A HORSE, A HORSE, MY KINGDOM FOR A HORSE!
This quote from Shakespeare’s Richard III leads us to think about the role of the horse here in Spain. Confident, proud and independent, Spain itself can be compared with the fearless Andalusian stallion. The real pride of Spain is a thoroughbred horse, which residents call “our horse”. “Thoroughbred Spanish Horse” is recognized as one of the most beautiful breeds in the world. In Britain, Germany and Russia it is called the “Andalusian”. It was a horse of the kings of Spain, England and France. Incidentally, riding is one of the most popular sports in Spain. The Spanish enjoy many breeds, including the famous English Thoroughbred. There are a great variety of horse ranches, clubs, schools and riding camps to enjoy. Racing on a Spanish beach is one of the oldest traditions in the world. In other words, the equestrian sport is one of the main “attractions” of the country.
Horse of Kings
King Philip II ordered the founding of the first royal stud farm and purchased a few hundred mares in the 16th century. A gift horse was a sign of the humour of the king. “Thoroughbred Spanish Horse” is a cross between the ancient ancestors of modern horses. Thanks to the well-known courage, “The Spanish”, as residents call this breed, are allowed to participate in a bullfight, and formerly used in battle. The Romans, Moors and Carthaginians admired her grace and agility, and the rulers of many countries have argued that there is no more beautiful creature in a whole world. Napoleon’s favourite horse skeleton is still on display in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. However, in the 19th century, horse racing and hunting became fashionable among the upper classes, and breeders began not to dilute the blood any more. War and famine have drastically reduced the amount of noble horses, but an embargo on the export of horses abroad was lifted in the second half of the 20th, and “Our horse” again began to gain popularity. Today the horses are allowed to be only three colours: black, bay and gray.
Horse racing in Spain is widespread and it has many passionate fans. The traditional horse ranch is a heaven for lovers of equestrian tourism and sports. The Spanish horse ranch combines the features of a professional horse riding club and ranch home. It is for those who want to stay outside the box, and for the knowledgeable horse owners. The most developed region in this respect is Andalusia – the birthplace of purebred Spanish horses. There is the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art in the city of Jerez. This Riding school prepares horses and riders and holds annual festivals and games. Horse racing in Spain is an official tourism festival since 1997, and Jerez has of the oldest races in the world (1845). Everyone with a horse can be a participant. There is a long strip of beach traditionally used for this event. Polo with horses is also very popular in Spain. The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah is listed among aficionados of this kind of polo. The Sultan is one of the richest men in the world, whose personal fortune is estimated at several thousand millions.
Spain can be called a horse kingdom, whose horses always win world races. The nature of the winner was laid in purebred Spanish horses many centuries ago. Horse racing in Spain is gaining popularity. Worldwide horse racing became a symbol of the expensive and exclusive entertainment of the elite. Spain thinks about the equestrian sport in another way. An ordinary amateur can take a part in the noble passion of racing. Many households have figured riding in carriages with clubs of the highest class marking a new era of development of the equestrian sport in Spain.
1. Spain has a cult of horses, “the most humane animal”. Statue of Pegasus was designed in honour of the passing of the Congress of mobile communication in Barcelona (the winged horse of 3500 smart phones). The statue was 6 meters and a length of 5 meters. At the airport in Barcelona passengers meets a huge figure of black horse. At the airport you can often hear the phrase “let’s meet at that fat, fleshy horse”. There is a monument of the horses at the entrance to Jerez de la Front era and on the outskirts of the city, which is the birthplace of Andalusian stallions.