JEREZ FAIR. PAST AND PRESENT OF THE HORSE FAIR.
The Jerez Horse Fair is one of the events of greater international tourist attraction of this city, where the golden soup of the city flows, accompanied by the varied homemade gastronomy based on cabbages, stews, ham, prawns and appetizing tapas to be able to hold the wine, singing and dancing until the night falls. But the main protagonist of this festival is none other than the horse since this is the central axis of the Horse Fair, one of the most representative parties of tourism in Jerez de la Frontera.
During the Feria del Caballo Jerez, the Real is the main attraction of the festival. It is located in Parque González Hontoria. In their sheds, the people of Jerez and their many visitors live the party from noon until almost dawn. You will see parading the most beautiful Andalusian horses in the Paseo de Caballistas y Enganches, unparalleled display of elegance, plant and majesty that arouses the admiration of everyone who contemplates it.
La Calle del Infierno or “de los cacharritos”, is the favourite place for children. Here are the attractions, in addition to the typical stands of potatoes, hamburgers, nougat and other goodies.
If you want to enjoy the more traditional South, go to Jerez from May 5 to 12 and discover its Fair!
Origins of the Jerez Fair
According to historians, the origins of Jerez Fair date back to the livestock fairs held by Alfonso X the Wise at the city, during the thirteenth century. These fairs were held in temporary venues in different parts of the municipality throughout history. It was in 1903 when the Gonzáles Hontoria Park was declared the permanent Real de la Feria.
Among the animals featured in the livestock fair, some stands were set to sell drinks. In these places, merchants tried to close deals. A multitude of curious people used to gather to witness the business interaction between stockbreeders that came from different parts of the world. With the passing of the years, other people and personalities began attending the event to have some fun or make a profit.
- In those days, the fair began at the time it now ends, at sunrise.
- The neighbors from the streets that made up the Real de la Feria were in charge of providing illumination to the venue, placing torches in the doorways of their houses.
- Back then, Sevillanas were not the most popular dance but the Bulerías. Nowadays, all kinds of rhythms are danced at the fair, most of which have nothing to do with Andalusia.
- Liquor and cognac were the typical drinks of the fair. Later would come the fino and the fragrant wines typical of Jerez. Nowadays, the preferred drink among young people is the Rebujito (a cocktail that mixes Sherry and soft drinks).
- The fair used to take place in April. Now, it is held during the first two weeks of May.
- The first huts where made in wood and fabric. Then, they were permanent constructions. Now, they are set up for the fair and taken down once it ends.
From Livestock Fair to Horse Fair
If you think the Jerez Fair is like any other Andalusian fair, you are mistaken. The main difference is the exclusive program of activities that feature horses. Before wine, horses were what made Jerez worldwide famous.
Miguel Primo de Rivera was the person who turned Jerez Fair into a Horse Fair. As Mayor of the city, he decided to connect the Semana del Caballo (Horse Week), organized by Álvaro Domecq, to the city’s spring festival. Under the name of Feria del Caballo (Horse Fair), it brought together all of the events related to the livestock fair, as well as the trading.
Program of equestrian activities in the Jerez Fair
The horse riding activities program during the Jerez Horse Fair is designed to entertain all types of audiences. It includes acts for both horse enthusiasts and experts in the field.
Every day of the fair you can enjoy the ride of riders and horsemen through the streets of the Real de la Feria. Between 13 and 19:30 hours, riders and amazons, in addition to hooks of all kinds go through the real showing their best clothes. A colourful and elegant show marked by the equestrian protocol in terms of clothing.
Horse riding events of special interest for fans from all over the world. Harassment and demolition, cowgirl dressage, morphological contests, high school shows, exhibition of harnesses, delivery of the Golden Horse Award to the most outstanding personal and professional career in the equestrian field. The Stallion Depot, the Cortijo de Vicos and the IFECA Fairgrounds are some of the places where these acts are held.
Corrida rejoneo, next to the traditional bull bullfights and cattle contest, in the bullring of Jerez.
2018 Horse Fair
The Jerez Horse Fair begins this year on Saturday, May 5 and will continue until next Saturday, May 12, an event that will coincide with the Motorcycle World Championship that will be held on May 6 and in which again on Monday of the fair It will be festive. The inauguration of the lighting on the night of the first Saturday will be the kick-off of one of the oldest fairs in Andalusia. 1,160,602 points of light illuminate the Horse Fair 2018, spectacular infrastructure with 52 double porticos, 206 arches, 15 garlands, 120 projectors and 193 booths to choose from.
The Tuesday of the Fair will continue to be the Day of the Cacharritos, with special prices. Likewise, the attractions will remain open on Sunday, May 12th, even though the Fair has already closed due to the volume of visitors that registers the area of the cacharritos that day.
Schedule of Equine Events:
- Acoso y derribo (Chase and Knockdown): May 5th and 6th, at 16:00 at Cortijo de Vicos. Free admission.
- Doma Vaquera (Reining) May 9th at 11:00 and May 10th at 13:00, at Depósito de Sementales.
- Exhibición de enganches (Carriage Exhibition) and presenting of the Caballo de Oro (Golden Horse) Award: May 11th, at 13:00, at Depósito de Sementales.
- Presenting of the Carriage Exhibition Award: May 11th, at 11:00, at Depósito de Sementales.
- Morphology Contest: May 9th to May 12th, from 10:00 to 20:00, at IFECA.
Tourist information point
During the celebration of the Horse Fair, an event of International Tourist Interest, the City Council will offer a service of information and attention to the visitor. The Tourist Information Point is installed on the main entrance of the González Hontoria Park site, located on Alcalde Álvaro Domecq.
In this space both the people of Jerez and those who decide to visit this fabulous fair will be able to consult all their doubts, from event information as well as promotion of the activities that are developed. This information point will be active every day of the fair from 1pm to 6pm.
WHERE TO STAY
Fuerte Conil-Costa Luz is a hotel located opposite one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain, Fontanilla Beach, just 10 minutes walk from the center of Conil de la Frontera. It stands out for its unique Andalucian style, its 25.000 m2 of gardens, 4 outdoor pools, jacuzzi, tennis court and a completely equipped spa. The high customer satisfaction and its commitment to responsible tourism and quality are backed up by various national and international awards as well as companies like Booking or Trip Advisor.