Galloping into West Palm Beach

The 2009 Lusitano Collection Comes from Brasil

Horseback riding in Miami-Dade and Broward counties is an activity that fits in beautifully with the South Florida landscape. From the lush trails of our parks, including Everglades National Park, to the sprawling ranches in South Miami, Davie and Sunrise, horses are an aspect of South Florida luxury living that may not get the attention of more high profile activities.

An aspect of horseback riding is the actual purchasing of these gorgeous animals. Great care and consideration must be given before this rather substantial purchase is made and the reputation of the breeder is a major aspect in the decision making process. One breeder with an impeccable reputation is Dr. Paulo Gaviao Gonzaga, founder of Interagro Farms in Brazil. He and daughter Cecilia breed the highly coveted Lusitano horses and are one of five premier world breeders that make up the Lusitano Collection.

From February 19 to 20, the Lusitano Collection will gallop into the 111-acre Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida for the second annual Lusitano Collection Auction. The two-day event will bring together horse aficionados and buyers from around the world for a gala auction and dinner that will see a portion of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

This is the fourth year that the Gonzagas have produced their highly anticipated auction and the second year it has been held in the United States, allowing buyers to purchase the Lusitanos without having to import them from either Portugal or Brazil.

From February 12 to 16, potential buyers will have the opportunity to preview the horses available, test-ride them and view their veterinary records. The close proximity of West Palm Beach to Miami-Dade and Broward makes a day trip relatively simple, providing those in the South Florida area a decided advantage in their pre-auction scouting. The close proximity also provides convenience for post-purchase transportation.

The social aspects of the two-day event are another exciting aspect. The exclusive nature of the auction brings together those with a significant passion for riding and competing. The event begins with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception followed by the 2009 Lusitano Collection horse presentation. The décor and ambiance will transport guests to a sophisticated, yet relaxed and welcoming hacienda in the mountains of Brazil; complete with hanging chandeliers, water fountain and lush tropical trees. The DJ will be featuring a variety of very laid back, yet upbeat Bossa Nova style music that is sure to captivate guests from the moment they arrive.

The main event is the following evening and will begin with the thrilling, fast-paced auction of 34 horses from two of the most important breeding farms in Brazil: Interagro Farms, the largest Lusitano breeder and exporter in the world, and Coudelaria Rocas do Vouga. This year for the first time, The Collection will also feature a pair of driving horses from the Interagro bloodline, trained and featured by Robinson Lusitanos.

Following the auction, there will be a gala dinner with a menu that would impress even the most discerning foodie. The passed hors d’oeuvres will feature honey and basil marinated baby lamb chops, smoked portobello mushroom with pickled onions in brioche cup, grilled dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon and mojito marinated chicken brochette.

The family-style Mediterranean starter will feature hummus, spinach-artichoke, roasted garlic and eggplant dips; cous cous caviar; feta, tomato, and mint salad; moroccan caponata; sliced herb and pepper encrusted dried salami; assorted macerated and grilled seasonal vegetables; and assorted pitas, flat breads, and bread sticks.

The entrée will offer roasted beef tenderloin and pan seared grouper with a roasted lemon tapenade, wild rice flan, and sautéed French beans, sunburst squash and baby carrots.

For desert, guests can delight in Bombe glace with raspberry, coconut and passion fruit sorbets garnished with a chocolate horseshoe. And, of course, there will be full premium bar service, and a selection of wines and sparkling wines from Uruguay.

Tickets for the Lusitano Collection Auction are $150.00 and available after registration on their website For additional event information visit their website or contact 866-540-8809.

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