Welcome to the Valença Equestrian Academy, a beacon of classical equitation in the heart of Portugal. Our story began in the 1980s when Master Luis Valença, established the Centro Equestre de Lezíria Grande (CELG). It has become a pivotal training hub, shaping the journey of thousands of students and horses from across the globe in the art of classical riding.

Here at our Equestrian academy, we are more than a school; we are a community dedicated to fostering a profound dialogue between rider and horse. Our philosophy centers on cultivating willing, harmonious, joyous partnerships with our horses, cherishing each day as a privilege to engage in this noble pursuit.

When you step into the world of the Valença Equestrian Academy, you step into a fairy tale. With our seasoned schoolmaster horses, we offer a taste of enchantment, a transformative experience that extends far beyond conventional riding lessons. We invite you to immerse yourself in a language not of words, but of trust, respect, and mutual understanding with these magnificent creatures.

The name Valença has become synonymous with classical dressage excellence and equestrian shows such as The Royal Horse Gala, Apassionata and Cavalluna.

mestre luís valença

Luis Valença, widely regarded as the greatest living practitioner of Classical dressage currently alive in the world today.  Mestre Luis Valença was hand-picked by the legendary Nuno Oliveira to be his principal apprentice and assistant in the 1960s.  Luis Valença and his family have been dedicating their lives to teaching both horses and riders for over 40 years.

Our Team

We have a great team full of professionals

Filipa Valença

Filipa is an international clinician as well as dressage performer in Apassionata and other heart-stopping equestrian shows staged throughout Europe.

Sofia Valença

Like her sister Filipa, Sofia Valença is also an international clinician and dressage rider for Apassionata and other shows in Europe and the USA.

Luisa Valença

Ana Luisa Vasconcelos Matias Valença Rodrigues – Bi to my friends. I’m a Portuguese citizen born in Lisbon but early on I became a citizen of the world…

Inês Valença Câncio

Inês began her riding career at the age of three. Her public debut was in the show perfromed by the Centro Equestre da Lezíria Grande at the Golegã Horse Fair.

Join us, and let the Valença legacy inspire your own equestrian journey

Before that, he had been trained by Mestre D. José Manuel da Cunha Menezes, who had been ecuyer-en-chef (rider, trainer and instructor) to members of the royal family of Portugal. Hence, Luis Valença was the recipient of a crucial moment in dressage history – the point at which the pure Baroque way of riding became influenced by the French school of Baucher, and then Oliveira’s subsequent development of that system towards the Classical style we recognize today.

To this system, both Valença and Oliveira added the principals of both competitive sport dressage and equestrian art practiced to it´s highest form. But there is nothing intimidating about Master Valença – in fact when you arrive you might see him taking care of the gardens, taking out the trash, dragging the arena…or training a horse in piaffe or capriole. Anyone who loves the horse is welcome.

Luis Valença and his family have been dedicating their lives to teaching both horses and riders for over 40 years. This life experience has enabled the Valença family to develop a training method that is proven to develop a higher level of communication with your horse. Using classical riding as its foundation, this method enables you and your horse to work together using a clear, stress-free language, with lightness and suppleness; like two partners in a dance as one. This can be achieved by any type of horse and rider within any riding discipline.

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    Estrada Nacional 1 2600, Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal

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