INICIO, EPONA - Equestrian Center

Dressage Clinic with Rafael Soto

Introduction Rafael and InvasorRafael and Invasor

Who in the dressage world has not heard of the Spanish Olympic Team Silver Medallist RAFAEL SOTO?

His charisma has earned him the respect and popularity of Dressage enthusiasts and fellow riders alike, the world over.

That final gesture and enthusiastic 'There you have it', followed by the flamboyant Spanish Walk performed by his partner 'Invasor' as they leave the ring, has become their trademark, and provokes uproars of applause and attracts audiences, wherever they go.

What most people don't know is that the spectacular 'Invasor' was a difficult horse in his youth and was rejected by other riders as 'impossible to train', due to his immense size, strength and laid-back disposition.

Programme

INTENSIVE DRESSAGE TRAINING CLINIC

This is a seven nights, six day's riding programme.Commencing Sunday after 4.00 p.m., ending Sunday before 11.00 a.m.
Maximum number of participants is 5, and the minimum number is 2. The training consists of:
2 Lunging sessions to improve classical seat
6 group lessons with our resident instructors

These lessons will determine the level and most suitable mount for maximum benefit during the 4 x 45 minute private sessions with Rafael Soto. Participants will also have   a chance to sit in and observe the lessons of the other guests. 
 
OTHER PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES:
Visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art at Jerez de la Frontera.
Flamenco Show and dinner in Seville.
Conference with Rafael and staff, where progress will be discussed and all participants will be  presented with a Diploma.

REQUIREMENTS:
Elementary knowledge of dressage is recommended for maximum benefit
Maximum weight limit is 85kg





Price List & Dates

HORSES:
Mostly Pure Andalusian, some Andalusian cross, trained from Elementary Dressage through to High School, depending on the rider's ability.

PRICE: € 2,380.
Single Supplement € 270

Price includes:
All riding, accommodation at the four star hotel (Alcázar de la Reina), all transfers at pre set time, taxes, most meals (all breakfasts, all lunches, Sunday dinner).
Except for:
Six meals (five dinners at the hotel in Carmona and the last one in Sevilla, on the last evening), are not included.


Entrance tickets for the Horse Show (€27)
Flamenco Show (€35)
Travel costs to Sevilla

AVAILABLE WEEKS in 2016 / 2017:
November: 06 - 13, 2016
November: 20 - 27, 2016
December: 11 - 18, 2016
February: 05 - 12, 2017
March: 05 - 12, 2017
*If demand is high, further clinics may be added. We will advise in plenty of time if this is the case


Complimentary Transfers CLICK HERE

Check out our optional activities       |      Go to our useful tips       |        Have a look on our FAQ

Rafael Soto's biography

Rafael was born in Jerez de la Frontera, where horse tradition is very strong, in 1957. He is a dedicated horseman who has been training horses and riders all his life, following in his father's footsteps and commencing his riding career at a tender age when his father bought and ran an equitation centre in Palma de Mallorca. It was there that he had his first important dressage success, becoming Balearic Regional Champion in that discipline in 1982. In 1987, he obtained his Spanish Instructor's Qualification, and returned to his native city to pursue his equestrian career. After winning his first National Championship in 1994, with 'Flamenco', he was chosen to form part of the National Dressage Team, representing Spain in the 1995 European Championships. From that date on, he has continued on the Spanish Team, going from strength to strength with his two partners, first 'Flamenco' then 'Invasor', both Pure Bred Andalusian stallions. His most important successes in Dressage competitions are:

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: 5 times gold medallist, four with 'Invasor', once with 'Flamenco'.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: Team Silver Medallist in Hickstead in 2003 with 'Invasor', plus two other 4th places. Top ten individual qualification in the last three European Championships in which he has participated, 1999, 2001 and 2003.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: 1998 Team 6th Place. 2002 Team Bronze Medal, Individual 6th Place.
OLYMPIC GAMES: ATLANTA 1996 Team 7th Place SYDNEY 2000 Team 5th Place, Individual 12th ATHENS 2004 Team SILVER MEDAL, Individual 8th Place.

Director's note
We all know that Rafael Soto is a brilliant Spanish Dressage Rider who has participated in three Olympic Games and who has obtained numerous trophies and prizes in National and International Competition, culminating in the Team Silver Medal in Athens. However, I would like to mention something that not too many people are aware of, and that is his equally impressive teaching abilities and his exceptional personality. I have known Rafael for many years now, initially we exchanged the occasional greeting at equestrian events where we coincided.

But a few years ago I had the opportunity (and a very pleasant experience it proved to be), of passing many hours in his company at the British Horse Society's Intsructors' Convention which took place at Addington Manor (Bucks, England) in April 2005. Rafael was invited as guest trainer shortly after his triumph in Athens. My wife and I were invited to participate on that occasion, by the chairman of the BHS, Mr Patrick Print (Fellow of the BHS), to accompany and attend to Rafael, during his stay in England, presumably to help with language difficulties and orientation. At this point, I would like to comment, that Rafael is completely fluent in French and German and, as we soon discovered to our surprise, also in English.

We were especially impressed with his command of technical equestrian terms and vocabulary. Obviously, language is a prime element in communication, but Rafael not only talks, he transmits and demonstrates in such a way as to make understanding very easy, encouraging and energizing his pupils into achieving more than they believe possible. In front of an audience of 300 people, the progress of 6 riders and their horses all of varying levels and abilities, was obvious. The apparent difficulties were gradually reduced to a minimum under Rafael's guidance and in two sessions each, over the two days. The level of the horses ran from a novice four-year-old warmblood to a Grand Prix Lusitano stallion. On the other hand, some of the riders were more experienced and/or talented than others. However, all progressed and were very happy with the outcome, as were those who observed, from the stands, the magnificant results. In short, I would like to add, or rather guarantee, that whoever participates in one of his clinics will end up thoroughly satisfied. Rafael is a very friendly, unpretentious person who enjoys making new friends due to his pleasant, extroverted character. The result of our time spent together in England, was the solidification of a friendly relationship between us and the beginning of a wonderful collaboration that over the years, and so many clinics later, has done nothing but confirm the impressions from those days, that he is truly a gifted trainer, mentor and clinician.

Fernando Garcia Carvajal.