Royal Lipizzan Stallions: performance to benefit Hearts & Horses Riding Center | Events

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Royal Lipizzan Stallions: performance to benefit Hearts & Horses Riding Center
Royal Lipizzan Stallions: performance to benefit Hearts & Horses Riding Center

The world famous Herrmann's Original Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria, under the direction of Gabriella Herrmann, will be appearing for a charity event at Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center in Buxton. 63 Justin Merill Road, 207-929-4700

Founded in the 16th century for the exclusive use of the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzans are unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. The pride of the Hapsburg Empire, the Lipizzan breed was first established by Archduke Charles at Lipizza (now part of Yugoslavia).  Only a few hundred have ever existed at any one time. Indeed, it is a contemporary miracle of sorts that this precious bloodline is not extinct, having barely been saved by General George Patton from the Russian advance during World War II. The Lipizzans' celebrated escape was recounted in the Walt Disney movie, "Miracle of the White Stallions".

The performance, "Airs Above the Ground", is 60-90 minutes long and presents spectacular leaps and maneuvers that were originally designed to inspire fear in the hearts of enemy foot soldiers. Accompanying the display of horsemanship is a narrative that recounts the history, evolution and contemporary application of the sophisticated training for both horse and rider. When a rider found himself surrounded in battle, he would give the signal and the stallion would leap into the air and kicking out at the very top of the leap, about the height of a man's head.  When advancing on the enemy, the stallion would rear up and leap forward like a kangaroo, fighting with is hooves and teeth as the rider would fight with his sword. Another maneuver calls for the stallion to rise on his hind legs and strike out repeatedly with his forelegs.

These "ballet dancers of the horse world" do the same battle maneuvers and classical dressage for which they were trained centuries ago, with great strength, intelligence and endurance.  Gabriella Herrmann believes horses must be trained with kindness, patience and love. They are truly magnificent and the spectacular leaps and plunges executed by the horses with leave you awestruck.

These performances will raise money for therapeutic riding therapy for children and adults. Hearts and Horses was founded in 1995 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation by Stephanie Keene and a group of dedicated volunteers who believed that riding and caring for horses could profoundly affect the lives of people with disabilities and enable them to live a more fulfilling, complete life despite their challenges. Hearts and Horses is an affiliated member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH).

Gabriella Herrmann cordially invites everyone to come out to Hearts & Horses and meet the stallions up close all week before the shows. The Shows will be in the indoor arena Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at 1pm - Tickets are available at the door.