LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Some special horses are back at South Point Arena. The Gold Rush Peruvian Horse Classic, returns to Las Vegas. The show features purebred Peruvian horses known for their natural gait and smooth ride

The Peruvian horses considered a national treasure are the descendants of the horses brought to Peru by Spain’s Conquistadors in the 1500s. Due to Peru’s great isolation — at that time — the horses remained purebred for generations. The horses are sometimes confused with Paso Fino, a different breed and a distant cousin to the Peruvian horse.

The Gold Rush Peruvian Horse Classic, returns to Las Vegas Friday, June 20. (KLAS)

Over the centuries, a culture developed around the Peruvian horses. The traditional riding outfit for shows is simple white pants and shirt, and a poncho or jacket as the emphasis is always on the horse, not the rider.

Competing Peruvian horses will be judged on a variety of factors, but most importantly, their gait.

“Their gait is the most essential one for characteristics,” said Peruvian horse breeder Horacio Santos. “Judges will be looking for the smoothness of the horses, how quiet they are, how little your knees are bouncing, how little the hat of the riders are bouncing, and how quiet their rear ends are.”

The Peruvian horse is known for its natural four-beat gait. While most horses trot, moving their legs diagonally, Peruvian horses are lateral horses moving the same front and back leg at the same time allowing for a smoother ride.

To test the horse’s gait and smooth ride; one competition includes a champagne glass. The rider with the most champagne in their glass at the end of the ride wins.

In addition to their smooth gait, the horses will also be judged on in-class performance, versatility, body conformation, and riding maneuvers.

The Gold Rush Peruvian Horse Classic is from Friday, June 20 to Sunday, June 23. For more information, visit this link.

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