Gala equestrian show combines dressage, pageantry Dec. 15 at Horseshoe Park

Gala of The Royal Horses recreates an event such as those seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain


The Gala of the Royal Horses blends dressage skills, colorful pageantry and synchronized choreography. (Special to the Independent/Gala of the Royal Horses)

Queen Creek’s Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre will trade barrel-racing for European pageantry this Friday when it presents the Gala of the Royal Horses.

The Royal Horses of Europe are some of the most celebrated in history, favoured for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and bullfighters and this performance will feature their tradition, athleticism and grace.

The Gala of The Royal Horses is created, produced and led by Rene Gasser, a world-renowned riding master who recreates an event such as those seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain.

Rene and Barbara Gasser and their family — daughter Katharina, known as Gigi, 19, and son Sidney, 17 — have been visiting the town of Queen Creek since mid-November in preparation for the show that will start at 7 p.m. at Horseshoe Park, 20464 E. Riggs Road.

The Gasser family, from left, Sidney, Gigi, Rene and Barbara, will present the Gala of the Royal Horses Dec. 15 at Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre in Queen Creek. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)

Gigi and Sidney will join their father and other cast members in the Horseshoe Park arena. Mrs. Gasser oversees the business part of the production.

For the last 10 years, the Gassers have been touring both in Australia and abroad with their various productions, which include Gala of the Royal Horses, Lipizzaners with the Stars, Equestra and El Caballo Blanco.

The show presents the Royal Horses of Europe — Friesians, Lipizzaners, Arabians, Andalusians and several other breeds — performing dressage, battlefield, trick-riding and liberty moves, Mr. Gasser said during an interview.

“It is a full dressage exhibition with a variety of nearly all the horse disciplines,” Mr. Gasser said. “The Lipizzaners are famous for their jumps in the air, the Spanish horses for their dancing. They will perform liberty work controlled by voice command.”

World-renowned riding master Rene Gasser, right, directs his daughter, Gigi, a skilled horsewoman, in preparation for the Dec. 15 Gala of the Royal Horses show at Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)

While the show focuses on presenting the horses’ skills, Mrs. Gasser said there is much pageantry, colorful costumes and synchronized choreography to make sure audiences are not only amazed, but also entertained.

In addition, the show tips its hat to the Old West-style riding by having “cowboy” and dressage riders perform together, Mrs. Gasser said.

It incorporates a quarterhorse and reining horse challenge where the cowboy rider goes on the dressage horse and the dressage rider goes on the quarterhorse, Mr. Gasser said.

“It’s very well-received by the audience,” Mrs. Gasser said.

Prepping Horseshoe Park’s main arena is pretty easy for the show, Mr. Gasser said.

“We don’t want the dirt to be too deep,” he said. “We like to have it about an inch and a half soft so when horses do high steps they don’t sink in too much.”

Tickets for the Dec. 15 Gala of the Royal Horses show cost $35 for VIP (which includes a meet-and-greet event with the trainers, riders and horses), $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $15 for children up to age 12.

To purchase tickets in Queen Creek, visit Dos Cowgirls Horse Tack and Western Store, 18530 E. San Tan Blvd. Suite 113.

The store’s phone number is 480-516-1260.

Dos Cowgirls is closed on Wednesdays, according to its Facebook page.

To purchase tickets online, visit

For more information, go to or call 352-208-2244.

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