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Horses

Without doubt, Jerez is the Spanish city where the horse is held in the highest esteem. There are numerous horse breeding farms, mare stables, visitor and equestrian centers which are involved in the raising and equine selection where the figure of the horse acquires the character of the indisputable protagonist of its most deep rooted expressions and traditional festivals.

Jerez offers a wide variety of resources and tourist services related to the equestrian world, as much for the lovers of horses who want to know them more deeply as for those who want to practice riding in different activities and equestrian disciplines.

The town also offer the possibility to contemplate the horse trotting in the freedom of its countryside, of the highly trained  rider showing his skills in the horse shows, of the horse which joins in harnessed to  fairs and pilgrimages, of the pleasant horse and carriage rides through the city; you can learn the history of the horse through the equestrian museums, enjoy a horse or pony ride in the natural surroundings of Jerez, learn to ride, acquire all kinds of things related to the horse etc...

  • THE EQUESTRIAN CULTURE OF JEREZ

    The Horse Fair

    In May each year, during a whole week, the incomparable González Hontoria Park is the setting of the Horse Fair and more than 200 “casetas” (typical bars) are open to all the residents of Jerez and visitors. The spectacular horse parade joins together hundreds of riders with typical dresses and numerous horses' carriages.

    There are horses exhibitions, events and competitions, both national and international of Classic and Country Dressage, Harnessing Exhibition, Special Shows by the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art , La Cartuja Stud and A Campo Abierto, EQUISUR and the Bull Fair, which makes the horse fair a marvelous party to enjoy in all senses.

    The installations of the Ministry of Defense of the Spanish State based in Jerez, facilitate the organization of the equestrian competitions from the Cortijo de Vicos, where the Pursuit and Knockdown Bulls Competition is celebrated. And the “Depósito de Sementales.

    Every year, since 1967,”The Golden Horse City of Jerez” has been awarded to recognize the professional or personal work of those persons, companies or institutions who have distinguished themselves in their dedication to the promotion of the culture of the horse at national or international level.

    The Horse Fair has been declared of International Tourist Interest of Spain.

    The Rocío Pilgrimage

    Every year, between the months of May and June, a multitude of people meet at the Alameda Cristina, besides the Santo Domingo Convents, to say good bye, between songs and applause, to the pilgrims, who join their carriages with the carriages of Simpecado (Virgin of the Rocío) and start a journey of devotion which takes them to the “Aldea del Rocío (Huelva)”.

    Among the highlights of the pilgrimage are the presentation of the Brotherhood of the Virgin, an event which always draws attention for the large number of horses and carriages which precede the Simpecado along a singular and unique journey, across the marshes and pine groves of the Doñana National Park.

  • THE SPANISH PURE BRED HORSE (PRE)

    The prototype of a Spanish Pure Bred is a horse with an easy seat, of elevated movements and the easy ability to unite all its airs.  It is known for its great beauty, its smooth rounded lines, as well as for its ability to learn, its proud character, fiery  temperament and nobility, admired through ages.

    In reality, the most usual color of coat of the Spanish Pure Bred is Capa Torda, but there are examples with different colors.

    • Dapple: A mixed coat with a combination of white hair and other colors in different proportions.  It is characterized by a discoloration towards white of the coat that the foal is born. In distinct phases, which start at birth until they end up totally white, with a few exceptions, when the foal becomes adult.
    • Chestnut: Simply a brown coat that is similar to the color of chestnuts.  It appears in varying shades from a very light color that is difficult to distinguish from bay (both have black tails and extremities) up to very dark colors that on occasions are difficult to distinguish from black.
    • “Alazana”: This coat is tonally reddish in its distinctive varieties. It is characterized by the long hair (tail and mane) and with extremities the same or almost the same as the rest of the coat.  They appear in distinct varieties such as the alazán toasted, light , cow hide etc.
  • THE CARTUJANO HORSE

    The Cartujano Horse represents the base of the Spanish Pure Bred, and because of this constitutes the sustainable base of itself: which has contributed to the formation and improvement of many famous Spanish, European and American breeders.

    The Cartujano lineage has its origins in La Cartuja of Jerez de la Frontera, when in 1484 the monks decided to created a horse breeding stable from the best  mares of the Andalusian race which existed in the area.

    These breeding stables remained in the hands of the monks, for three and half centuries of uninterrupted selection and improvement (from 1484 to 1810). In 1810 after the monks left La Cartuja, the stables are saved from dispersion by the presbyter Pedro José Zapata.

    From this year, the “Hierro de la Campana” (Campana brand) was substituted with the “Hierro del Bocado” (Bocado brand) which identifies all of the foals born at the Yeguada de la Cartuja. In 1857, the widow of Pedro José Zapata sold some of the mares and horses to Vicente Romero García who triggered the commercial breeding of these examples until they arrived in the hands of Fernando C. de Terry in 1949.

    Fernando C. de Terry had it clear that these horses were the most attractive image to distribute his excellent sherries: and that is how most of the pure examples of the time were gathered together in a magnificent infrastructure which identified them as the image of his bodegas, with magnificent carriages, which stood out as much for the skills of their coachmen as for the quality, beauty and movement of his horses, which made them famous throughout the world.  He sold  colts (sementales)  to the deposits of the State, and because of those, homogenized many of the breeders of the Spanish Pure Bred, creating profiles and groups principally, and giving them class and distinction, which the Spanish Horse of those years had lost in the search for height and strength.

    In 1981 Rumasa S.A. purchased the Terry bodegas and stables. Two years later the Spanish State took change of the assets of Rumasa S.A. separating the bodegas and the stables in 1985.  In 1990 the State merged the stable with the public company EXPASA Agriculture and Livestock S.A. which undertook the responsibility of maintaining and improving this unique genetic heritage.

    The Yeguada de la Cartuja – Hierro del Bocado is in fact the most important reserve of Cartujanos Horses in the world, with more than 200 head growing up with the freedom of the lands of the Fuente del Suero state.