All in the family - Brazilian style
Luiza is used to being special. At 16, she was the youngest competitor at the Olympic Games in Peking and she rode in London 2012 as well. She had started her career in jumping when only six years old. At 12 she took up dressage to improve her riding skills and convinced her brothers that dressage can be quite exciting.
Sometimes there is more to sport than results. Brazil cannot be considered a hotbed of dressage. There are only eight grand prix level competitions in the whole country. Gaining competition practice is difficult then and therefore the Brazilian team is on the road since several weeks. They trained in Germany with Dolf-Dietram Keller and then competed in Nice and Deauville in France, keeping them out of Brazil for three months. For the twin brothers Pedro and Manuel the time away from home will be even longer. They will spend one semester at university in Hamburg and continue riding with Keller in Northern Germany.
The fourth member of the team was Joao Victor Oliva. At 18, he is the youngest of the foursome and his time away from home will be even longer. He is starting a two-year training stint with coach Norbert van Laack, aiming to qualify for Rio 2016. For Normandy he qualified by winning the South American Games in Chile. He rode the grey stallion Signo Dos Pinhais, a Lusitano as well. They finished at rank 85 out of 100 competitors.
“All in the family” – the team for Brazil finished last, after Luiza was eliminated when her stallion Pastor developed a lameness in the arena. The twin brothers Manuel and Pedro Tavares de Almeida ranked 87 and 91.