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September 04, 2000
Playboys scout for polo ponies

Posted by Guillermo Zapateiro on Monday September 04, @04:44AM

from the What are the little people doing today? dept.

SAN SADURNINO (El Ferrol), Espana (JNS)_ The international playboys scouted for polo ponies this weekend, appearing at two local festivals and putting to rest reports that they had been kidnapped by Basque separtists.

El Conde de Baltimore, admitted that separtists masquerading as a cleaning crew did enter his room at the stately Taberna do Porto in Mera. However, he was able to convince the trio that even if they were able to subdue him by force, the future of their cause did not lay in violence and extortion, but in the development of the Basque community, which already has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and semi-autonimous rule. Convinced by the sanity of his message, the trio decided to use their powers for good instead of evil.

``I think they rightly saw the wisdom of my position,´´ El Conde said in a statement released by his press office.

Separatists unhappy with this outcome tried to convince the local media that they had indeed captured El Conde for ransom, but the appearance of the pair at the weekend festivals in Betanzos and San Sadurnino laid those claims to rest.

El Conde and Formula 1 driver John Sullivan traveled through the lush green countryside on Friday to Betanzos for the twice monthly market in the medieval riverside town.

After viewing the clothes, vegetables, breads, cheeses and other products in the town´s main square, Mr. Sullivan purchased a bottle of honey to give to Rosario, who has been hosting the pair for lunch at her seaside villa.

The two then went to the livestock area where El Conde examined the horses for sale as well as the pigs, quail, partridges, hens, roosters and rabbits.

Not finding any to his liking, the pair had lunch in an adjacent barn where vendors prepared ribs and chorizo sausages over wood fires and boiled octopus in large copper pots. Meanwhile, the farmers and buyers ate at long tables set up in the large concrete barn, washing down the meal with red and white wine served from wood barrels.

After lunch, El Conde bought two pairs of breeding quail, or cordorniz (1,200 pesetas), for Rosario´s estate, hoping to convince her to breed the birds, one of his favorite lunch items.

``El Conde, as always, is in the epicurean vanguard,´´ said Josefa Cocineira Forno, editor of the Madrid-based Pork and Shellfish Quarterly Report. ``Quail from this region is delicious, and I believe with his influence, it will now become fashionable.´´

The pair then chatted with a vendor of riding tack who told them of an equestrian festival the next day outside of Ferrol _ an important naval center northeast of La Coruna.

Getting off to a late start the next day after a bit too much madrugandiando, the playboys were pleased to find the event was held at a fairground near a bucolic mountainside village.

Local horsemen dressed in neat white shirts, black vests and caps with rolled blankets across their knees competed in time trials and showed off their mounts. The horses are trained to trot quickly without breaking into a gallop, providing a less bouncy and more comfortable ride.

Also on display was a breed distinct to Galicia, smallish stocky horses that are mainly chestnut with bushy black manes and tails.

``El Conde seem quite interested in the breed, and we are hoping he will acquire one,´´ said Joaquin Cavalho Castanho, a local horse breeder.

Following a lunch of veal grilled over wood accompanied by regional bagpipe music, the pair toured El Ferrol before returning to Mera.

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Posted by Alex at September 04, 2000 04:44 AM
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