Raised in the horse capital of Portugal, Nuno has been passionate about horses from a very young age. Though classically trained in Dressage, Nuno also spent his early years involved in Stadium Jumping, Endurance racing and Horseball, a popular European equine sport.
In his early twenties, following in his brother's footsteps, Nuno came to the US and began working at the racetrack in California. Quickly finding his niche, he rode for top trainers Laura de Seroux, and Neil Drysdale and worked as an assistant trainer for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel for eight years. In his time at the racetrack, Nuno rode Horse(s) of the Year and Breeders Cup winners such as Azeri and Ghostzapper. Though he loved the track, Nuno still spent afternoons in CA riding and training show horses.
After traveling the East Coast racing circuit, meeting his wife, and making a move to MD in 2010 Nuno decided to return to his roots and retire from racing to focus on his true passion. Creating Santos Sport Horses has allowed Nuno to share his passion with his students and horses alike and enjoys a daily balance of instruction and riding. Nuno's training method is based on a solid foundation of dressage work for all his horses, focusing on strength, balance, and correctness.
Nuno has enjoyed great early success with newly imported 5-year old Hanoverian, De Kilconor. Nuno also has a fondness for his familiar Portuguese Lusitanos and has imported a number for clients and for himself to show and add to his sales program. In addition, Nuno enjoys a wide variety of clients horses and has a particular love for Thoroughbreds and their athletic nature that lets the excel in so many equine disciplines. His unique experience and talent with them have found him particular success with his OTTB's, including his participation in and support of the Retired Racehorse Project and their Makeover Challenges and demos. OTTB gelding Ken's Kitten, is showing now showing at Prix St. Georges in CA with his new amateur owner, and Nuno's other young TB's off to a great start.
As all riders do, Nuno always continues to learn, attending clinics with trainers such as Boyd Martin, and training with Linda Zang, a former international competitor and now an FEI judge (since 1985)-- currently one of only a handful of “O” FEI dressage judges in this country.
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