We didn’t need to get to San Emiliano that early so we sat down at the cafe/bar drinking our usual ‘cafe con leche, grande’ when a fellow at another table starting chatting with us. First he asked about the wi-fi password, which Colin remembered but I didn’t – I only had to use it the first time and since then my i:pad logs in automatically.
Anyway, the guy is originally from Belgium but now lives in Marseilles so he can see his two daughters, who were with him. They’re leaving for Portugal later in the day and will likely pop in at the horse show first. We had lots to talk about since we spent six weeks in Belgium in the spring.
The two little girls – about five and seven, maybe – loved Mo, as most children do. She’s so patient as they pat her and coo at her – she never gets growly or snaps at anyone, although she will chase a cat if it runs from her.
Just before noon we headed out to San Emiliano, which is under 10 km from the campground. It’s a nice looking little place – just big enough for several cafes/bars, a couple of banks and a supermarket.
It was pretty crowded because of the horse show so we had to park quite far up one of the roads but it wasn’t too bad. We found the showground easily enough – as an english lady at the campground said ‘just follow the crowd’ – no problem!
The show was awesome – lots of booths setup selling everything horsey, as well as booths for local specialities of chorizo, cheese, etc.
The horses were in several different roped areas, mostly mothers with littles ones, but also some stallions. They were taken in groups to a lower ringed area where they were judged, with the winner getting gold ribbons.
It rained off and on and we were glad to have our umbrellas. We had a nice lunch under a canopy – bacon sandwiches with fries, washed down with some very nice chilled red.
When the rain had stopped for a bit we walked around some more and saw some of the stallion judging. One of them got a little fiesty and we wondered if the owner would be able to control him – luckily he settled down.
A large ‘brindle’ (?) coloured horse won, and we think he knew he was special.
Other than with the stallions they only have to have a halter and rope on a few of the horses – once the ‘lead’ horse is taken somewhere the rest all follow. As the competition ended many of the horses were led right down the road.
I believe there’s a fair amount of buying/selling/trading of the horses in addition to the show. Once almost extinct they’ve made a comeback – they are Hispano-Breton and are used as work horses as well as for meat.
When we left San Emiliano we passed the campground and followed the road we’d walked on the other day as far as the village of Abelgas de Luna – not that much to see there.
They kindly put the Vuelta on the tv for us again in the bar so we could keep current with the progress of the race.