«A multi-talented team at your service: because your horse deserves only the best!»
DP Dressage Team
I started to ride since I remember. When I was five, living at Lumiar in Lisbon, I was fortunate to have the chance to connect with horses through my family: my uncle had his horses on a stable nearby, so I started to join him, my brother and my cousins and began to ride. My passion grew and riding became my number one priority: instead of going out to play football with my friends, I’d go and ride with my brother.
I first started to realize that I could make a living out of horse riding when I got an invitation from my brother Carlos to join him at Escola Portuguesa de Arte Equestre. At this time, it was a huge prestige and honor to work at this institution – you had to be a good rider and have good knowledge on equitation to join this historical institution, so it was with great pride that I joined EPAE. When I was 18 my brother and my father started to motivate me towards Dressage because it would give me higher visibility as a rider – that was the moment when I started to considerate a career on this discipline.
I consider myself to be, above all, very respectful towards my horses – they are my partners, we work as a pair and there is no team without respect. I am sensitive with my horses and very patient, I think understanding and developing a solid communication, based on trust, is the key to a well-built team. On the other hand, I am also very competitive and determined, my main goal as a rider is to evolve and learn every day – I aim to continuously improve myself and my horses.
What I look for in a horse physically is their balance and coordination – these are essential characteristics on a good Dressage horse. It is also very important that the horse has a good temperament, cooperativeness, a strong will to work and a fast response to his rider aids. This is, in my opinion, a great cocktail for a top dressage horse!
Competing in Dressage makes me grow and learn continuously – it is a way of self-overcoming. Dressage allows me, as a rider, to be amongst the best riders and judges and to learn from them, always with a positive attitude and fair play. I feel blessed for being able to do what I love with an animal with such sensitivity and nobility as the horse. In Equestrian Sport the horse is the one who gives us everything – this sport can only make sense when we give our partner everything in return.
The only ritual I have is to always put my left boot first! Besides that, all I do is to ‘draw’ the test on foot before it starts and try to be as focused as possible.
Definitely my first Olympic games, in Sydney in 2000. Unforgetable!
Daniel competed in five National Championships at Senior Level, accomplishing bronze and silver medals. In 2018, in Ponte de Lima, Daniel achieved the title of National Champion of Dressage and the gold and most recently, In 2020 he got the title of Vice-Champion of Portugal – both titles with his horse Santurion.
Daniel has summed nine participations in the European Championships, as individual rider and representing Portugal. Several equine partners accompanied him during these competitions – in highlight horses like Weldon Surprise, Papillon, Galopin de La Font and, most recently, Santurion de Massa.
Participation in four World Equestrian Championships: in 1998 Daniel competed in Rome with Weldon Surprise, a horse that make a second appearance in 2002 WEG in Jerez. Galopin de La Font was the partner for the participations in 2006 Aachen and 2010 Kentucky.
2 Olympic Games
Daniel is a double Olympic Rider – his first Olympic participation took place in 2000 in Sydney with Weldon Surprise where the pair finished in the 27th position. Daniel got his qualification for 2008 Pequim Olympic Games, this time with Galopin de la Font, finishing 32nd in the individual rank.
Throughout his international career, Daniel has partnered with several horses, which he has trained to GP level and taken to the highest international competitions – the most remembered being Weldon Surprise (Sydney Olympics 2000), Galopin de la Font (2008 Hong Kong Olympics) and Santurion de Massa (Portugal’s Senior Dressage Champion 2018, WEG Tryon 2018 and, most recently, Vice Champion of Portugal in 2020). Get to know some of these partners and special moments below.
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- DP Dressage Team -