First, Argentina: Criollo Horses!March 7, 2019 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C
After about two and a half years, I returned to Argentina—a prelude to my trip Chile—to see my friend Carlos Sanchez ride competitively for the last time in the national semifinals of criollo horsemanship. He has won endless competitions on the local and national level in Argentina; now, because of the age limit imposed by the Association of Breeders of Criollo Horses, this was his swan song. I joined his wife, Rosa, son, Hugo, daughter, Blanca, and son-in-law, Simon, in the small town of Jesús María, an hour north of Córdoba in the center of the country.
The competition was a four-day affair, with four main events: morphology (judging each horse’s conformation) two events of set movements, and one two-part event called “corral de aparte.” I am more a fan of the horses than of the events. This breed is exquisitely agile, as you will see from the videos I have included in the photo section, and of great beauty, intelligence and endurance. I got to watch them every day for hours and hours: a horse-lover’s heaven.
I did take some time to revisit one of the Jesuit estancias, ranches which supported the Jesuits’ ever-amazing teaching and settling efforts. A block of these estancias and the churches connected with them make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more information, click on this link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesuit_Block_and_Estancias_of_Córdoba
And then, I was back with Argentines! In Jesús María I rediscovered the charm, the articulateness, the conversational abilities and—let me say it again, the CHARM of these people. When I opened my mouth, my strange accent in Spanish was apparent—a rewardingly excellent conversation-starter. I had many interesting encounters as a result. So nice to be back!
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