Eventers competing at Barroca d’Alva in Portugal are wearing armbands honouring the memory of Francisco Seabra, the eventer who died in a fall in Spain last month (14 February).

The cream, black and blue armbands show the Portuguese rider’s silhouette and initials, with the words “Faith” and “Smile” in four languages.

“It was the show organisers’ idea and they gave all the riders the armbands. It’s been well supported by everyone and it’s amazing how strong the Seabras have been — they set a real example of a family,” said Brazilian rider Ruy Fonseca.

Francisco, 30, fell at the third element of a water obstacle at fence 10c while competing in the CIC2* at the Alegra Rancho Eventing Tour de Utrera in Sevilla, Spain. He was riding 12-year-old Aferzysta, who was not injured.

British competitor David Doel added: “There are stickers and posters everywhere for Francisco — on all the quad bikes and the front of cars. The horseworld out here is so small and almost everyone is related. It’s really nice to see how much love there is for him.”

David has started his season in Portugal every year since 2013, having sampled the charms of the area when he collected junior European team gold and individual bronze at Vale Sabroso in 2011 riding Kings Cross. Last weekend (26 February-1 March), he won the CIC2* on Miss Caruso and was the runner-up in the CIC* on Eisfee. Belgian rider Karin Donckers took the CIC* on Lady Brown.

This weekend (4-8 March) riders have the opportunity to contest a CIC3*, CCI2* or CCI* at the same venue, and David’s horses will both be stepping up to a CCI at their respective levels.

Read more about David’s success at Barroca d’Alva in next week’s H&H (12 March), as well as a report from Isleham and Mark Phillips’ first column of 2015.