My name is Ucalito. I’m a gorgeous 16 year old grey Pure Blood Lusitano stallion and I’m 1.68m which is quite high for a Lusitano horse. I was born in the Coudelaria Félix Inacio da Costa (CFT) a breeding farm specialised in Lusitano horses located in Torres Vedras in the district of Lisbon in Portugal. I descend from a long lineage of Lusitano: my sire is Oficial CFR and my dam Princesa CFR (by Zique AC). As a true Iberian my favourite discipline is dressage, at St Georges level, though!
Up until last year I lived with a French champion Maryline Brocard in La Charniaz in the French Alps. I excelled in doma vaquera (doma means dressage in Spanish) a French Equestrian Federation discipline of Andalusian tradition originally used with cattles in Spain.
A year ago I moved in with Sandrine Gaschet who founded eleven years ago the Aventure et Vous equestrian centre and the Cautivo Equestrian Theatre a year ago. I was a surprise for Sandrine, a present for the theatre from one of her friends.
A year ago Sandrine Gaschet and her husband embarked upon a new adventure: the launch of the Cautivo Equestrian Theatre! Five wonderful Iberian horses thus became the stars of this equestrian show, including Ucalito the latest arrival in the troupe.
Where does your name come from?
I don’t know why I’m called Ucalito but I like that it sounds Iberian. It reminds me of my country of birth! At home my pet name is Higelin because of my hair cut… You know the breeder in the movie Jappeloup!
Where do you live? Can you describe your stables?
I live in Cherisy in the Eure-et-Loir district of France in grand stables with 40 other equine animals. A lot of them are stallions and that demands quite an organisation! The main idea is to avoid isolating stallions as we would become even more aggressive. So in alternate boxes you will find stallions with geldings on either side. And it works! Well at least as long as the geldings don’t have dominant personalities as well…
How do you get on with your stable mates?
When I arrived I was a very calm horse but once I got comfortable my stallion character asserted itself! I can’t stand the other stallions. I can even get rather aggressive with them especially with Voltaje a Spanish Pure Blood who has been living at the stables for far longer than me. Everyone takes extra care with me to prevent me from kicking in the other horses’ boxes particularly when I am going to the paddock. I sometimes take advantage of my female riders’ kindness and softness, whereas with Sandrine’s husband I don’t get smart…. Otherwise I am a darling!
What do you like most about your rider?
At the equestrian centre I have met a female rider whom I love. She bends over backwards to find the right switches without troubling me! When I arrived I was fully trained in dressage but I admit that I have a strong character, fortunately my rider and Sandrine know what they are doing!
What is your best skill? ou What are your best attributes?
I’m a born teacher! Despite my strong stallion character, I’m very good at teaching skills as I’m respectful, calm and patient when working. With whomever on my back I can achieve great things: tempi change, passage, pirouette, half pass… When I work I’m focused and diligent. I understand easily what is expected of me and I’m very gentle. Except when another stallion shows up. I go mad and I’m even capable of unhorsing my rider to charge at him!
What is your worst flaw? What is the worst mischief you got into?
I’m a dominant male and I’m very possessive! Once I even destroyed the small arena to escape and attack Voltaje!
What is your guilty pleasure? Do you sometimes act like a diva? Do you have passing fancies?
Like all horses I love sweets! I regularly get apples and carrots in my manger because I also have a nasty habit of rummaging through pockets or chewing.
What’s your favourite colour?
I love white but my favourite colour is gold like my wings in the show “Rêver d’ailes” (To dream of wings)! For the finale I’m dressed as a winged unicorn with beautiful 3-metre wide golden wings! It gives me the feeling that I can fly like Pegasus…
Which dream would you like to come true in your life?
My dream would be to live in a big field where I could gallop all day, graze green grass and… I would love to be the only stallion in the stables!
What’s your favourite activity?
We have good fun in the arena with my rider, I gallop unrestrained and as soon as she blows the whistle I instantly come back to her.
What makes you feel the happiest?
I’m really happy when I’m grazing the lush grass in the paddock and when I feel like it, I break into a frantic gallop.
What do you dislike most in the world?
It must be Voltaje… Here he’s the stallion put to stud so he feels a bit like the boss. He provokes me with his long mane and his school paces!
What has been your best memory?
Since I joined the Cautivo troupe I’ve had many lovely memories. Yet it wasn’t that easy for me to start with… Actually I don’t have a particularly fond memory of my first show. I got so scared of the artificial snow… But I’ve improved since and now when I enter the arena and I find myself under the lights I’m a different horse. I play the role of my character and, stallion or not I perform in tune with the music.
Which frame of mind are you in at the moment?
Relaxed, it’s hay time!
Do you have a life motto you would like to share with us?
Calm, forward march, straight!
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