Nearly 300 horses of Spanish descent will showcase their long manes
and striking features at this weekend's Fiesta of the Spanish Horse.
Among those participating in the annual event are Burbank
residents Nancy Latta and daughter Amanda Latta-Shields, who are
showing three Andalusians. Nancy Latta said the long mane and tails
of the Spanish horses give them a mythical charm that other horse
breeds cannot equal.
"I think every girl at one time or another has dreamed of riding a
white, magical stallion," she said. "This is a way to follow that
The festival's main event will be Saturday night's extravaganza.
In addition to riding exhibitions, horse dancing and jousting, the
show will include Latin and mariachi bands and dancers.
"It's like a Broadway show with horses as the performers," event
producer Joanne Asman said during Thursday's opening day.
Asman, a Burbank resident, conceived the event and began producing
it five years ago. The four-day fiesta includes several competitions,
but Asman said the main purpose is to showcase and celebrate any
breeds of Spanish descent. It also provides a chance for visitors to
learn the history of how the horses were brought from Europe to South
America, eventually finding their way north into Mexico and
Proceeds from this year's event will be donated to the USC/Norris
Comprehensive Cancer Center. Last year's fiesta raised $25,000 for
The fiesta began Thursday with Andalusian, Peruvian Paso and Paso
Fino breeds participating in a variety of events, including dressage
and Western competitions.
The focus on the Spanish breeds is what Nancy Latta said makes the
"Since all the horses have Spanish blood, we all have something in
common," she said. "There's more camaraderie."
While admission will be charged for the Saturday night
extravaganza, organizers said visitors will not be charged Sunday to
watch the competition.