Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Andalusian horses

Easter week, Semana Santa, provides the most impressive and emotional fiestas here in Spain. Processions and parades around the country mix historic, biblical, artistic, cultural and social themes. Members of the different brotherhoods, dressed in their characteristic robes, parade through the streets while dozens of costaleros on foot carry ornate religious icons called pasos. This is a spectacular sight whether you are religious or not. No where do they do this better than in the town of Lorca where in 2007 their Holy Week was declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest. Its origin dates back centuries ago. I was lucky to have witnessed this event last week and wrote about what we saw before the parade started in the previous post.

As promised, here are some pictures of the actual event.

I was especially in awe of the horse-drawn chariots and performing horses. At times I felt like I was watching a scene from the movie Ben Hur.

The magnificent robes depict biblical and historical scenes

The lavish floats were incredible and kept me spellbound as they passed by.

I found the religious icons and penitents very moving

Nazarenos or penitents

Costaleros,wearing the colours of their brotherhood, carrying ornate religious icons

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

All ages take part in these events

The youngest parade participant representing the White Brotherhood, Paso Blanca

A number of brotherhoods participated in the parade, the two largest being Paso Blanca (White Brotherhood) and Paso Azul (Blue Brotherhood). There is much friendly competition between these two fraternities trying to out do each other with costumes, floats and icons each year.  Onlookers are encouraged to cheer for a group creating fun audience participation. We sat on the Paso Blanca side where we all waved white handerchiefs and yelled, “Viva Blanca”, cheering as the white group passed by. The drums and marching bands added to the excitement. You couldn’t help get caught up in the atmosphere.

A truly impressive and unique experience.

Hubby read about a horse and flamenco show in the local paper. It was to be held at a Spanish stud farm near a small place in the country called Dolores, about thirty minutes from us. In spite of a threat of rain, we decided to check it out and were very happy we did. We managed to find the stable, had a look around and settled down to watch the show. Here are a few highlights.

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Champion rider Juan Cortes entertained us with his incredible horseman skills on his Andalusian stallion.



Emma Tytherleigh showed off her excellent equestrian skills on her horse Romero. Emma is a talented trick rider, former CAVALIA performer and devoted horse lover.

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The audience was delighted by Rocko, Emma´s incredibly cute miniature rescue pony and his playful antics.


Manuela, Juan´s talented and lovely daughter charmed us with a flamenco dance, while Juan rode his horse around her.



We fell in love with Emma´s Jack Russell, Rodeo Jack, who never leaves her side. He sits watching the performance wishing he could be part of it. Apparently sometimes he is.


After the show I made friends with Emma and Rocko.


I also met Juan and one of his gorgeous horses. He was interested to learn that my dad had been a cowboy in Canada.


Then the huge paella, made by Juan´s wife Hermina, was brought out for all to enjoy.


The event was a fundraiser for Dogs at Large and proved to be a fabulous way to spend a sunny Saturday in the Spanish countryside in December. The rain never did happen.

You can watch a clip of some of what we saw here:


To learn more about the performers and the horses check out the website



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