Interview with the heads of APSLInterview with the heads of APSL

at Golegã, 10th of nov. 2008



  • Eng. Manuel Maria de Souza e Holstein Campilho, President of APSL (MMC).
  • Dr. Emidio Pinto, Vice President of APSL, responsible person for judges and judgement regulations (EP).
  • Eng. João Ralão Duarte, General Secretary of APSL, APSL – judge / technical secretary (JRD).
  • Dr. med. vet. Mathias Weis, Chairman of Cavalo Lusitano Switzerland (CLS), (MW).

Introduction by M. Weis (MW):

Eng. Manuel Campilho, Dr. Emidio Pinto and Eng. João Ralão Duarte,
thank you very much for spending your time to answer to some questions, which will be for sure of interest for a lot of PSL – breeders and PSL – owners, and probably as well for the foreign PSL – breeding associations.
I think that a lot of people among the „Lusitano Community“ would be very interested about your statements. And in addition, I think, that this interview will be another step to establish and maintain the good contact between APSL, foreign PSL – associations, PSL – breeders and – not to forget – PSL – enthusiasts in general.
So, let’ s begin with the questions:

Questions to João Ralão Duarte (JRD):

MW: Since when does the PSL – studbook exist and who founded it?

JRD: The PSL – Studbook was iniciated in 1967 by a group of breeders who were members of the Portuguese Association of breeders of selected breeds, directed by Fernando Sommer de Andrade.

MW: Who founded the APSL, and when?

JRD: The APSL was founded in 1990 by breeders of Lusitanians, according to the increasing number of animals.

MW: What was the purpose to found an association for PSL – breeders?

JRD: The APSL aims in protecting and promoting the Lusitano as well as in the administration of the Stud-book, to guarantee the ethnic purity of animals for breeding and training. See also the statutes, chapter 1, article 2.

MW: Let’ s speek about some numbers. How many breeding mares do you count? How many per country?

JRD: We currently have around 4000 broodmares in the world, including about 2000 in Portugal, 600 in Brazil and 400 in France.

MW: Since I know about the existence of APSL, and this will be around 15 years, one name was always combined with APSL, just like a synonym, namely yours, João Ralão Duarte. Since when are you working for APSL?

JRD: I am working for APSL since april 1992.

MW: Such a big association, like APSL, cannot work without the help of many persons, so how many persons are working as employees for APSL?

JRD: We have five employees, this is to say:

  • João Bacelar, for the accounting.
  • Teresa Cruz, for the Secretariat.
  • Rita Moura
  • Aida Lopez
  • Rui Tiago Recto

The last three working for the following purposes: inscriptions, changes of ownership and other formalities. Rui Tiago Recto is the responsible person for the needs of the international associations.

MW: Since APSL is a non profit organisation there must be as well some private persons which spend some time for APSL (in Portugal) just as enthusiasts and without salary. About how many persons are involved in this way?

JRD: In addition to the employees we have the members of management and social bodies and the judges.

MW: Who is responsible for horse breeding in general in Portugal, how does this interact with PSL – breeding and what are the consequences for APSL?

JRD: The Foundation Alter Real (Fundação Alter Real, FAR) is the body in charge of horse breeding in Portugal. We, APSL, have good relations with FAR. The regulations are developed by the APSL and approved by this official body.

MW: Which role does FAR (Fundação Alter Real), since the management changed, play today?

JRD: FAR has the same role as the former “ Service des Haras Nationaaux“ (SNC), which is to supervise the stud-book managed by APSL.

MW: How is the PSL – breeding organised and structured worldwide?

JRD: In countries which have associations, foreign breeders must address themselves to the association of their country, which ensures the connections with APSL.
In Portugal and in countries that don’t have an association, the breeders are obliged to address directly to APSL.
With regard to laboratories: they must be approved by ISAG. The results have to be sent to APSL in all cases, if there is, or not, a correspondant association.

Questions to Eng. Manuel Campilho (MMC), chairman of APSL

MW: Which Chairmen where involved since the foundation of APSL? Could you list them chronologically, including indicating the time they stood?


  • Arq. Arsénio Raposo Cordeiro, from 1990 to 1992.
  • José Manuel de Mello, from 1992 to 1996.
  • Dr. Pedro Ferraz da Costa from 1996 to 2005.
  • Eng. Manuel Campilho from 2005 to this day.

MW: You are Chairman since 2005 and it seems, that you plan to stay for quite some more years. So, I suppose, that PSL – breeding and as well APSL is a part of your life….and absorbes as well quite a big part of your activities.
I know, the following question will be quite a difficult and very complexe one but as well quite an important one. Well, the question itself sounds quite simple: what was the aim of PSL – breeding in earlier times and what is the aim of PSL – breeding today? What are the changes respectively the developments within the foundation times and today? What do you think, are the main changes?

MMC: In the beginning, when the herd book was established in 1967, the objective was to gather a group of horses which had well known origins and which respected the standards of the breed. It was this goal which was followed by a group of connaisseurs, with Fernando Sommer d 'Andrade on its top.
Later, when the studbook has been integrated in the APCRS, there was a process of establishing the consolidation of the breed as well as developing the methods of inscription within this studbook.

MW: This process, was it already performed or influenced by APSL?

MMC: APSL was created in 1990, according to the observed development and growth.

MW: And how was the development of Lusitano breeding furtheron?

MMC: After there was reached a group of animals which was consolidated in its appearance respective to the standards of the breed, we began to attach more and more importance to the functionality. So, since 1993 only stallions which were ridden were admitted to breed.
In 1998, the paternity tests began to be performed by the DNA – test method. Furthermore we started a new modality – working equitation – because we think that this could establish an excellent market for the products.

MW: Could you give us some informations about the very recent projects or plans you, respectively APSL, have?

MMC: Since march 2005, the moment of elections of social bodies which I preside, there were defined two big axels of intervention:

on the operational level:

  • Creation of two new bodies in order to make the process of taking decisions more flexible: the enlarged Direction and the International Coordination Council.
  • A plan to approach to the Alter Real Foundation (former National Stud Service), and specially to offer a possibility of consulting for all interested persons, via Internet, worldwide datas related to the Lusitano, as well as obtaining the results of affiliation controls more rapidly.

On the functional level:

  • Modification of the Studbook Reglement, particularly concerning the possibility of reevaluation of animals in order to eventually reach a higher note than the first time (Book of Reproductive Animals) or to get the admission by a second try (Book of Reproductive Animals), as well as the artificial insemination post mortem.

MW: You mentioned, that functionality and support in the sport became aspects with increasing importance Could you give us some informations about results of the Lusitano in sport events?

MMC: The main titles reached by Lusitanos were the following:

Working Equitation:

  • European Champion 1998 to 2001, 2004, 2007.
  • World Champion 2002 and 2006


  • World Champion 1996 and 2006

MW: A quite impressive list! Seems, that the Lusitano is not „only“ a very good horse for bull fighting or leisure, but as well predestinated for the sport! Do you have some general comments about the Lusitano as a sport horse?

MMC: I would like to point out the extended efforts by APSL within the promotion of our horse, by its presence at the main international events, with the inalienable support of everybody: breeders, owners and riders.
Even if the results obtained till now are not like we expected, the Lusitano breed was all the same the second of the most represented breeds at the Olympic games at Peking 2008, just behind the Hannoverians (with 13 horses) and in front of the Danish (with 6 horses).

Questions to Dr. Emidio Pinto (EP):

MW: Dr. Emidio Pinto, you are vice president of APSL and, …..what will be perhaps even more interesting for our members and interested persons,….. you are the reponsible person for the judging system of APSL and for the judges.
Considering these facts, my first question is: how many judges are presently working for APSL?

EP: There are in the moment totally 14 judges worldwide:

  • Arsénio Raposo Cordeiro (P)
  • José Manuel Correia Lopes (P)
  • Antonio Raul Brito Paes (P)
  • Emidio Pinto (P)
  • João Filipe Figueiredo (Graçiosa) (P)
  • Tomé Nunes (P)
  • Francisco Bessa de Carvalho (P)
  • João Pedro Rodrigues (P)
  • Nuno Frazão dos Santos Pereira (P)
  • Pedro Passanha (P)
  • Rui Rosado (P)
  • Yves Manzanares (F)
  • Orpheu Avila (Br)
  • João Ralão Duarte, technical secretary

MW: What kind of education does an APSL judge have respectively need?

EP: Theoretical and practical cliniques are organised to prepare the future judges (remark MW: a very important part of the formation of judges is the practical work with different APSL judges. This practical work has to be achieved by judging assistence at several Festivals during about two or three years). At the end of the judges formation („judges of the breed“) there will be a report, created by two APSL judges. This report will then be sent to the technical secretary. If he accepts this report, the candidate will then be judge.
Beginning of 2009 the new judges Reglement will be ready and will fix the rules which can be applicated in this subject.

MW: The APSL judges have a profound knowledge about the PSL, many of them are PSL – breeders by their own and / or are involved within the PSL – scene and almost all of them know most of the breeders and horses. So it seems to be very difficult for a judge, to stay with an objective judgement. How do you manage this problem?

EP: D’ abord, nous essayons de choisir des personnes qui fassent preuve d’ intégrité et d’ indépendance. Puis, nous organisons chaque année des rencontres sur le contrôle des critères et, même s’ il n’ y a pas de règles à ce sujet, nous tâchons de choisir des juges qui ne soient pas proche des éleveurs / propriétaires des animaux concurrents. Ce serait certainement plus facile d’ avoir des personnes complètement indépendant du milieu equestre, mais alors, quelle serait leur connaissance de la race?

MW: Since the number of breeding shows and gradings increase every year, it is obviously necessary to have more judges. What is your plan to resolve this problem?

EP: Face à la réalité actuelle, notamment l’ augmentation du nombre de concours et de jugements, il faut absolument accroître le nombre de juges pour repondre aux besoins. Les juges eux – mêmes seront moins surchargés.
Comme je l’ ai déja indiqué, nous organisons des formations afin d’ accroître le nombre de juges. Lorsque les formations sont organisées, nous demandons aux associations étrangères d’ indiquer leur candidats, si elles en ont.

MW: When do you think, you will be ready to send the first new judges to breeding shows?

EP: probably in 2009.

MW: Will you send new judges only to shows in foreign countries or will you use them as well for the shows in Portugal?

EP: We don’ t make any distinction between the quality of the judges and the competitions or festivals. We send our judges wherever they are needed.


Offizielle Vertretung des portugiesischen Stutbuches APSL


Abonnieren Sie unseren CLS Newsletter und erhalten Sie aktuelle Infos rund um den Cavalo Lusitano Switzerland!