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As part of an ongoing effort to promote Doma Vaquera, DomaVaquera.Info is encouraging enthusiasts to organise these Doma Vaquera Fiestas which can be held on a less formal basis than a traditional training clinic, with the emphasis being on fun as well as training - http://www.DomaVaquera.Info

Dragging the garrochaI was reluctantly pursuaded by my wife, Rosemary, to go to the 1996 UK Lusitano Breed Show. I was very sceptical about going to watch a load of prancing horses performing to music.

I must say that it was nothing like I had expected. A wonderful day. What a spectacle. Nothing like I had imagined. It would change our lives forever. The traditional costumes for horse and rider, the music and the riding skills of all those that took part, contributed to the overall feel of being on a filmset of a new epic blockbuster. Somehow, none of it seemed real. It was too good to be true

A good day but none of this really touched me until, towards the end of the displays, the lone Vaquero entered the arena to the playing of the Spanish guitar. With tilted sombrero, the reins in one hand and a 13ft pole (garrocha) in the other, all that was missing was the sunset.

When I first saw Richard Chamberlin and his horse Lucero, I was gobsmacked. I couldn't believe the dream that I had had was actually taking place in front of me.

As if no-one else was there, this solitary Vaquero gracefully danced his horse around the garrocha. Feeling the flamenco passion of the music, he sensuously caressed the garrocha and twisted and turned his horse under and around the garrocha. Just as you thought this graceful display of a dream had come to an end, the music changed and became faster paced and far more urgent.

Breaking into a canter, in perfect harmony with the music, the coordination of horse and rider as they danced in tight circles around, under and through the pole was a sight to behold. Culminating in an explosive gallop whilst charging with the garrocha at an imaginary target and finishing with a skid stop in the centre of the arena, this display of horsemanship was to behold.

Andalusian Stallion Jocoso XX performing levade with the garrochaFinally a triumphant end as the horse went into levade (up on two legs) and then as the horse bowed in unison with his rider saluting with his removed sombrero, the fantasy came to an end.

I wanted to hang onto that dream and never wake up. From that moment I was hooked. The dream reached out and touched me. It was mine for the taking. All I had to do was ask.

I introduced myself to Richard and he introduced me to Doma Vaquera. Four Andalusian stallions and an unplanned, expensive property purchase later, the dream is mine. I now relive that dream whenever I ride.

I have a long way to travel before I can become that lone Vaquero but in my heart he is me and I am him.

Thank you, Richard and Lucero.

Carl Adamson -
Sussex Andalusians

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