Royal Horses make their Austin premiere at Erwin Center

Nicole Stiles

“Gala of the Royal Horses,” an international equestrian show, made its Austin debut at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday.

According to Master of Ceremonies Scott Ehredt, the tour, which originated in Spain, has been running internationally for three years, but has only been in North America for three weeks. Master horse trainer Rene Gasser demonstrated his years of training as he guided the horses across the arena, displaying their tricks to the crowd of roughly 3,000.

The riders, dancers and horses all originate from multiple countries.

“The crew is from all over the world, and so are the horses,” Ehredt said. “Spain, Portugal, America — same with the horses.”

According to Gasser, working with the show horses takes a lot of patience, skill and persistence.

“These are royal horses, made for war but appreciated for beauty,” Gasser said. 

According to Ehredt, maintaining training while traveling has proven to be a challenge, but both the horses and their trainers have worked hard to overcome them.

“We usually do shows on the weekend, so we travel for a day or two, train for a couple days and then it’s showtime,” Ehredt said.

While new to North American audiences, “Gala of the Royal Horses” has attracted audiences from Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

“Rene just felt it was time to come to North America,” Ehredt said. “It was an untapped market.”

Gasser said he encourages the audience to get involved with the horses, as he displayed how to train them, what horses respond to and what it takes to become a master rider.

“It requires mutual respect,” Gasser said.

West Austin equestrian trainer Dan Keen said the personal time trainers spend with the horses is key to successful horse training.

“The horse is a replica of who’s in charge, so, the more knowledge you have and the more time you spend with them, the more confident and willing they’ll be to perform,” Keen said. 

Gasser said appreciating the history of the horse breeds makes the ability to train them an honor.

“These horses are of royalty,” Gasser said. “These breeds are carefully chosen as the best for show, beauty and intelligence.”