Members and founders of the club, at Fuengirola fair this year. / M. RIVAS

Los Caballistas, an icon keeping Fuengirola's history and traditions alive

Tradition and passion for the equine world lives on in this long-established club which was formed by a group of friends back in the 1970s

MARINA RIVAS

In the centre of Fuengirola fairground there is a 'caseta' which nobody can fail to notice, because of all the horses. Los Caballistas is a place known for its traditions and, above all, it has an important aim: to keep the history of the town alive.

One would have to look back to before the year 1900 to discover that the origin of Fuengirola's October 'feria' was a livestock fair which made Fuengirola the centre for the sector in the province.

Over time, as well as the business which was always done at this event, equestrian exhibitions and activities became more and more popular. However, as the years went by, the concept changed. The bars and clubs with livestock logos on the Paseo de la Marina and in Avenida Jesús Santos Rein may have disappeared, but others continued to keep the old traditions alive, especially those involving horses.

La Peña Los Caballistas has been going for longer than most. The plaque on the front of the bar says 1984 but that is when it was built during the year the fair was moved to this site.

It was actually in the mid-1970s that a group of around 40 local people who loved horses decided to form a club, although at that time they called it Los Miércoles. One of the founders, Pepe Ríos, says they are proud nowadays that the gatherings those friends used to organise all those years ago have evolved into one of the longest-established clubs in Fuengirola.

The concept of an equestrian club has always been so popular in the town that the Peña Los Caballistas now has around 80 members. It may only open its premises once a year during the fair, but they are already starting to plan future activities.

The current president, Hugo Ruiz, and several others always come to the Fuengirola fair on horseback, as tradition dictates.

"Our club is part of local history now and we want this 'caseta' to be the same. Our essence has never changed: flamenco, friendly and open to everyone. Our aim is simple: we want Fuengirola fair to remain as it always has been, traditional and very classic," he says.