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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.

Equestrian art

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.

SPANISH “CARPASSION”

“What in fact could men talk about, except cars?” This well remembered phrase from French writer Michel Houellebecq could well be true. A labouring man and a king: both of them equally admire auto innovation. The role of the car in the modern world has acquired significant new features and fascinations. Blistering changes abounding in technology have inspired a lot of creators. There are now cars with elements of retro and sport, classic and hybrid: a rich automotive world is right in front of you.

Kings of the Road

The cult of the car is so deep inside of us, that the characters promoted by the arts and the media, are getting more and more fans. British agent James Bond – the standard of style, recognized as a smoothie and a gentleman, always chooses the best – whisky, watches, enemies, women, and of course, cars. Elegant Bond-Mobil Aston Martin DB5 is perfectly expresses the charisma of an ideal agent. Machine for a man – not just a luxury item or a means of transportation, it is a continuation of himself. Arab Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, for example, cannot be called as a modest man. Some people consider him bloody minded; some admire his passion for the enormous size. He owns the world’s largest Dodge Power Wagon with 4 cabins inside, weighing in at 50 tons. There are four bedrooms in his cabin. The King of Spain Juan Carlos 1 is famous for his love of cars. One of his favourite retro automobiles – vintage Mercedes-Benz G4 1939, was given by Hitler to General Franco in the past. The best selling Latin artist Enrique Iglesias prefers the classic at its best – Porsche. One of the best football players in the world, “Sport Pride” of Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo, bought a luxury Bugatti Veyron after the promotional video for Nike. Spanish football player has around 10 supercars in his garage. “Star” women of Spain move not only in limousines with chauffeur, but also look quite harmonious in “women’s” small cars like the Fiat 500. Pe, as the Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is affectionately known, chooses for herself and her family only SUVs.

Auto world of Spain

The history of the Spanish car industry spans more than one hundred years. First Spanish “super class car” Elizalde Tipo 11 was an automobile, apparently prohibitively looked as a gilded chariotee from the Rococo era. The modern Spanish market is focused more on comfort and accessibility, than on the conquest by features and form. The leader of Spain’s car industry is the national brand “SEAT”. Now a subsidiary of «Volkswagen AG» the rightful owner of the automotive brand since 1990. The investments of VW helped the internationally acclaimed Spanish brand to develop new models and optional accessories. Despite the decrease of private demand for powerful and expensive cars, Spain never ceases to amaze the world by their experimental approach and sense of beauty. The Geneva Motor Show demonstrated to the world the invention of Josep Ruban – automobile Tramontana. Model supercar called Tramontana R Edition is a symbiosis of shock-fighter aircraft and of a “GT Class Car”. The creativity of this invention captivates even sophisticated buyers. This is reminding us that not only “beaten” brands like Ferrari can be an element of luxury. Be that as it may, automobile manufacturing is one of the most powerful industries in Spain. Today, the Spanish automotive industry is developing in two directions: the sport´s direction and “everyday” direction. It is offers a wide variety of models. And a special time of Spanish auto innovation seems not far away: when Spain will be one of the top leaders in car sales in Europe.

1. The museum of cars from movies opened in Toledo, Spain. There are more than 100 vehicles collected in the museum. The collection includes machines that were used in the movies by famous Spanish filmmakers. For example, the red Ford Granada, which Penelope Cruz drove in the film “Volver”/ “Go Back!” for which she was Oscar-nominated.

“Auto” event poster

December 4-8. Auto show in Valencia – Exhibition Feria del Automovil de Valencia 2013 will be held in the exhibition centre Feria Valencia. Cars, SUVs, tuning, accessories and more.

December 4-8. Exhibition of vintage cars and motorcycles in Barcelona – Auto Retro 2013 exhibition will be held in the exhibition centre Fira de Barcelona Montjuic (Barcelona, Spain). – Cars, vintage automotive engineering, supercars and more.