Fantasia—the game of powder or “tborida” in Moroccan Arabic—stands for the breathtaking sport and equestrian art that has being practiced
in Morocco and other Maghreb countries since the 8th Century. It is a tribal, rural and religious tradition.
In Morocco it is practiced to celebrate moussems (festival of sowing, harvesting) and to celebrate a saint. It can be performed to maintain
the folklore or for tourism. It is an exhibition of mastery uniting the man and his horse. Riders dressed in wide trousers and djellabas immaculate, holding in their hands long guns directed towards the sky. Their horses are fitted with harnesses and colourful saddles.
The performance consists of a group of horse riders, who charge along
a straight path at the same speed to form a line. At the end of the charge (about two hundred meters) they fire into the sky using old muskets
or muzzle-loading rifles. The most difficult part of the performance is to synchronize the movement of the horses during their acceleration and to fire the guns simultaneously so that one single shot is heard. The horse is referred to as a fantasia horse and is of Arabian, Andalusian or Barb stock.
The term “fantasia” is of Latin origin, meaning “entertainment”, or Spanish- Italian meaning “fantasy”. In the Moroccan language, this word becomes Darija (moroccan arabic) and takes the meaning of “exposition”. This is because the tribes, according to their area, added games with the gun, acrobatics, colored outfits and beautiful parade harness.