THE morning essential in Spain is coffee.
You’ll get good coffee in any one of a thousand ventas – the uniquely spanish gathering places that combine eating, drinking and companionship.
A Coffee Story
While we were still working with the horses I took a trip to the UK with the trainer, a talented and dedicated young rider named Emilio.
One of our horses, recently sold, was entered in the UK’s premier show for the spanish horse. Emilio was to work with the new owner, as they presented the purebred stallion in the show ring.
A Shortened Version of my Diary
Day 1: We arrive in England. It is raining. Emilio is fascinated by how green everything is.
Walk around, look at the horses, admire the facilities.
Emilio learns the english words for arena, stables, good morning, and rain.
It is raining. We go to breakfast, where Emilio and I compare adjectives for the restaurant coffee. He learns a new english word: – Bleee-agh.
We leave the coffee and head for the stables, and the sun comes out just before his tests.
We wander around after the tests, looking at people and horses. We eat hamburgers till the results are announced. First place in both classes.
The sun is shining.
We go to breakfast and find the strongest supposed-coffee available. Emilio practices his new vocabulary. I echo the Bleee-agh.
Another good day in the show ring.
It is raining. Emilio and I are up at 0530, and off to the airport. I see Emilio off to Malaga, then catch my flight and sleep all the way to Budapest where I am to evaluate a film script.
On arrival I call Emilio to make sure he’s home OK. He tells me the first thing he did when he landed in Spain was drink two cups of coffee – one for him, one for me.
Abuelo & I spent a number of years breeding and training PREs, Spain’s beautiful Purebred Spanish Horses. The stud and the farm were called Peregrino, the spanish word for pilgrim.