'Ma'Ceo' acrobatic horse show wows Clallam County Fair audience
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Diane Urbade la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
Olissio Zoppe of Sarasota, Fla., rides Veleno, a Friesian horse in the Cavallo Equestrian Arts show at the Clallam County Fair.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The manes flew. The men leaped.

And when Gino Zoppe stood atop his brother Olissio's shoulders while Olissio stood atop a bounding horse, the crowd let out one big “Ohh!”

Cavallo Equestrian Arts' show, “Ma'Ceo,” galloped onto the Clallam County Fairgrounds on Friday afternoon, wowing spectators such as Nora Brodie of Sequim.

“I travel all over the world to see horse shows,” she said. “This is more than I expected.

“We are so lucky to have this.”

Live music, animal shows, demonstrations and the rest of the fair's attractions continue for one more day today, with gates opening at 8:30 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m.

Admission to the fairgrounds, 1608 W. 16th St. next to Lincoln Park, is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 62 and older and students age 13-17, and $5 for children 6 to 12.

Kids age 5 and younger get in free.

Cavallo's performers, based in Sarasota, Fla., combine Russian Cossack-style riding and vaulting, Gypsy music and horses with flowing manes and rippling muscles.

Olissio Zoppe entered the ring standing high on two steeds, one foot on each one's back. Next, he showed off Veleno, a giant black Friesian horse.

Gino Zoppe made like a gymnast, kneeling on the back of his mount, then switching from knee to knee as the horse bounded across the arena.

Then he did an aerial flip onto the back of a second horse.

The brothers' co-star, 20-year-old Alina Stasik, likewise does plenty of stunts with her galloping steed: flips and extensions from one side of the animal to the other, upside-down and sideways again.

She's been trick-riding since she was 9. These days, “everything” about her job is “amazing,” she told the children and grown-ups clustered around her after Friday afternoon's grandstand performance.

“Thanks for coming,” a woman called out.

“You guys make it worth it,” Stasik replied.

Across the fairgrounds, the tribute band Petty Fever rocked the Wilder Auto Community Stage with 11 Tom Petty hits, from “You Wreck Me” to “Refugee” to “Free Fallin'.”

Colleen Leeper of Sequim danced in her seat, played some air guitar and thoroughly enjoyed the set.

She'd never seen the Portland, Ore.-based Petty Fever before but sang like she knew all their songs by heart.

“I love Tom Petty,” Leeper simply said.


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 17. 2013 11:17PM
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