Yeguada Iberica, which translated means Iberian Stud, was established by Richard and Sue Lust in the early 1980’s in Eastern Spain and Viva Iberica began in 1987 when Sue and Richard began selling Spanish and Portuguese tack and riding clothing. In 1991 the stud and tack business was moved to the UK and the first UK Viva Iberica tack shop was opened, in Bedfordshire, England, closely followed by the current international mail order webshop.
From 1987 Richard and Sue had started to develop working relationships with Iberian saddle and equestrian equipment manufacturers and Viva Iberica became the first UK stockist for the Spanish company Zaldi, now being one of their major worldwide distributors. Viva Iberica are also world distributors for Marjoman, Ludomar and others.
During this period Richard and Sue were deeply involved in the Spanish horse and riding scene also training with champion vaquera and Alta Escuela riders. Friends, such as the equestrian photographer and Doma Vaquera aficionado Rafael Lemos, introduced them to the traditional culture and riding of Spain, not just Doma Vaquera but la Garrocha, Acoso y Derribo and much more. Others, such as Juan Llamas, passed on their deep knowledge and it was from people like this that they gained the know how to produce their ‘Spanish Tack and Riding Clothing Guide’, which to this day is regularly updated and referred to throughout the world.
In 2003 Richard and Sue relocated Yeguada Iberica to Spain and took with them the Viva Iberica Webshop, both operating from the 130 acre Finca Iberica in southern Castilla la Mancha. The move allowed them to improve the webshop with direct access to suppliers for a faster service and the range of goods was expanded to include over 900 saddle options for dressage, endurance, Spanish, Portuguese, Baroque, jumping, horseball, special saddles for the disabled and a wide range of other equestrian equipment.
Viva Iberica's long and productive working relationship with Zaldi has resulted in the formation of an exceptional arrangement where saddles can be made to order, to customer’s specific requirements - and usually within just 7 working days from order. This efficient combination of manufacturer and supplier is possibly unique and combines the ultimate in customer choice backed up by a fast delivery (free to the UK and most of Europe) through FedEx or Correos, to all parts of the world.
This comprehensive service means Viva Iberica supply quality saddles made with the latest developments in technology, can advise on and supply authentic traditional tack and costume while also offering a new generation of saddles traditional in appearance yet made from modern lightweight materials.
Using the saddle sizing gauge Viva Iberica make available free of charge, plus their fitting and sizing guide, they have successfully supplied correctly fitting saddles all over the world for many years with very few exceptions and this is also backed up by a free of charge width adjustment service.
Sue and Richard have taken training and judging courses in Spain for the PRE horse. Richard introduced Doma Vaquera riding to the UK and founded the first UK Doma Vaquera Association with the exclusive support of the Asociacion Nacional de Doma Vaquera (Spanish National Doma Vaquera Association) for which he is currently an international delegate. He also introduced the first Cobra of mares to the UK and demonstrated Cobras of 3 or 5 mares while riding one of the stud’s stallions at the many exhibitions put on by Yeguada Iberica at County and other shows all over the UK.
Yeguada Iberica entered a pair of their PRE stallions, Malabar and Kan VIII, only 11 weeks after the two were introduced to harness, in the international driving competition at Royal Windsor Horse Show and they finished in 2nd place, beating several UK and European champions, prompting D. Luis Rivero Merry, President of the Driving Association of Spain to print in Spain’s driving association magazine; “Yeguada Iberica's Malabar and Kan VIII were the most successful driven pair of PRE’s in the UK of this (20th) century.”