Spain 2019. Minorca horses

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2019-09-08-Spain-Balearic-Island-Minorca-Mahon-Festival-Tradition-Crowd-Rising-Horse-Hooves-Horseman-Bot-Profile-Hands.JPG
Spain. Balearic Islands. Minorca (Menorca). Mahon. Rising horse at  "Fiestas de la Mare de Déu de Gràcia" during the traditional summer festival. The Menorquín is a breed of horse indigenous to the island and is closely associated with the doma menorquina style of riding. The riders wear black and white and most of their horses (adorned with ribbons and multi-coloured rosettes) are of the highly-considered Menorcan breed. The riders and their horses parade through the streets, and these magnificent and remarkably calm horses rear up on their hind-legs to the delight of the crowd. The most valued quality of Menorquín horse is its suitability for the traditional festivals of Menorca. Horses and riders are at the centre of local fiesta celebrations, in a tradition that may go back to the 14th century and incorporate elements of Christian, pagan and Moorish ritual. Some 150 riders participate in the festival in Mahón. Riders pass through the crowds, executing caracoles and repeatedly performing the bot. The aim of the ‘bot’ is for the horse to stand on its hind legs while keeping its head and shoulders relaxed and without tension; the more often it is performed and the greater the distance travelled, the greater the applause of the crowd. The elevade, in which the horse beats the air with the front hooves, is also a part of the ritual of the fiesta. Touching the horses is believed to bring good luck. Maó (in Catalan) and Mahón (in Spanish), written in English as Mahon, is a municipality, the capital city of the island of Menorca, and seat of the Island Council of Menorca. The city is located on the eastern coast of the island, which is part of the autonomous community of the Balearic. In Spain, an autonomous community is a first-level political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish constitution of 1978, with the aim of guaranteeing limited autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain. 8.09.2019 © 2019 Didier Ruef