA's objective is to train MM judges on how to evaluate conformation, gait and functionality of the MM breed. Tiago and his team judge every sanctioned ABCCMM show in Brazil. Tiago has hosted symposiums and lectures to enlighten and inform MM breeders.

Brooke Little on her Marchador stallion Cheveyo do MManor. Marchadors InMotion, Ocala FL. Cheveyo was just started under saddle, a 3 year old.

Kate is an ABCCMM inspector (the first woman) and education program director. Kate was the instructor of our 2011 MM clinic. An accomplished rider, competitor and instructor, Kate was the #2 dressage rider in South America and now uses classical dressage in preparing and training Marchador horses for many farms in Brazil.
It was a fabulous and fun event, meeting new people, their Marchadors, and, of course, learning more about our fabulous Mangalarga Marchador breed. Our heartfelt thanks to Connie, Tiago
and Kate!

On the final day, ribbons were awarded for each event. Here are the Champions:
• Sela de Ouro ride on Friday – Aline Greene, Saint Horse, SC and her mare Erva-Doce de Tesouro
Combined Gait and Conformation on Saturday:  
• Stallion – Bill Kambic, Haras Lucero, TN and his imported MM stallion, Ritmo A.J.;
• Mare – Sandy Kambic, Haras Lucero, TN and her imported mare, Amora or Aliane Fazenda Zouga (bred by Rick Schatz, Flying Oaks Ranch, OK when he was breeding MMs in Brasil);
• Gelding – Connie Claire, FL with her gelding Leo or DaVinci do Summerwind (bred by SW Future Foal, AZ)
• Functional test on Sunday – Jeff Bosley, SW Future Foal @ Lumber Bridge on his mare Bacara do Summerwind (bred by SW Future Foal, AZ)
• Grand Champion – combined events – Jeff Bosley, SW Future Foal @ Lumber Bridge on his mare Bacara do Summerwind (bred by SW Future Foal, AZ)

What is a Mangalarga Marchador?

The Marchador (MARSCH A DOOR) horse is the National Horse of Brazil, bred to be an outstanding saddle horse with a willing nature, smooth gaits and athletic versatility. They have been bred for centuries to be sound and square, with good bones. From Iberian roots, they have the added benefit of Iberian beauty and soft, kind eye.

The Mangalarga Marchador averages between 14.2 and 16 hands in height and weighs between 850 and 1100 lbs. Although grays predominate, chestnut, black, bay, buckskin, palomino and pinto horses are also present. An adept and extremely versatile breed, the Mangalarga Marchador is fast becoming one of the most sought-after breeds in countries outside of Brazil. The Brazilian motto is "A Breed without Frontiers"

As with many Iberian breeds, they are good cattle horses. They are known for setting the Guinness Book of World Records endurance ride of 8,694 miles in 1994. A perfect trail horse, they could also excel in other sporting disciplines that require agility, stamina, speed and a sound mind.

For more information on the Marchador breed, please visit the USMMA website at

What is a MM Sela de Ouro???

The Sela de Ouro is Portuguese for "Saddle of Gold" the Way Of The Marchador. It is a multi-day event that the Brazilians use to
test the Marchador horses and the Marchador riders.

In Brazil, 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. This year 2012, the USMMA and ABCCMM 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:
• Gesture
• Comfort
• Style
• Length of stride
• Regularity
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
• Naturalness
• Functional test