El Caballo Blanco
|Location||Catherine Field, Sydney, Australia|
Originally the first Spanish horses arrived in Australia in 1972 and were brought to the El Caballo Blanco complex at Wooroloo, Western Australia, by the Western Australian business entrepreneur Ray Williams. He imported the well known stallion Bodeguero and a number of mares, as the foundation of the Bodeguero Stud. Many of the present day Andalusian (Spanish) horses in Australia trace back to Bodeguero and those first mares. El Caballo Resort was established in 1974 at Wooroloo and the Dancing Horses were enjoyed by all.
Later he established the El Caballo Blanco theme park at Catherine Field near the Sydney suburb of Narellan. Its main attraction was its Andalusian dancing stallions, but the park also featured miniature Fallabella horses, and a number of non-equestrian related amusements such as waterslides, train rides, and a small wildlife zoo.
Williams then went on to establish an El Caballo Blanco park at Disneyland in the US. After Williams' death in the US, the operations of the various El Caballo Blanco parks gradually wound down and ceased.
For many years after the closure of the Catherine Field complex, it was used for storing items such as carpets, until a fire engulfed much of the building housing the main show arena. The Andalusian horses remained on the site, cared for by a group of horse enthusiasts.
After quite some years, the Wooroloo complex in Western Australia is once again hosting the famed Spanish dancing horse show.
Additionally, in June 2007 a new (independent) El Caballo Blanco show paying tribute to the Spanish dancing horses re-opened playing regular shows at Horseworld Stadium, located at Maraylya in Sydney's north-west. This new show was put together by Rene Gasser, the "Master of unique equestrian entertainment" who boasts 7 generations of horse-care and showmanship.
These horses can still be seen at Wooroloo in Western Australia.
- Article referencing the park, even though by 2005 when the article was published, El Caballo Blanco had been closed for some time.
- Brief biography of Manolo Mendez, who directed the shows at El Caballo Blanco.
- Article by the Andalusian Horse Association of Australia on the Perth operation