Sunday, June 1, 2014

Jerez Horse Fair (Feria de Caballo) May 16, 2014

Last week I told you that I'd say some more about the Jerez Horse Fair and the Andelusian Horse exhibition we were able to attend the weekend of the 16th of May. Above is a picture of some of the stables. Yes, those are stork nests (with storks) on the chimney. Pretty cool. They also had a horse in the walker to cool
The horse walker
off, which was interesting. They didn't even have a halter on - he just walked between a set of vertical pipes (on a hinge so that if he actually stopped it would go right over him and high enough they wouldn't hurt him if he fell) which would periodically change directions, in which case the horse would dutifully stop, reverse directions, and keep walking.
Near the entrance
The grounds there were very well-kept and beautiful, as were the horses and riders.  In front of the stables was the outdoor exercise paddock, and we got to watch and take pictures of one of the horses practice his "moves", which was nice, because we later found out they didn't allow pictures of the actual show.
I'm putting in one more picture of him, just because he's so beautiful and
representative of his "Horse of Kings" breed. Finally we were able to enter the arena and take a few pictures there while waiting for the show. The show itself was very beautiful and impressive. First there was a single horse and rider performing the passage and other moves, then teams doing the same to a routine set to beautiful Spanish music. Then unmounted horses (with handlers) came out and did the "airs above the ground" which involved high step trotting in place (which one horse did all by himself), rearing, "hopping" on their hindquarters, and one where they rear, jump upward, then kick their rear legs out
The arena
(backwards) along with a lot of other moves. They also had horses hitched to traditional carriages performing routines and "steps" - first
Elders Dansie and Flint, and Hna.
Chantrill and Hna Castillo.
a single carriage pulled by two horses, then groups of 4 or 5 carriages, pulled by 1, 2, or 4 horses. All in all it was very impressive and enjoyable. The horses beautiful and very compact and muscular (such strength!), the riders dignified and disciplined. Like I said before, I was very grateful to be able to go!  Thank you Castillos!
Next up was a walk through the "fairgrounds" where they had a parade of horses for the "feria de Caballo". There were carriages that you could hire to parade around in, individual horsemen and horsewomen, and a

favorite, horsemen with beautiful girls perched behind them sidesaddle
((sitting on the rump of the horse).  Almost everyone had on their
traditional Spanish dresses (with  matching flower for the hair and large earings), and suits (with hats of coarse)!  Even the children got in on the act :)  We had some traditional Spanish cuisine (delicious fish, shish-kabob meat and little sandwiches, strolled the streets a while,
 peered in on another show (an outdoor venue) the Andelusians performed, then it was back to Fuengirola (oh, and I also got my first look at the Rock of Gibralter this trip), where it was actually raining!  I'm glad it was so nice at the horse fair!  Anyway, a wonderful trip. And as always, having a great time in Spain, even when I'm not tripping around the country!

Thanks again, Hna Castillo for this and the "gentleman" pic!


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