In 1979, the Ministry of Agriculture founded the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art with the objective of promoting the teaching, practice and profile of traditional Portuguese Equestrian Art. The School temporarily operated out of the Portuguese Riding Society facilities in Campo Grande, Lisbon, making occasional presentations in Queluz as from 1984. In 1996, following the construction of stables in the gardens of the National Palace of Queluz, the School moved there and where its headquarters remain while making presentations to the public in the renovated Henrique Calado Riding Ring in Lisbon ever since July 2015.
The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art follows in the wake of what was the Picaria Real, the equestrian academy of the Portuguese court, which was closed in the 19th century but had performed in the Royal Riding Ring of Belém, currently the site of the National Coach Museum.
Due to the continued practice of equestrian bullfighting, the same type of horse has remained in continuous usage ever since the 18th century in conjunction with the same reins and saddles and the same rider costumes. The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art has also helped restore the Baroque riding exercises such as the “airs above the ground”.
All of the School’s horses are entirely thoroughbred Lusitanos, brown in colour and raised on the Alter Real Stud Farm.
The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art also stages regular performances open to the public as well as special events both in Portugal and internationally representing an important means of raising the profile of the Lusitano horse and Portuguese culture