The first problem is the translation, how to translate “Carrera de Cintas a Caballo”. We could use the word ribbon or others, as Horse Rings Race but I have chosen to translate as HorseBack Bands Race.
So the tradition goes as follows: coming from the Middle Ages is a kind of horse tournament, an exercise of war. As the years pass is a very common tradition in a lot of towns and cities of Spain. We have knitted bands, rolled and with a metallic ring in one end. Thirty-Forty years ago the girls looking for boyfriends used to knit several bands with a distinctive colour of band and the boys who wanted to try luck with that girl were trying to catch one of her bands. In the picture above, young women preparing the rope with the bands.
So, if you are able to put your stick through the metallic ring and unroll one of the bands, the girl who knitted it will give you a kiss and tie the band to your chest.
Today is a little different, girls and boys they have other ways of meeting each other and even girls they do not want to knit anymore or even they do noy know how to do it. So if you catch a band, there are three queens of the “fiesta” and they are the ones who will kiss the boys.
The way the boys dress and how the horses are prepared are very important in this tradition. Young people they do not pay too much attention, but there is a strict dress code and you have to use “vaquero (spanish cowboy)” saddles and equipment.
These activity, as most of the riders are amateurs and the horses are mostly stallions and young horses is pretty wild. If you go as public, I would not stay too close, as tehy run at full speed to show their skills and there is always some accident.
If you decide to come to something like this you should consider: there are mares, stallions and geldings all together. A lot of noise, people, cars, music and alcohol. Are you and your horse ready? Do you have the traditional equipment and clothes?
Other rule to take into account: in some places only bachelors (no married man) are allowed to take part.
And that’s all folks! The pictures were taken by me in September 2015. So welcome to Guejar Sierra next time!