By Lisa Diersen
What would make an eighteen hundred pound bucking bull stop and stare in complete amazement? The answer to that question would be Jill McCrae and her wonderful buckskin Lusitano Stallion “Quebec dos Pinhais” dancing in the center of a clay filled arena at the World Tour Finals for the Professional Championship Bullriders, in the new Sears Center Chicago Illinois, February 8th & 9th 2008!
Jill & Quebec get used to their new surroundings!
Quebec had never seen a bull before he was invited to perform for the PCB Finals. He had to get used to them rather quickly, his stall was right behind the bucking chutes! But, true to the characteristics of the breed he settled right into work and began to let the bulls know who the boss was.
As the lively Spanish music began to fill the stadium Jill, wearing a black sombrero with a gold band that complimented her golden vest and Quebec dos Pinhais with his beautiful long flowing black mane and tail neatly braided, they entered the arena. Slowly they began to dance with the Garrocha pole. Presenting a sort of Flamenco dance on horseback, enchanting the audience with their graceful execution of the intricate ‘hoof work” involved in the program. As the music began to build, the level of the complexity of the moves with the Garrocha pole did as well! Jill and Quebec effortlessly wove in and out around the pole, which was placed firmly on the ground. Forward and backwards, spinning on his haunches and moving into a breathtaking canter, in a six meter circle, pirouetting around the pole, creating a beautiful well cadenced movement.
Never loosing her grip in the pole, using only one hand on the reins, Jill piloted Quebec through a series of complex moves simpatico with the rhythmic undertones of the Spanish guitar playing in the background.
Performing movements on horseback that the audience had never experience before. They were awestruck!
Jill & Quebec performing “La Garrocha” in the Sears Center Chicago, Illinois.
La Garrocha shows the perfect harmony between the horse and rider. It has evolved from the times in the middle ages when Spanish Knights would joust with a lance.
It is part of the vaquero’s training, and the rider must be able to communicate all of the movements required, using only one hand on the reins and the other hand to carry the Garrocha, a 13’1” pole used to direct cattle. The rein aid is given along with the seat and leg aids, every one of the body’s movements must become extremely refined, and the riders communication with the horse has to become focused and uniquely one with the horse.
Creating poetry on horseback!
Jill and Quebec gained many fans and introduced a new audience to the beauty, agility and wonderful nature of the Lusitano breed of horses!
Jill and her new fans!