Royal Horses will debut at OHP, horse show will make its U.S. debut in Kissimmee, Feb. 6-7
By Peter Covino
Kissimmee and Osceola Heritage Park will be the first stop of the Gala of the Royal Horses, a new horse show making its premiere in North America in February.
The show features the world-reknowned Royal Horses of Europe, featuring some of the most celebrated horses in history.
The tour begins at the Silver Spurs Arena on Feb. 6 and 7, at 7:30 p.m.
The horses featured in the show have been favored for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and bullfighters and this performance celebrates the tradition, athleticism and grace of these stallions.
“This is going to be a very big show with magnificent horses,” said Rene Gasser, the show’s producer and a star in the show.
“This has been three years in the making,” said Gasser, who was born in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen and comes from a family of horsemen that dates back seven generations.
Kissimmee should be the perfect place to kick off the tour, which is actually expected to last three years as it goes cross-country and into Canada and possibly even South America.
“The people there have been lovely,” he said of Osceola Heritage Park.
The park’s Silver Spurs Arena is also an excellent starting part for the tour because the facilities are perfect for rehearsing since it is a new show.
This is a major undertaking in every sense of the word, Gasser said.
He has been traveling around Europe getting additional horses for the show, including a stop in Andalusia in the south of Spain, home of the Andalusian horse.
Along with the famous horses, the show will feature another Spanish tradition — the flamenco. Flamenco dancers are featured in authentic vibrant costumes and with live music to bring the sights and sounds of Spain to the arena.
The Gala of The Royal Horses feature a number of performances involving the Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabian breeds and the show is dedicated to showing off the amazing beauty and maneuvers these horses, he said.
In addition to their beauty, the horses are capable of, some stunning maneuvers as well, the same maneuvers the horses used on the battlefield now known as “The Airs Above The Ground.”
“It is one of my favorite parts of the show,” which he helped create, as well as produce, Gasser said.
“We’re going to have horses dancing alongside some tremendous flamenco dancers and I think people are going to be reallly excited about seeing this,” he said.
The new show may be just a warm-up for all of the previous shows Gasser has been involved in the past decade.
For the past ten years, he has been touring both in Australia and Europe with his various productions including Lippizzaner’s with the Stars, Equestra and El Caballo Blanco.
The new show will feature about 15 horses as well as 25 human professionals.
Some of the horse professionals may be familiar to Central Florida residents, he said. A few were formerly employed by Arabian Nights, the long-running Osceola County dinner attraction featuring horses that closed at the end of 2013.
Gala of the Royal Horses is about a 90-minute show. There also is a 15-minute intermission.
In addition to shows at Osceola Heritage Park, the Gala of the Royal Horses has future stops at the CFE Arena in Orlando (Feb. 8) and at the Jacksonsonville Memorial Arena Feb. 9. The show then hits the road at several U.S. locations before returning to Florida for more shows in April.
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com and the Silver Spurs Box Office. Ticket are $55 (VIP), $45, $35 and $25. Children 12 and under and seniors 60 and over receive a $5 discount on the $35 and $25 tickets. Group discounts call 321-697-3321.
There is more information on the show, including photos and a video at www.galaoftheroyalhorses,com.