Claire Moucadel and Xaveco Interagro Hone In on Haras Cup



Claire Moucadel spears the ring aboard Xaveco Interagro during the Speed phase of the 2016 Haras Cup

Magnolia, Texas – (Oct. 21, 2016) – Claire Moucadel piloted Xaveco Interagro with laser precision and unwavering focus to win the 2016 Haras Cup at Haras dos Cavaleiros in Magnolia, Texas. The three-day event, held Oct. 14-16, is the premier Working Equitation competition in North America and featured a line-up of tough competitors vying for $100,000 in prizes. Riders competed at a variety of levels in three different phases: Dressage, Ease of Handling and Speed.

Moucadel and Xaveco, a 14-year-old Lusitano stallion (Profano Interagro-Dona, Legendário do Mirante) owned by Haras dos Cavaleiros, competed at the International level, the top tier of the sport. The duo led the French team to the 2015 Brazilian Working Equitation World Cup win in December and topped the individual rankings at that competition. After the Haras Cup, she took home a check for $10,000 plus a special edition Hublot watch valued at more than $20,000 for the highest average of the combined percentages in the Dressage and Ease of Handling phases.


France’s Claire Moucadel

“Fantastique. Super extraordinaire,” the French champion from near Avignon, France, exclaimed, adding that the organization of the show was “très bon” and the sponsorship was “extraordinaire.”

She and the stallion captured the top score in the Dressage phase where the prescribed movements were ridden to music like a dressage freestyle or kür. Smooth tempi changes and precise movements were the hallmarks of the ride and the pair began the first day of competition in solid first place with a 70.00 percent, nearly five percentage points ahead of the rest.

In the Ease of Handling phase on Saturday, the duo maneuvered the obstacles with flair and grace, but the pièce de résistance was Sunday’s speed phase. Moucadel and Xaveco honed in on each obstacle with steadfast resolve and cleared the course nearly 12 seconds ahead of the second-place horse and rider, Tiago Ernesto and Adagio DC, while breaking the timer beam at 172.42 seconds.


Claire Moucadel acknowledges the crowd’s applause after her winning ride

“The French lady didn’t come here to play; she came to win,” said Michael Vermaas of the United States, one of a panel of five international judges for the event. “It was like a torpedo. Boom! That’s my target. I’m going. I’ve never seen anyone focus like that. She knew exactly where she was going and what she was doing, and the time showed it.”

The technical delegate for the Haras Cup, Rebecca Algar, agreed. “I thought this year the standard was even better than last year. We have more international competitors. The winner at the International level was absolutely fantastic and gave us all something to aim for. She was outstanding in all three phases.”

Head judge Cláudia Elsner Matos of Portugal was also impressed with the riders’ expertise. “Since I have been here, the level of competition has increased. In general, all of the riders have done a good job and they are meeting expectations. They are growing fast. I think the sport has a future everywhere and it has a big future. So, it’s up to the Americans to make it big.”


Tiago Ernesto and Adagio DC claimed second place in the International division

This was German judge Nicola Danner’s first Haras Cup. She is an international level judge for the World Association for Working Equitation (WAWE), headquartered in Rome, Italy. “This Haras Cup is wonderful,” she said, adding that the professionalism displayed at the event as well as its organization was impressive. “The riders are really trying very hard to improve the dressage, which is the basic work to improve that sport. This is what you want internationally.”


Daniel Garcia and Temprano turn on the speed to capture second place in the Advanced division

She said WAWE’s dreams include positioning the discipline of Working Equitation under the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) umbrella with future inclusion in the World Equestrian Games.

“What I can see here is they try very hard to make proper rules,” Danner said. “They try very hard to judge really strictly and the riders are very disciplined. Also, the sport is young and the big classes are young riders, but it’s normal in this sport. It’s a new sport. It’s a discipline everybody can do with his horse. You have can have all the breeds. You can have a Haflinger or Thoroughbred or Lusitano. I will tell the WAWE in Rome that this country is coming up fast, fast, fast. I am very happy to see what is good here.”

Portuguese Working Equitation champion and a trainer for Haras dos Cavaleiros, Jorge Vincente de Sousa, was impressed. “Especially at the International level, we saw some very, very nice rides,” he said. “I don’t know if the Americans have the notion how important this competition is in the world of Working Equitation.”


An early morning course walk before the Ease of Handling phase in the expansive covered arena at Haras dos Cavaleiros

Rafael Chávez, who owns Haras dos Cavaleiros along with his wife Carmina Zamorano, was thrilled with the level of competition at the third annual Haras Cup.


Lisa Harding, dressed in traditional Austrailian cattle working attire, rides Austrailian Stock Horse Sandhaven Chanel to place third in the Novice-Open division

“I think it was amazing,” he said. “Now the level is the top of the top. We are so, so happy that now we have this kind of event.”

The Haras Cup features competition at six levels: Children, Juniors, Introductory, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and International. Chávez said his intention is to involve all ages and levels to help grow the sport and promote an inclusive, family atmosphere. Not only are a variety of competitors involved but the event features a lead line class for young children, an extravaganza show and fabulous gala on Saturday night that lasts until the wee hours of Sunday morning, and a brunch with a Hat Derby on Sunday afternoon. And the show could not have been such a resounding success without the help of an army of workers including Rob Moyar, the show manager, and Carmen Franco, the show secretary.


Macarena and Beauty, first place winners in the Children’s division

“The point is to make it grow the sport,” Chávez said. “Each year we bring the most important people in the world here – judges and competitors. That’s intentional and that is why the Haras Cup is the most important private Working Equitation event in the world.”


Carlos Carneiros and Baco, third in the International division

Haras Dos Cavaleiros is the top Lusitano horse breeder in the United States and, to many competitors, the Lusitano horse is the breed of choice for Working Equitation, although the sport is open to horses of any breed. Haras Dos Cavaleiros offers Lusitanos for sale as well as breeding opportunities to their top stallions. They not only sponsor the Haras Cup, but they provide riding lessons at their equestrian riding school, equitation clinics for adults and children, dressage clinics and horse boarding. They also host dressage, hunter/jumper and schooling shows at the facility. Within the Haras Dos Cavaleiros complex is housed a 275 ft. x 175 ft. main indoor arena, a 216 ft. x 93 ft. indoor arena and a 230 ft. x 100 ft. outdoor arena, all outfitted with state-of-the-art European footing and permanent irrigation systems. Other facilities within the estate include a restaurant, hotel, spa and elegant facilities for hosting special events.

For more information about the Haras Cup, call (281) 259-4861 or (281) 710-8932. Email them at or go to Like the Haras Cup on Facebook at . To learn more about Haras Dos Cavaleiros, log onto


Tammy Williams and Davidoff DC, winners of the Intermediate Adult Amateur division


Place    Rider                                                   Horse                                            Level

International Level

1 Claire Moucadel Xaveco Interagro International
2 Tiago Ernesto Adagio DC International
3 Carlos Carneiro Baco International

Advanced Level

1 Miguel Undabarrena Miguel al Vida Advanced
2 Daniel Garcia Temprano Advanced
3 Kim Peterson Sharp Drezzed Man Advanced

Intermediate-Adult Amateur

1 Tammy Williams Davidoff DC Intermediate-AA
2 Jade Watts Gonzales Elvis Intermediate-AA
3 Jade Watts Gonzales Koda Intermediate-AA


1 Dori Johnson Vencedor JB Interm.-Open
2 Carlos Carneiro Engaco Interm.-Open
3 Dori Johnson Rummy Interm.-Open

Novice-Adult Amateur

1 Kiki Pantaze Sandhaven Late to the Party Novice-AA
2 Deidra Keithley Kiss My Angel Novice-AA
3 Kiki Pantaze Sandhaven Prima Donna Novice-AA


1 João Gonçalves Hercules DC Novice-Open
2 Dori Johnson Fiona DC Novice-Open
3 Lisa Harding Sandhaven Chanel Novice-Open


1 Emily Hyde Sonny Dayz Novice-Junior
2 Madison Waller Diablo DC Novice-Junior
3 Anne Marie Zaaiman-Miller Player Novice-Junior


1 Malinda Edwards de Mata Guerreira DC Intro – AA
2 Denise Sadler Doc Caan Do Intro – AA
3 Jade Watts Gonzales Hika de Mali Intro – AA


1 Tara Dahnke One Noble Son Intro-Open
2 Lauren Maloney Gus Intro-Open
3 Erin Giesler Chico Intro-Open


1 Madison Waller Rollingwoods Double Stuff Junior


1 Macarena Chávez Beauty Children
2 Macarena Chávez Mickey Mouse Children
3 Carmina Chávez Misty Children


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