If you like horses, well a bit more than if yours wins the 3.30 at Aintree then this is the place for you. Here the andalucian dancing horses perform (I think twice a day) in the main arena.
Some of the skill on display is amazing to watch especially when the horses do their dancing, think john travolta with four legs.
Get there early as there is high demand and you will find yourself in a big queue, just as we did. To be fair they waited until everyone was in before they started the show so fair play to them.
if I remember rightly you aren't supposed to take photo's until a certain point in the show but all around people were taking a few sneeky shots. I think its more to do with the flash aspect of things and those who used theres were told off by the glum faced girls watching the crowd.
All in all a nice experience and there are some beautiful grounds to walk round after the show.
Even if you go on a normal training day, when there’s no show, it’s still wonderful. The horses seem to DANCE! I thought the guide who showed us round was good too – not only v knowledgeable, but also adaptable (for different visitors, interests, levels of knowledge...), kindly and conscientious
Jerez de la Frontera is a small town. I had a problem choosing between it and Cadiz. It was the Fundacion Real Escuela Andaluza Del Arte Ecuestra (the Royal Horse School) that decided me on Jerez.
The Show was simply magnificent. All of the riders but one were men. The one woman was difficult to spot, they all wore the same costumes. I noticed her by pure chance.
The horses are magnificently trained and appear to enjoy showing off. They certainly showed appreciation at the applause which followed each act!
No photography or video taping is permitted during the show - I saw one couple shown out after being warned 3 times for taking photos during the show. At the end there is a 10 minute photo opportunity. The best acts are not at the end!
There is the Show itself held on Tuesdays and Thursday or a guided tour of the premises held on alternate days. One needs to buy separate tickets for each. There is some time after the show to walk around the place and to see the layout, the horses in their stalls, the training areas and so on. To visit the museum and to get a guided tour one must purchase another ticket for a separate date.
There is a pair of beautiful Przewalski's (or Takhi ) Horses. These are the original wild ponies of the Mongolian Steepes now seriously endangered. No such horses have been seen in Mongolia since the early 1960's.
The Horse School is in walking distance of the town, but one can take a wrong turning by mistake. The signs are not sufficient imo, but I got instructions from the Tourist Info Office in town which helped. There is a map on the site, but I didn't find it too helpful:
Note: Seats are reserved and and seat number is assigned according to the date that tickets are **ordered**! Be sure to order well in advance if you want good seats!
The Real Escuela is located in a nice area, an about 15 minutes walk from the centre of Jerez de la frontera. The property is indeed beautiful, very clean and surrounded of a park. There is a beautiful baroque style palace-like building.
The exhibition "Cómo bailan los caballos andaluzes" was for sure the most interesting part of my visit there. They show dressage, horses doing pirouettes or caprioles. All this is accompanied by spanish music and the riders wear traditional costumes of the 18th century. One part of the show is dedicated to carriage riding, in another one the horses are led by hand without saddles. Between each part there is a short description in spanish of what is coming next. Sometimes it really looks as if the horses are dancing - and overall it is a fascinating spectacle. Please note though that they are showing of course movements which are so untypical for a horse and not natural at all. On some of the white horses I could also see traces of blood because of using the spurs. Sometimes I felt relived when they just let the horses do a simple gallop.
A visit to the show costs 25 EUR (row 1-2) or 18 EUR, which I found pretty cheap compared to the prices at the Spanish Riding school in Vienna. The show takes place from 1-3 times (depending on season) a week at noon - please check their website for details.
I also would reccomend to buy your tickets in advance, though in my case the queue for pre-booked tickets was much longer.
Even if you decide not to visit the show "Cómo bailan los caballos andaluzes", you can watch their training in the morning. Of course there is no music then and the riders wear green or blue polo shirts instead of uniforms :).
I haven't got time to tell you about the famous equestrian shows or Flamenco right now, so meanwhile if you are planning to go to Jerez these are two important visits if you like horses and different music forms, so please keep them in mind.
Jerez is the hotbed of Flamenco and you can see some of the most authentic shows here and it is also highly famous for the Cartusian white horses.
Check out these websites to give you a better idea.
The Equestrian School is definitely worth visiting even if you know nothing about horses or equestrian skills. This immaculate school trains horses and riders in dressage skills to top class standards. Twice a week in the summer there is a show in the indoor arena where the horses seem to "dance to music". On other days of the week, but not the weekend, you can visit the school and stables.
The show starts with a formal bow to the (usually empty) royal box, but it does set the style. It is excellent and demands considerable skill - watch closely and you can see the intensity on the faces of the less experienced riders - no doubt high standards are expected.
The seats are expensive, ours were 17 euros each and that was in 2003, and they were not the top price. Photographs are not allowed inside, presumably so as not to frighten the horses.
Jerez is Spain's capital as far as horse breeding is concerned. In May there is the "Feria del Caballo" held in Jerez - a colourful parade of horses, riders, carriages and flamenco dress, but also a very serious equestrian event.
(Our visit was in 2003 so it would be worth checking the website for latest times and prices)
If you like horses - go and visist the royal riding school in Jerez. There is a show, almost every day at noon, but it is a good idear to reserve the tickets in advance, for it is quickly sold out. There is a variety of ticket:with some you can only visit the show, with others the show and the museum... it depends on what you want. We bought the cheapest ticket (19 Euro), only for the show and it was great - we didn't miss anything, and there is no use in spending more. You will see a perfect show with wonderfull horses and classical (spanish) music. I liked it very much. Perhaps you combine your visit with a Sandeman Bodega visit, which is just besides the spanish riding school
The world famous equestrian school is Jerez' second claim to world fame.
The school trains horses and riders in dressage, and twice a week there is a show in the indoor arena where the horses "dance to music".
The show is worth seeing, but seats are expensive - ours cost 17 euros each, and they weren't the best seats of all.
The show itself is held twice a week in the summer, and on the other days you can visit the school and the stables. It is NOT open at the weekends according to the handout I have here.
The show is worth seeing, but seats are expensive - ours cost 17 euros each, and they weren't the most expensive seats available
You are not allowed to take photos inside the arena, presumably because the flash would frighten the horses, and this is enforced by the staff. I did manage to sneak this photo before the show showing the inside of the arena, with the Royal Box at the far end.
The Spanish school for horseriding. It is a beautiful building but unfortunately we were too late to see the training of the horses so if you really want to visit make sure you pick the wright moment (the shows are mostly every thursday and is only open untill13 p.m.