The Annual Haras Cup Working Equitation Competition

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The Haras Cup is an annual tournament showcasing the finest competitors in working equitation, an equestrian discipline. Working equitation involves a horse and its rider being judged based on their teamwork in three categories, including dressage, ease of handling, and speed. In dressage, horses perform a roughly seven-minute routine that is choreographed to music. To showcase ease of handling, horses must clear obstacles such as bridges, gates, or other large objects that may be found in fields. To demonstrate speed, horses must perform similar feats of clearing physical obstacles, but do so while timed.

Established as a competitive sport in the 1990s, working equitation is popular in many regions of Europe. The partnership between horse and rider, along with the vibrant music, makes the sport entertaining to watch.

About the author:

Carmen Maria Montiel headshot

Journalism professional and former Miss Venezuela Carmen Maria Montiel spends much of her time involved with the local culture of Houston, Texas. An attendee of Houston Fashion week and a judge for the Miss Houston pageant in 2015, Carmen Maria Montiel is active in the Texas social scene and last year attended the Haras Cup in Magnolia.


An Overview of the Haras Cup for Working Equitation


A former television journalist, Carmen María Montiel has a wide array of experience that includes covering the 1992 Republican National Convention and producing a syndicated show featuring Latin artists. Carmen María Montiel also attends a variety of charitable and social events, such as the Haras Cup gala.

One of the top working equitation championships in the United States, the Haras Cup offers $80,000 in prize money and competitions for all breeds as well as classes for a variety of age and experience levels. Held in Magnolia, Texas, the Haras Cup also features international class competitors by invitation only to some of the best riders in the world.

The Haras Cup serves as the annual championship competition for the Working Equitation International Association. A relatively recent equestrian activity, working equitation is judged by three components-dressage, ease of handling, and speed-with a focus on versatility and athleticism. Each of the components is judged on a separate day. The first day is dedicated to dressage, with divisions for children and youth, and a general division for novice, intermediate, advanced, and master riders. The second and third days focus on handling and speed, respectively, with different obstacle courses each day. Proceeds from the cup go to a number of charities, including the children’s nutrition organization Kids’ Meals, Inc., and the United States Pony Clubs, Inc.

About the Lusitano Horse – A Brief History

Although the Lusitano horse was not considered separate from the Andalusian breed until 1966, it possesses several distinctive features, including a lower tail, more sloping hindquarters, and a more significantly convex head. A light horse breed, the Lusitano weighs on average less than 1,500 pounds, with long legs and a short, muscular back, and the Lusitano is usually light grey in color. Modern Lusitano horses were bred to be used in Portuguese bull fights and established a reputation as intelligent horses especially adept at a variety of equestrian activities.

Some breed associations believe that the Lusitano has been used as a saddle horse for more than 5,000 years, making it the world’s oldest saddle horse. Due to the breed’s intelligence and size, it was commonly used by nobility and crusaders and helped pioneer the art of dressage.

About the author:

Carmen Maria Montiel

An award-winning television journalist, Carmen María Montiel has served as the news anchor for both English- and Spanish-speaking broadcasts. Additionally, Carmen María Montiel frequently chairs galas and fashion shows, and she attended the Haras Cup when it presented its first competition of Lusitano horses.