Horses, Mules and Falcons
On a weekend in March 2016 I discovered with pleasure another very Andalusian set of traditions in Carmona. Beautiful horses taking part to a carriage horse competition; powerful mules able to haul hundreds of kilograms; as well as the surprising discovery of a hunter breeding falcons. It was organised by the Peña (club) de la Giraldilla raising funds for the first of the annual parades in Carmona, that of the Three Wise Men.
I didn’t enter by the official entrance but first stopped by the other side of the vacant land where the horses were training prior to the competition.
I finally walked to the competition grounds and the audience.
The competition started following the examination by the Official Vet, Mr Pablo Lopéz Medina. It looked very complicated to me with turns and obstacles as well as passing through a water hazard.
It was extremely hot around noon. One could relax and eat under the marquee installed by the Peña. I especially appreciated that during these charitable events, the smiling and attentive bartenders are usually managers, directors, dentists and other leading personalities of Carmona, all belonging to the Peña de la Giraldilla. It seemed empty because it was still early in the day for Andalusia. It fills from 2pm to late at night with live music and dancing.
Commentators and judges gathered under a small canopy.
Happy but tired by the heat, I walked to the main entrance of the grounds where I was surprised to see many falcons. All belonged to a hunter and breeder invited by the Peña.
He explained that his best hunting falcons were females. He promised to invite me the next time he comes to hunt at Carmona. “Si Señor”, I do hope so!
I returned the next day to attend the Stone Hauling competition by mules.
Everything had changed overnight: track, judges, audience. I understood they had strict rules where they hauled then rested then hauled again. The mules were well protected and I noted a tremendous respect for the animals. This was quite impressive.
Having a drink I had a pleasant talk with this person who lived in an urbanization belonging to the municipality of Carmona. Here you can talk with anyone as though they are a long standing friend. This is one of the reasons why you never feel lonely.
I am grateful to Peña de la Giraldilla to have enabled me to travel into a world where I don’t understand the rules but that fills your eyes with beauty and pleases your heart.