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Equestrian tradition on display at cattle show

Horses, bulls and a Medieval exhibit will be showcased at the fourth annual Miami International Agriculture and Cattle Show at Tropical Park.

By Rodolfo Roman
Special to The Miami Herald
A stampede will take over South Florida this weekend as local equestrian organizations and horse clubs join the fourth annual Miami International Agriculture and Cattle Show at Tropical Park’s Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center.

Different clubs will demonstrate their particular breeds and equestrian traditions from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Equestrian breeds from Colombia, Peru, and Nicaragua, as well as the Majestic dancing Spanish Andalusian breed and American Quarter horse will be on display. There will also be a professional polo exhibition match.

The show will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at the center, at 7900 SW 40th St. Admission and parking is free.

The two day affair brings financial benefits to Miami-Dade County said District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto.

“People from the different parts of the country are staying in Miami and investing money here,” Souto said, referring to visitors. “We need the investment .’’

Souto is no stranger to the farm industry having exhibiting animals at a cattle show in his native Cuba.

“It’s in the family blood,” he said.

Since agriculture is the second largest industry in Miami-Dade County, behind tourism, hosting the event is vital for South Florida . Agriculture brings in almost $3 billion dollars annually said Souto.

A new show, the Medieval Times Spectacular, from Kissimmee, will entertain the crowd with three shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Performers – many on horseback – in period costumes will conduct an equestrian show depicting 11th Century Knights and Royalty in Spain.

While there is much showmanship and entertainment at the two-day event, it also showcases a serious side. Breeders from Texas, Louisiana and other states will be in attendance to auction off embryos, genetic material and animals from top cattle breeders in the country.

The event is funded through public-private sponsorship. Donations also will be accepted to support the South Florida Autism Charter School in Hialeah to help support the non-profit’s efforts to provide tuition-free specialized education for children with autism.

Last year, the event brought in more than $85,000 for the school, where donations are crucial to sustain the student-teacher ratio, according to Robert Cambo, vice-chairman of the school’s board of directors.

“Now and in the future, these kids will need help,” Souto said.

For food lovers, there will be everything from Barbecue ribs to ice cream. Vendors will also plants, arts and crafts and western wear for sale.

There’s also something for children. Blacksmiths will be on hand fitting horses with horseshoes; craftsmen will be making saddles and leather wear and artists will be painting animals.

There will also be the cowboy horseback rifle and revolver shooting skills contest, cattle herding exhibition, pony rides and petting zoo of farm animals.

More than 50,000 people attended last year. Souto said.

Everyone is invited “from the grandpas to the children,” he said.

For more information, visit www.miamicattleshow.com.

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