The Spanish Beauties of Giffords Circus......
When it comes to performing, these beauties came first!!
For centuries, horses have been valued for their speed, stamina, learning ability and strength. In fact, horses were the first animal circus performers.
Modern horses appeared three million years ago. Early civilizations such as the Hittites, Assyrians and Persians trained horses for hunting, sports, recreation and transportation. Christopher Columbus brought horses on his second voyage to the New World, and they played a vital role in the western expansion of the United States.
Built for speed; bred for performance.
All horses have a solid hoof on each foot and long legs with strong upper thigh muscles, so horses are well suited for working and running. The horse's front legs carry most of the weight and absorb the shock of movement, while the back legs provide power for running and jumping.
Selective breeding has developed more than 150 breeds of horses. Giffords Circus this year features Andalusians, a Friesian and a show pony!
Established in 2000, Giffords Circus is a small circus company that delivers circus / theatre fusion to the villages and market towns of the south west. It combines dance, comedy, horses, dogs and live music in a two hour show, located on village greens in a small white tent surrounded by handmade burgundy and gold showman’s wagons. Giffords Circus was founded and is run by Nell and Toti Gifford who, when not on the road, concentrate on landscape architecture.
The 2004 show was called 'Pearl'.
The 2006 'Joplin' tour had a 1960s theme reflected in the costumes and music.
The 2008 tour was called ‘Caravan’ and was set in a horse fair in around 1900.
The 2010 tour was called Yasmine and was inspired by the life of legendary equestrienne Yasmine Smart, who played herself in the production.
The 2011 tour was entitled War and Peace and details Napoleon's disastrous intrusion into Russia from a Russian Aristocratic family's view.
The 2012 tour was called 'The Saturday Book'. A 90 minute show for all ages, with a witty collection of vignettes, tableaus, stories and paintings.
The 2013 tour was called 'Lucky 13', and details the hilarious consequences of the culture clash that results from a 'High Art' opera and ballet themed circus show that is gatecrashed by a rowdy Transylvanian travelling Circus
For 2014 this world class touring circus company presented THE THUNDERS, all your favourite ancient Greek myths and gods in a beautiful, hilarious rip roaring 90-minute swords and sandals show.
I have known Nell, who is the “boss” of Giffords Circus since I was 18 yrs old and have always liked her immensely. It is difficult not to!
When she contacted Spanish Horses UK last year to help her to find two Spanish albinos for the 2015 Show “Moon Songs”, I was delighted to help and we set about looking for just the right boys.
They came in the form of Dandy and Cartucho, two high school trained albinos who seemed just right for the job!
They went home and I had regular contact with Nell to see how they were geting along and whether they would be ready for such an important show!
Then I received the invite to the opening night, which of course I was desperate to attend, not only for the horses but also to see what these geniuses had come up with this year!
I have to say I was a little nervous as to how the boys would behave, it is very different practising without an audience to entering the ring the first night with lights, music and a very large and excitable crowd!!!
The theme this year is called Moon Songs…..
…..Enter the world of the Victorian Lunar Park, a fairground run by larger than life illusionist and man of magic and mystery, Odoroff, and his Little Man assistant, David.
Bibi and Bichu bring their cousins from Ethiopia, all twelve of them, and Odoroff tries and fails to direct this giant troupe of dancing gymnasts. Clown Tweedy is shot from a cannon and then turns himself into the man in the moon, the bear gallops past on a pony, the carousel horses come to life, the weather in the tent turns wintry, the jugglers are suddenly upside down, the little man laughs and chaos reigns in this topsy turvy lunatic world…..
And I have to say, it was amazing, the “carousel” horses dance and piaffe and bow and Spanish walk and all in a tiny area – I was so proud of them – they were, in Nells' words “Legends” and I was so pleased to have the opportunity to see these fabulous show again…
If you get a chance to see the show, it is highly recommended! Visit www.giffordscircus.com, it is an opportunity not to be missed!
See the images her of the boys beofre they left for the UK, in training and finally, performing in the ring! Apologies for the last photos, I was shaking I was so excited!!!!