Lusitano Grand Prix Stallion Disturbio Passed Away

Fri, 06/21/2024 - 13:25
Miguel Ralao Duarte and Disturbio on their international show debut at the 2015 CDI Vilamoura :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Disturbio, the Lusitano stallion who competed at international Grand Prix level with both Miguel and Rita Ralao, has passed away. He was 16 years old.

Disturbio PFC was by Talisco out of Quiche (by Orphee). He was bred and owned by Coudelaria Ferraz da Costa.

Ralao Family Horse

On his FEI passport he is listed as owned by company Soc. Agricola de Santa Joana since 2012, but the Ralao family always credited breeder Pedro Ferraz da Costa as the owner.

The grey Lusitano stallion arrived with the Ralaos in 2013 when he was five years old and was trained up to Grand Prix level by 2006 Portuguese WEG team rider Miguel Ralao Duarte. 

Miguel and Disturbio made their international show debut in 2015 at the CDI Vilamoura at small tour level.  A month later they won the Inter I Kur at the CDI Madrid.

He made the transition to international medium and big tour level in 2017 with a first start at the CDI Medina Sidonia, followed by Abrantes. In 2018 they campaigned in Toledo, Segovia, Cascais, and Ponte de Lima. 

Miguel continued to develop the stallion in the two Olympic selection years - 2019 and 2020, but by the summer of 2020 handed over the ride to Rita Ralao.  She premiered him at the CDI Beloura.

In 2021 they did two CDI's - Abrantes and Cascais. In his last international competition in Cascais in June 2021, Rita and Disturbio finished second in the Grand Prix Special with 70.404%.

Rita Ralao and Disturbio in 2020
"I stoped showing him after he sustained an injury on one of his front legs," Rita Ralao told Eurodressage. "He recovered from it, but we decided to stop competing him at high level, because we were afraid the injury would come back and worse. So we retired him from international sport and after a while the granddaughter of the owner did some national competitions with him in Junior level. When she went to college, she stopped riding him. He remained at our stables and we rode him almost daily to keep him in shape and he was turned out a lot and was just enjoying his life."

Untimely Passing

The Ralao family announced on social media that Disturbio passed away last week following a colic attack.

"We are heartbroken to share that last week we lost our beloved Distúrbio, to a very unfortunate event," they stated. "He was more than just a horse. He was a cherished member of our family (...). His giant heart and gentle character made him the most amazing horse, and his absence leaves a huge void in our lives."

Rita added to Eurodressage, "we’re still dealing with his loss. He was very very special. Losing him was really devastating, he was a family member."

Photo © Astrid Appels - ABR Fotografie

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