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Home arrow Equestrian arrow Endurance Riding arrow An An adventure in the Lines - RAID-09 Results

An An adventure in the Lines - RAID-09 Results Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 09 April 2009
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An An adventure in the Lines - RAID-09 Results
Highlights of the stages
Prize ceremony




The fourth "Raid Hipico das Linhas de Torres Vedras" took place last Saturday, 4th April.
This unique equestrian event, a major objective of which is the conservation of public and private rural heritage of historical significance in relation to the most famous military defence system of all time, attracted twenty competivite teams. The competition was for the first time made up of three consecutive tests of different degree of difficulty, thus ensuring a possibility for all levels of participation.

If the 20km stage is a "healthy stroll" in the lines, the 40km stage already provides a "headache" or two, while the 60km becomes a true adventure, suited only to the best that dare to face these fortified mountains. The secret of success lies in the optimisation of the management of one's horse in terms of control of speed and cardiac rhythm over the whole length of this demanding course. It is no surprise therefore that the winners are those who achieve highest places in the national championship events.

The winners of the three stages were:
    20km - Victor Morais da Malveira, riding "Valentino" (the "Star Rider"),
    40km - João Robalo das Caldas da Rainha, riding "Sadam",
    60km - former double national champion, João Moreira do Montijo, riding his mare "Quota".

The well-known thematic image for the event - the Light Dragoon - was renewed through special authorization from the UK National Army Museum, London, and also the reproduction of the picture "A Glimpse of the Enemy" by William Barnes Wollen, inspired by the central zone of the Lines (stage 2 of the Raid) and portraying the mission of Light Dragoon officers in the Lines, well characterized in the book “Intelligence Officer in the Peninsula, Letters and Diaries, of The Major The Hon. Edward Charles Cocks”, by acclaimed British historical author, Julia V Page, collaborator of the Raid.

A Glimpse of the Enemy

This year, together with the possibility to appreciate the work of restoration of the defensive structures, already so well carried through by the three towns sponsoring the competition - Mafra, Sobral de Monte Agraço and Torres Vedras - the Raid was intended to illustrate the effectiveness of functioning of the (semaphore) system of communications of the Lines of Torres Vedras when used jointly with elite fast cavalry. The event linked with a spectacular historical re-enactment and reconstruction of Wellington's optic telegraph (semaphore mast) next to the chapel of Nossa Senhora do Socorro: the day concluded with the usual prize-giving  supper in the presence of the sponsors and public authorities at the Quinta do Vale do Corvo.

This sporting gathering in this historical hill-country on the threshold of the capital where, according to war memoires, the real Iron Duke (Wellington) rode more than 60km daily along military roads, among forts, his general's headquarters, villages and lines of communication, is already probably the most interesting example of a regular national level equestrian event of quality in an original natural setting. The Lines of Torres Vedras are distinguished from the generality of classic European battlefields by being able to be visited without necessity of recourse to the complicated interpretations and abstractions of military tactics, helped by the possibility to conserve a good part of the physical structures which had their genesis in a magnificient landscape that has changed little in two hundred years. Disclosing a more romantic aspect of the Peninsular War, this "magic box" replete with delights and curiosities, evokes an experience of allied armies who in co-operation with local people helped to construct, to defend and support it: this premier world-wide tourist atraction has potential to become the "Waterloo" of the South of Europe.

The Raid was again generously sponsored by Junta de Freguesia do Turcifal, BP lubricants, Tec Atlântica (Mercedes),  ELO Artes Gráficas, Westin/Campo Real, ArenesCar, Equus Resort, Caixa Agrícola de Mafra, Império Bonança and JAR Matias.

 Some of the highlights of the various stages of the event and the prize presentation ceremony held in the evening are shown in the picture galleries on the next pages.

More reports here (all open a new window):-  

Last Updated ( Monday, 27 April 2009 )
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