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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

You don’t have to be a horsey person to marvel at the extraordinary technical skill of the Andalusian horses and their riders, at this famous and unique riding school.

The area first fell in love with horses in the 8th century, when the Berbers from North Africa brought their proud Arab steeds to Andalusia. Afterwards they were bred by Carthusian monks in Jerez, creating the strong, slender pale grey Andalusian Pura Raza Espanola breed, with their elegantly arched necks. The dressage school was founded in 1973, and has become a must-see in Jerez ever since.

A full tour takes in a film on the school’s history, its botanical gardens, the palace built by Charles (‘Paris Opera’) Garnier, the Museum of Equestrian Art, the Carriage museum with historic costumes, the stables, the saddlery, and the Picadero arena, where you can watch the training sessions for the horse ballets.

Don’t miss

The show, ‘How the Andalusian Horses Dance’, is a 90-minute flamboyant horse ballet, complete with 18th-century costumes and music where the horses demonstrate their intricate dance steps and jumps. The show’s grand finale is a precision display of dressage called the ‘carousel’.

Logistics

Price from: £9
Minimum age: 4
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

If you’re coming by train to Jerez, take a taxi from the station; if you’re based in Seville, several tour operators offer day trips to Jerez, combining the equestrian school and sherry tours.

If you’re coming independently, buy tickets online to well in advance to avoid the queues and guarantee a place; places are limited for the tours and performances.

When to do it

Full tours are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 90-minute performances of the dancing horses take place on Thursdays, starting at 11am.

Destination guides

3

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