The Exhibition of the Mounted Unit and the Canine Unit of the Urban Guard is one of the events organized to celebrate La Mercè Festival 2023, and it’s one of our favorites. It’s a free plan that you’ll surely enjoy as a family. This year there will also be a freestyle dressage show by Mirón Bococci. Be mindful of the directions since it overlaps with the La Mercè race.
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2023 Time: Starting at 10 am Price: Free. No reservation required. Location: Escola Municipal d’Hípica de la Foixarda. Av Montanyans 1 (Sants-Montjuïc) Barcelona
There’s a very appropriate event for children (especially for those who love animals, particularly dogs and horses): the exhibition of the Mounted and Canine Units of the Urban Guard of Barcelona. We went last year with several friends and children, and here’s a description of the show in case you’re considering attending this La Mercè Festival (it’s being repeated).
The exhibition is held at Hípica La Foixarda. Before the Urban Guard show begins, we approached with the children to visit the horse and pony stalls. If you bring carrots or hard bread, you can feed them.
HORSE SHOW BY THE URBAN GUARD OF BARCELONA
It’s entertaining to observe the ambiance around the stalls, with the Urban Guard horses specially adorned for the occasion, and their riders in the elegant ceremonial uniform of the Mounted Unit of the Urban Guard: helmets with plumes, white gloves, red jackets, sabers with sheaths, and patent leather shoes.
The origin of the Mounted Unit of the Urban Guard of Barcelona dates back to 1856, with a dual role: on one hand, its characteristic police function. On the other, providing escort and honors to the city, its authorities, and personalities.
A little before the designated time, we sat in the stands of the central track to witness the spectacle with the Urban Guard riders performing equestrian figures.
CANINE UNIT OF THE URBAN GUARD
Shortly after, the Canine Unit of the Urban Guard of Barcelona begins. These dogs are expertly trained to support the city police in tasks like attacking supposed thieves, detecting drugs, protecting citizens, etc.
It’s a humor-infused show (the children have a blast) but also very educational. The most spectacular and applauded moment by the children was when the dogs jumped through flaming hoops, following their handlers’ instructions.
FINAL CAROUSEL OF THE MOUNTED GUARD
Next up is the equestrian exhibition of the Mounted Unit of the Urban Guard of Barcelona, culminating in their famous Carousel. The officers parade, forming figures on horseback to the rhythm of music, in a choreography that indicates many hours of training.
This spectacle has brought them fame and high international recognition. The first carousel was presented to H.M. King Alfonso XIII, at the Plaza de Toros de las Arenas of Barcelona in 1910.
A GREAT PLAN FOR KIDS AT LA MERCÈ 2023
When the event ends, the equestrian unit of the Urban Guard lines up at the entrance of Hípica La Foixarda, and children can approach (accompanied by their parents, of course) to pet the horses, see them up close, and take the usual photos. I was impressed by the closeness and familiarity of the members of the Urban Guard, explaining patiently and simply to parents and children all we wanted to know.
MOUNTED GUARD CAROUSEL OF BARCELONA. LA MERCÈ 2023
Date: Sunday, September 17, 2023
Time: Starting at 10 am
Price: Free. No reservation required.
Location: Escola Municipal d’Hípica de la Foixarda. Av Montanyans 1 (Sants-Montjuïc) Barcelona
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