//The festival of Wine horses
Wine Horses Festival

The festival of Wine horses

Spain or better known as the mother country is a country of tradition and historical and cultural wealth. One of its most interesting traditions is that of the wine horses … But? What is it about?

Spain saves the best for its own and tourists. The festival of wine horses is a particular eventuality.

Each town hides traditions, culture, rhythms, values that make up the worldview and idiosyncrasy.

In the long run it is part of the attractions that each place has.

To understand the importance of wine horses, it is necessary to know their context a bit.

Caballos del Vino 2018

Murcia, province of tradition for wine horses

“Praise and love the old and the new” as a motto. Murcia is a Spanish province that is located in the Iberian Peninsula.

As a place, enforce the best of their traditions to meet their history and the best of their gentilicio.

This imposing place develops activities of the agricultural sector, even reaching export, it was known as the Huerta de Europa.

Hence the value of the horses in the labors that magnify these lands and the work of the locals.

It has cathedrals with Baroque and Gothic style with picturesque, colorful festivities attended by hundreds of people.

The magic of a cheerful region, which unites to feel the legacy of generations preserving its roots and worldview.

Murcia houses religious values ​​in its streets, together with the daily life of its people who live each tradition.

Now, in a place called Caravaca de la Cruz, holy city, it is a place for the Wine Horses.

The Wine Horses Festival

On this holiday the protagonism is played by horses that are dressed to circulate in the main streets of the town.

The clothes are colorful, with different shapes and cover much of the horse.

This event is done to honor the Blessed and Vera Cruz.

It should be noted that the Fair lasts from May 1 to 5 of each year.

However, this event takes place between May 01 and 02, which is popular in Spain.

In this order of ideas, there is a federation formed by groups of horse clubs.

Likewise, these horse riders share common values, cultural heritage, history, and commitment.

Accordingly, in this event three important competitions are held, among which you can mention:

  • Bareback horses (Horse-to-hair)
  • Harness (decoration with ornaments to horses)
  • Career

According to statistics, it is estimated that approximately one hundred thousand people arrive at this event.

Wine Horses Festival
Wine Horses Festival

Origins of the wine horse festival

The Wine Horses, have their origins between the mixture of history and tradition.

In the middle of 1,250, the history of this event was born due to the strength of the town.

That’s where several gentlemen bravely crossed lands to find water.

However, water was not what they found, but wine, they took it and returned.

When they returned the euphoria of the moment it was present since the brave had returned saved.

This act of bravery was celebrated in the town, to the point that the brave and their horses were adorned.

In the same way they placed flowers as a sign of celebration.

As of 1,231 in the castle honor to the Relic of the Holy Cross is saved.

As a consequence of the above, this event is done to remember this heroic act.

Wine Horses Festival
Wine Horses Festival

Maintaining the tradition of wine horses.

The town tries its best to keep tradition high and achieves it.

It is important to note that the event is officially made in the 18th century.

And as the years went by the locals ordered it much more.

After 1959, the majority of the clubs that made this tradition possible were constituted.

The scope of this event consists in the strength of the horses of wine, the beauty that is covered in ornaments.

As well as the race that takes place in the town as such.

Now, also thinking of children on May 3, there is an event with small horses (ponies).

Details of the Horse-to-Hair Contest (Bareback horses), the wine horse festival

One of the things that can be seen in this segment of the event are the conditions of the horse between those details:

  • Presentation regarding cleanliness, natural state.
  • Braids or any ornament that makes the rock on the horse.

For this, each club organizes a parade called a parade.

Basically, the parade consists of walking along the street with live music whose rhythm encourages the spectators.

In some cases these horses practice for the next day which is the race as such.

Subsequently, the judges determine those copies that have been the best and are rewarded.

Then the horses are removed from this first phase until the next day that is the wine horse competition.

This contest bareback does not yet have a regulation for its development is the decision in the hands of the judges.

Wine Horses Festival
Wine Horses Festival

Tradition and ritual in harnessing wine horses

The preparation of the horses in the middle of the event starts very early, in each horse club.

Likewise, each family becomes part of the tradition that goes from generation to generation.

In this order of ideas, the official competition of wine horses begins with its cultural and heritage value.

This part of the event, looks the horse with the mantle that will wear, there creativity is present.

To this end, the mantle is embroidered, meticulously, and carries the following elements:

  • A “Bribón” for the animal’s head
  • Crowning feathers
  • “Casacabaleras” decorated with colorful ribbons
  • “Ramaleras” that serve as reins for the equine
  • Flag
  • Pretal chest that is like a leash that holds the horse
  • “Crinera” which is a tissue that is made in the horse’s neck
  • Two blankets
  • ” Atarre”, used to prevent the mount from sliding forward.
  • Tassels and the “jalma” that helps sustain everything.


In this event the whole set of elements that the horse possesses is valued and is part of its presentation.

In this way, the horses of the wine are represented, to honor that historical moment described above.

From this perspective, the work of embroiderers, and people with great meticulousness is put into play to be the best.

Each material such as silk, gold and the materials described above form a complete set that gives color to the holiday.

Surely you want to know what the wine horse festival is like. We leave you a video for you to discover.

Colourful scenes as Spanish town marks running of the wine horses


To run the wine horses

The fiestas of Caravaca de la Cruz, continues through the race of the wine horses.

In this competition runs the adrenaline of the fans of the event.

Each horse is guarded by four horsemen who are part of the show.

They run along the Cuesta del Castillo which have a total of approximately 91 meters between slopes.

The four horsemen are holding the horse on each side, if they are released during the crossing they are eliminated.

Winners are rewarded near the Royal Basilica Shrine, after reviewing the competition times in the race.

Tradition now makes the villagers take care from their animal farms only for this activity.

Therefore horses are trained to do their best in May of each year.


Wine horses: a festival to live the tradition

To close, each town through its different manifestations lives up to the eventualities that are part of its history and culture.

In this sense, it is the responsibility of each people to keep each tradition alive since this is part of the worldview of each locality.

In virtue of this, the wine horses refer to a historical event where the absence of water was the reason.

However, the victory of brave men was to bring the wine to the people who trust them.

Remembering that episode of history forces to keep alive the memory of those who are an active part of the tradition.

This tradition recalls the value of the work of the inhabitants of Caravaca de la Cruz, in Murcia Spain.

Honoring the horse as an animal that accompanies man since ancient times through the horses of wine.





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