With a fresh sherry buzz, we hopped back on the bus, and headed to the world famous Jerez De La Frontera ( aka- Jerez Horse Show).
The show is held one day a week at the Foundation Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. We were told that this is one of the top equestrian schools in the world, attracting students from around the globe, accepting only a handful of applicants a year.
As we got close to the venue, we saw horse statues around the town.
Our tour guide got us to the equestrian school an hour before the Jerez De La Frontera was to begin. Here she is, emphasizing that the Jerez De La Frontera always begins exactly on time, and to find our seats early.
We were then turned loose to explore the grounds.
We watched outdoor training.
And saw saddles.
This stunning building reminded me of The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Yes, I can always manage to be reminded of Disney. Look at it though, don't you think? Haunted Mansion with a Spanish twist.
Photography wasn't allowed inside the Jerez De La Frontera arena. The arena was enormous, and jammed with tourists. Every seat provided a good view, as the riders had the horses perform each move several times, so that the entire audience had a close look.
One of the moves/tricks that they are known for, is making the horses "dance", which is intricate hoof work with the horses lightly prancing. I'm left unsure if I should be impressed, or just concerned that the horses are taught to move in such an unnatural and awkward way. I guess I feel a bit of both? "How do they do that and whoa, that's bizarre. Why do they do that?". In addition to the "dancing", they had a lot of routines with the horses moving in formation, and with the horses pulling various types of carts.
The excursion desk on The Explorer of the Seas pitched this excursion to us as great outing for young children. Although many children might love horses and enjoy the show, my step-children did not. They were completely bored and antsy. I found much of it to be fascinating, and certainly a new experience, but at ninety-minutes ( with one intermission), the show ran long. There are only so many different things that a horse can do.
My favorite part of the experience was walking around the grounds prior to the show. On that note, I'll leave you with a statue of the creator and founder of the school, Don Alvaro Domecq Romero.