What a show Fuego XII and Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz gave the crowd for the Musical Freestyle.
As the evening unfolded it seemed that one after another the riders and horses gave better and better performances. As Bob and I watched we agreed with the judging and placing of the entrants until we made it into the second round. We just enjoyed a spectacular show.
I went to see Fuego XII, up close and personal, as I hope to breed Fiesta D to him next year. I was also hoping to see Senor Cardenas personally; we have been corresponding via email. Well our tickets placed us completely around the arena and across the entry lane from him. I vowed to not have any disappointment over such a small item as I was there after all to see the performances of the world’s greatest horses and riders.
I had been watching the show all week, at home, on FEITV. Of course during the broadcast the warm-up area was often shown. As I walked to my section of seats in "C", more or less located at F at the rail I noticed the most wonderful opportunity opening up to me. We were at the warm-up arena and entry lane where everyone passed before and after their performance. I was elated. We checked the schedule and I made my plan, I was going to see my hero at 9:00pm, up close and personal after all. With great seats after all.
We were not disappointed. I kept careful attention to the time. I met the Canadians seated next to me and the couple from Boston on the other side. We chatted between performances. At 9:00 I headed to the gate to see Fuego XII.
I watched him for 15 minutes while he warmed up and Juan Munoz Diaz talked to his team and coaches. He walked right in front of me and stopped as they approached the entrance of the arena.
What a moment, and what a horse.
I ran to the stands and made it to a spot where the attendant allowed me to stand during the performance, not at my seat, but I was about at A and had a great view.
There was a little laughter to start, as Fuego was distracted to rub his leg, then we saw the performance of a life-time.
The music started in the classical Spanish style, as Fuego XII warmed up the crowd. The music really set the mood, snapping castanets and strumming guitar in perhaps Malaguena, sorry I can’t remember yet, and the stunning beauty of the silver gray stallion was a site you could not take your eyes from. The music changed tempo as the pace changed around the arena but they held your interest, perhaps better than others, because of the snappy tempo that matched Fuego's energetic pace.
When the Spanish music faded into mostly percussion the pair rocked the house with passage and pirouettes to the beat, they headed across the arena to strings and orchestral background then floated as the theme of "There's a Summer Place" showcased the effortless one tempi changes. When Munoz Diaz dropped one gloved hand to his side while performing these changes the whole audience gave a cheer. It was chilling, everyone shared the moment and the cheering continued as they wrapped one end of the arena and did it again. At that moment Fuego XII and Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz had stolen the show.
The crowd was on their feet and the noise gave the star performer a startle, but for a moment. I can't imagine the joy in the hearts of Munoz Diaz and Senor Cardenas and the whole of Spain for that matter.
I had wondered if the performance they were so happy with at the Grand Prix Special was going to leave Fuego XII a little tired for this show, I thought he had given all there was in him but, I was so wrong. The team may have given 110% for that show but here they found their extra reserve. It was truly all you could expect from each one of the pair, it was an unforgettable performance.
The World knows Fuego XII and Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz.