Golegã is the Lusitano horse capital
The National Horse Fair (Feira Nacional do Cavalo) has been happening at Golegã for 34 years now. Since eleven years ago it is also the International Lusitano Horse Fair (Feira Internacional do Cavalo Lusitano). Golegã council, with a little more than 5,500 inhabitants, has a long tradition in horse breeding. With a privileged location near the Tagus River and the ancient Royal Road, Golegã fields are very fertile. Therefore the agriculture has always been very productive and horse breeding has been an activity associated with it.
An example that illustrate such importance of horses in this region is given by a request from the king D. João III, in 1541, whom wanted to know how many horses and mares existed in Golegã fields. He also wanted that such numbers would be confidential as they would have a strategic importance for the national security.
It was in 1571 that the Golegã Fair has started, originally known as the St. Martin Fair from Golegã (Feira de São Martinho da Golegã). The equestrian character from the Golegã Fair is boosted when in 1883, Marquês de Pombal, established the championships of horse breeds. Since its early stages the most important horse breed in this Fair has been the Lusitano horse. The Lusitano horse is in the international context a horse breed which is rare and prestigious. The qualities from the Lusitano horse are recognized since the Antiquity by the Greeks and Romans. The Lusitano horse is considered amongst the ancient horse breeds being ridden.
The Golegã horse fair will be happening between the 6 and the 15th of November. This Fair is not only a lively and colourful event but also a place for leisure, equestrian sports and shows as well as for trade.