Wellington, Florida, USA – June 03, 2021 – On a dark night in a particularly desolate area in Hamburg, Germany, Bruno Diniz Das Neves (POR) was lost. The Portuguese rider had no cell reception as he desperately looked to find the small farm to which he was traveling. He almost turned around. After all, his colleagues had already cautioned him that the horse he was traveling to see would be too much work and wasn’t worth his time.
But he felt obligated to see through a trial that he had initiated. He first saw the Holsteiner mare Adele XIII in a video on his Instagram feed and had reached out to her rider to see if she was available for sale. While on a four-month stint in Europe, he determined to see the horse in person.
“It was night, I was lost, I couldn’t find the farm, and I had no reception on my phone, but I got there, and I got on the horse,” Neves recalled. “She looked so different from the video. She was spooky, and I thought it was going to be a funky ride. I was a little bit uncertain, but then we started jumping. Every jump I liked more. I said, ‘I’m going to buy this mare.'”
Patience, persistence and an undeniable gut feeling kept Neves going as he brought Adele XIII home to his base in Rancho Sante Fe, CA, and continued his mare’s development. On May 15, 2021, his faith in the horse was confirmed, as the pair won the $75,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” Grand Prix at Blenheim Equisports’ Ranch & Coast Classic in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
“Everyone said, ‘She’s a trier, but she’s unorthodox.’ ‘Unconventional’—I heard everything,” Neves said. “But I liked her. Her entire journey has been a process. She’s so smart, and she kept learning every time she went in the ring. It was all about patience and believing in her.”
Running his BDN Horses out of Northern California, Neves specializes in equine development, training, sales and rider instruction. Based in the U.S. since 2012, Neves has found a niche working with green horses.
“I like to find horses that might have previously been overlooked,” he said. “They might have a bit more character, or something of the like. They typically don’t have a lot of mileage but have qualities that give them the potential to turn out to be good horses for a particular job, whether it’s to jump 1.20m or to win a grand prix.”
Adele XIII fit the bill to a tee. After importing her stateside, Neves learned that his new mount had only been jumping for four years. While she undeniably had a powerful jump, she visibly lacked a foundation. So, he went back to basics, focusing on ride-ability and fitness. The pair moved up the ranks slowly, only doing so when Neves felt his mare was physically strong enough to handle the next level.
“She didn’t know much. When I started with her, I had to rebuild her physically from scratch,” he said. “It took a long time until she got strong enough to move up, but I thought she had the scope [for the grand prix level].”
In December’s $100,000 Grand Prix at the Desert International Horse Park, Neves presented his mare with her first real test. Adele XIII did her part, jumping a clear round while incurring just a single time fault. From there, her consistency has continued, and the pair finished second in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Blenheim Spring Classic in March.
It was in that grand prix that Neves initiated a new tactic. Recognizing the tremendous effort his mount gave in each round, he decided to bypass any warm-up classes. A glimpse at Adele XIII’s record confirms: This pair jumps only the grand prix at every horse show, and it’s proved to be a winning move.
“I went against everyone’s opinion and stuck to my plan. I said, ‘I think there’s something here,'” he said. “I thought she was special, because no matter what, every time she went in the ring, she brought home a ribbon. That’s special for me.”
“Dreams Do Come True.”
Neves recognizes that he took a chance on Adele XIII when he purchased her in Hamburg. It’s comparable to the chance For Horses took on him, he says, when taking him on as a sponsored rider shortly after the company’s introduction to the U.S. market in 2012.
It was another relationship sparked on the Internet. Neves sent an email to For Horses U.S. Sales Manager Anita Sguigna expressing interest in the young company. She reciprocated; Neves has represented For Horses’ men’s wear for the last seven years.
“I wanted to wear something different and something that I could grow with,” Neves said. “Now, every year that goes by, the clothes get nicer and nicer, and it’s so nice to see so many people at shows wearing the brand. Every girl owns a pair of For Horses breeches, and I see many of their jackets and shirts. The work that they’ve done is phenomenal.”
Working long hours in and out of the saddle, Neves spends extended time in his For Horses breeches, classically-styled show shirts, and technical shirts for everyday wear.
“As a sponsored rider, I’m very grateful that I can wear their clothes and be supported by them,” Neves said. “Everything fits so well. They put up lines with quality materials and fabrics that are also affordable. That’s so important.”
Neves is looking forward to debuting his new For Horses custom show coat the next time he’s in the ring. He’ll do so as the leading rider of the Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” High Performance Jumper Series, a program designed to provide owners, trainers and riders the opportunity to compete in three Rolex/USEF certified rider ranking list 1.50m grand prix events at a discounted price. The series final will take place at the Blenheim International Jumping Festival in September.
“If you work hard and believe in what you’re doing, and you do the right thing, the results will come,” he said. “Dreams do come true.”
The FH Men’s Collection
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About For Horses
Affectionately called “FH”, For Horses is the union of a passion for the equestrian world and fashion. A great love for horses inspired the designer Giovanna Novello and her husband Andrea Piovan to create FH, driven by a strong generational know-how starting in the 1980’s by the Novello family who revolutionized dance, sport and leisure wear. Together they create sophisticated, elegant, unique tailored high-tech garments, entirely made in Italy. For Horses fits the equestrian lifestyle of riders all over the world.
Source: Press Release by Catie Staszak / Catie Staszak Media / For Horses
Photos: © McCool Photos / ESI Photography / Bruno Diniz das Neves / For Horses