INICIO, EPONA - Equestrian Center


The Feria de Jerez, celebration of the Andalusian horse

I think we should all agree on the fact that travelling is an adventure. And if extreme leisure isn’t for you, but you still want to see noble Europe, what can make your trip really memorable? You may have an answer  to that, but mine is kindly  caressed by the sun, has a silky velvet nose and has an easy and kind character. Adventure in the saddle – that is my answer. And I speak of course about Spain, and more precisely about Andalusia: passionate and mysterious. Clearly, the beauty of this land can overshadow most of the cities of the world, but one of the  most outstanding ways to discover this southern region of Spain is – side by side with a  horse.

I won’t tell about how great it is to travel around on horseback amongst the surrounding fields, feeling like you’re a nobleman from past ages.
Sunflower fields,  followed by olive groves, which in turn are succeeded  by other crops... Snow-white haciendas housing your imaginary  neighbours, to whom you can wave your hand as if saying hello to the oldest of friends.

Training in the shade of a big covered arena, and the unforgettable Spanish cuisine complete this image…
But there is something more in those lands that attracts us with bright colours, loud noises and fancy movements. Feria – Spanish Fair. Last week distinguished itself from others by this traditional celebration of Andalusia,  this time in Jerez.

The first thought that doesn’t  leaveyou in all this rapid succession of colours and sounds: “I want to be a part of this”. Turn your head to one side, to see  a group of friends relaxing in a “caseta”, and you have  this odd feeling that you wish to join in and try some "tapas" with them. In another “caseta” they dance flamenco, and you are taking a step in that direction,  readjusting an imaginary flower in your hair and frills on a non-existent dress. From everywhere we can hear loud music, laughter, chatter and singing. On the streets, along with the “normal” (wonderful traditional  clothing) dressed-up strangers, we find other festival participants riding proudly on the magnificent Andalusian horses. We have only one thing to do as spectators: take a carriage and experience the atmosphere of this event, and so we may look upon all those riders on the same eye-level.

The Feria de Jerez is the celebration of the Andalusian horse. As evidence of this,
very close to the fair grounds, there is a horse show, where you can admire the young stallions and mares, and discover who the best breeders are. Or maybe  dreamabout having your own beautiful andalusian…

And of course later, back at the Feria you can drink cold sherry, sheltered from the hot sun in the shade of of a “caseta”, watching the confident movements of those who dance flamenco. And one thought will be there in the back of your mind all the time: “Next year I have to learn how to dance and buy a dress, to belong to this festival of sensual flamenco”.

From left to right: Kathleen, Rosie, Howard, Anne, Ding, Mike, Bella, Jhon