For the first time ever, The Gala of the Royal Horses brought 11 famous breeds from across the world for two shows at the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo Center.

Seven-year-old Laylah Rector, from Diboll, was ready for the horses with a large sparkling unicorn on her shirt. She came with her nanny, Dian Lawrence.

“I wanted to go to watch the horses because I like horses,” she said.

The show allowed the audience to learn about some of the most famous breeds of horses throughout European history and see them in action.

Katharina Gasser grew up riding and with her parents doing the show. She said she’s been riding as long as she can remember and had been in the show since she was 10. She has always traveled with them, she said.

“I like getting the audience reaction, especially when we’ve worked so hard at getting this done for a long time,” she said. “We’ve got all the royal breeds of Europe in our show and we use this to showcase all they can do.”

Barbara Gasser and her husband, Rene, started the show in 2000 in Australia. After a few years, they were able to expand to New Zealand, Europe and Singapore. In the last six years, they’ve also been touring the U.S., but this is their first time coming to East Texas.

“My husband is a horse fanatic,” Barbara Gasser said about Rene. “He’s the one who creates everything, and now my daughter and Gigi and my son are following in his footsteps.”

She said she is nearly ready for retirement but feels her children will do an excellent job keeping the show going.

Jess Huff’s email address is jess.huff@lufkindailynews.com.