Every May sees the wonderful spectacle of the Jerez Horse Fair or Feria de Caballo. Spain's world famous sherry producing town, Jerez de la Frontera, plays host to the most prestigious equine heritage event in the whole of Spain, and one of the most important in Europe.
It attracts many thousands of visitors each year who come to witness the remarkable displays of horsemanship along with the bullfights and exhibitions of Sevilliana (flamenco. )
Originally a cattle market the Jerez Horse Fair now has three distinct branches. There are still the live stock and agricultural machinery exhibitions then there are the bullfighting and Sevilliana displays which take place in Hontoria Park. And last but by no means least the Horse Fair itself.
The daunting feats that the Spanish purebreds and the Andlusian thoroughbreds perform are absolutely outstanding and the sheer quality of the displays quite remarkable. It is an extremely packed programme consisting of purebred Arab and Anglo-Arab in-hand classes, doma vaquera and doma classica - known as cowboy and classical dressage respectively along with show jumping and vaulting.
However the highlight of the Jerez Horse Fair is undoubtedly the “Como Bailan los Caballos Andaluces" or the Dancing Andalusian Horses. This is performed by the world famous Real Escuela de Arte Ecuestre (Royal School of Equestrian Art) which is based in Jerez itself. This is an incredible fully fledged equestrian ballet which features choreography adapted from the training exercises of classical dressage and doma vaquera, along with Spanish music and costumes. There is one quite remarkable move known as the cabriole which involves the horse throwing its forelegs and hind legs in an outward arc before putting its feet to the ground
A side spectacle to the Jerez Horse Fair are the numerous Spaniards who take great delight in riding up and down the main street, impeccably dressed a la Andaluz normally with their ladies riding sidesaddle behind them in their beautiful Sevilliana dresses. Their mounts likewise are beautifully turned out. It really is a wonderful site and adds much atmosphere and flavour to the whole event.
A trip to The Annual Jerez Horse Fair should certainly be on the agenda not only of all horse lovers but also for anyone who wants to sample a taste of rural Spain at it's best. Organizing ferias is one thing that the Spanish, and the Andalusians in particular, excel at and the Feria de Caballo de Jerez is certainly no exception.
Events details can change; Please check with the organisers that the event is happening before making travel arrangements.
First date May 2007 tbc (Every year)
Opening Hours Various
Town Jerez de La Frontera
Email fiestas. ipdc@aytojerez. es
Name Jerez Tourist Office
Address Avda Alcalde Alvaro Domecq, 5, 7 & 9, 11405 Jerez, Spain
Phone +34 956 35 98 63
Fax +34 956 35 94 66
Email turismo. ipdc@aytojerez. es
Article submitted by Ruth Polak the owner of http://www.costadelsol-vacationrentals.com A web site specializing in holiday villas and apartments on the Costa del Sol and in Rural Andalucia. You will also find lots of information about Spain and Andalucia, in particular.