DomaVaquera.Info - The Doma Vaquera information website built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts -
Issue Number 1

We meet Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez - Doma Vaquera Champion of Spain

Last month we had the privilege of being introduced to Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez the Doma Vaquera champion of Spain, (2001) and Working Equitation, Doma de Trabajo, Gold Medallist (2000).

He invited us into his home and Equitation Training Centre in Arcos de la Frontera, Spain and put on an amazing display of true horsemanship. Watching this man and horse perform in harmony from a vantage point of the unbelievably breathtaking views across this picturesque landscape, was like watching a mythical centaur dancing across the sky.

Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez (Manolo) was born in 1970. After finishing his studies, he devoted his time caring for his father's horses and it is from his father that he has learnt everything he knows. As a child he never dreamt that he would become so dedicated to horsemanship as to reach championship status.

Manolo started off his training in Doma Clasica, which he learnt at home. The fact that his home had a continuous stream of English, German, Belgian and Austrian visitors in search of the art of horsemanship led him to travel to England at a young age to learn a language that would assist him with international relations back home. On his return from England, he decided to join the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez where for six years he studied the techniques and theory that he has needed in his professional life. Although he inherited his love and understanding of animals from his father, he learnt the finer points of showmanship at the aforementioned school.

When he finished his studies at the Royal School of Jerez, he took advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity and accepted a six-month post in the Dominican Republic as the director of a riding extravaganza. The job actually lasted eight months and was very hard work. Manolo directed a team of eight riders and thirty horses, performing displays in every corner of the island. These displays were performed at night and the rider's costumes were illuminated. Although this was good experience it was not the success that the organizers had hoped for.

Since his return to Spain, Manolo has spent his time training horses and competing. In October 2000, he went to Camaiore near Pisa in Italy to compete in the 5th European Championship of Working Equitation. Teams from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain took part in this annual event which is hosted each year by a different participating country.

The Championship consisted of three phases: dressage, obstacle course and separation of cattle. The dress code and tack is different for each team and is representative of Working Equitation in their home country: Camargue in France, Marenmano in Italy, Campino in Portugal and Vaquero in Spain. Manolo was awarded a gold medal for his performance in the dressage and received a trophy as the European Doma Vaquera Champion.

In 2001, he went to Malaga to compete in the Spanish Doma Vaquera Championship. He came first and is at this time the current champion. Manolo and his anglolusitano mare, Enamorada, make a perfect duo. He is convinced that his success has only been possible because Enamorada shared his desire to win. When competing, he trusts her to be attentive to his aids and speaks to her very softly so as not to alert the judges. He says that relationships with animals are sometimes better than with people.

Manolo currently lives in Arcos, near Jerez de la Frontera. He works from dusk until dawn with his horses and is rarely seen in town. His friends and relatives tend to visit him at his place. He has held clinics in Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg but says that regardless of where he is, he is doing what he enjoys best and wouldn't change his lifestyle for anything.

Manolo will be running a series of Doma Vaquera and Doma Clasica training clinics in the UK, which are being organised by DomaVaquera.Info. If you would like more information or would like us to arrange training in your country, please contact

In this Issue

Manuel Rodriguez Gonzalez - Doma Vaquera Champion of Spain

Andalucia in just one week?

From drainpipes to garrochas to in Wales

Mark Payne gets the Doma Vaquera bug

Doma Vaquera and Doma Clasica Training Clinics

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