J is for Jerez

Jerez de la Frontera is a magnificent municipality in the beautiful region of Andalucia in South western Spain. Jerez is known as the capital of horsemanship, home to the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art, a riding school comparable to the world-famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Equestrian art in Spain encompasses the passion and nobility linked to the Spanish horse. ‘Beautiful, docile, noble and admired for centuries all over the world’  is a description of the Purebred Spanish Horse, an animal with over 3,000 years of history in this country, praised by Aristotle himself back in the 4th century B.C. Thousands of years have gone by, yet this devotion continues to be as insatiable as ever.

There is an abundance of everything horsey within this quaint Spanish town. From horse racing on the beach, the world famous horse fair in Jerez to the Carriage and Equestrian Art museums based in the centre of the town, their is plenty of equine entertainment to behold. One of the most popular shows is ‘How Andalusian Horses Dance’ in which the horses move and perform dance steps and choreography to the beat of well-known Spanish melodies with the riders adorned in 18th Century costume.The spectacle combines choreography, classical ballet and the Andalucían equestrian tradition in a magical and unique show.

The Horse fair or the ‘feria del cabello’ began as a livestock show in 1284 is now the most prestigious equine heritage event within Spain. The frivolity spans over seven days including competitions of international show-jumping, vaulting, livestock exhibitions and auctions. Rider’s parade in elegant, traditional dress and the Sevillanas dance typical flamenco until dawn accompanied by wine and local cuisine of Jerez, an appealing variety to wet a horse lover’s appetite.

Talking of local produce, "Jerez" is actually "Sherry" mispronounced centuries ago by British wine importers. The region is famous for its great sherry houses with the tours providing a merry alternative for the holiday maker. Rumor has it that Nelson’s body was sent home, preserved in sherry, after the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the coast of Andalucia.

So if you desire an enlightening display of equestrian prowess, and relish the chance to experience the tradition of Andalucía’s fun and festivities, it would be worth your while to take a look at the packages offered on the website and fully indulge your culture craving at this exquisite riding holiday destination.

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