The Grand Lipazanner Stallions

For Ivan:

As most of my friends know... I was a touring show manager in the 80's. I traveled all around the US putting up and tearing down many many shows. One aspect of being a show manager is getting a great security team to protect the merchandise in the show over night as well as the day time. This story happened when one of my security guards no showed on move-in night.

The old Civic Center from the front we were under it!

We booked a show every year in the old Lansing Civic Center in Lansing Michigan. My show was in the basement. It was a horrible room to do as there were poles about every 10 feet! Try driving a van to unload into that! NO WAY... everyone had to hand cart their items down the skinny ramp. It was a huge pain to move in all day on a Thursday.

That night my security never showed up. That meant one of my workers and I both were to stay OVERNIGHT in this show. Well we had TVs, Lazy Boy chairs and roller blades too! So we skated around and watched TV. Then around 3am we were so exhausted, we tried to sleep.We turned off the TV's and most of the lights. It should have been very silent in there...

Then we discovered that upstairs in the main center were the Grand Lipazzaner Stallions!!!! So we snuck up the back stairs to peak at the HUGE horses. Their guard DID show up! He let us take a quick look. Gorgeous things these Stallions but know what???


So we went back downstairs and the sound of those giant beasts dancing on wooden floors above us prevented one second of sleep. It was like Chinese Water Torture! The rhythmic beat of those hooves were deafening. The echoing of the hall's tall ceiling made it even WORSE!

Funny enough to be a skit on an I Love Lucy show but it was really happening to us. OY

The next night my guards did show up but with them were 2 Sony walk man's to drown out the horses. Take a look at the gorgeous Dancing Lipazanner's below: And be glad, very glad you never have to spend the night with THEM!!!


The Lipizzaner Stallions have recently completed their 40th Anniversary Tour. In 1970, Producer Gary Lashinsky created a new family arena attraction, starring: The "World Famous" LIPIZZANER STALLIONS

Many horses and riders were brought from Europe to perform in this unique family oriented arena attraction. Over the years, twenty-three million people throughout North and South America, Great Britain, Europe, Australia and Hawaii have seen this internationally acclaimed spectacle. (WE GOT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH THEM HAHAHAH)

All new music, choreography and routines have been incorporated in this anniversary edition with a major emphasis on the historical background and foundation of the Lipizzaner breed, from its original breeding and use as a horse of war to a horse of nobility and aristocracy to a living form of equestrian art.

The show emulates the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, in its presentation of Lipizzans, and maintains a traditional as well as entertaining performance similar in many ways to what you would see at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

Also included in the performance is a segment called the "Airs Above the Ground." These are the spectacular leaps and maneuvers, once used by riders in saddle to protect and defend themselves on the battlefield, which are now preserved as an equestrian work of art. When you see the Lipizzans perform, it is like stepping back four hundred years and viewing one of the greatest equine ballets in history. (Did we mention they have their own tap horse shoes??)

The Lipizzan is a rare and unique breed; its history and culture is known worldwide. The Walt Disney movie The Miracle of the White Stallions, depicting General George S. Patton saving them at the end of World War II from certain extinction, created an even greater world-wide interest in the Lipizzaner breed. Had it not been for Patton, there would be no Lipizzans today.

Although the Lipizzans star in this presentation, the ancestral forefather of the Lipizzan, the Spanish Andalusian, is featured in a high school presentation with special wardrobe themed to traditional Spanish music.

Not only is the Andalusian shown in saddle, but also in a unique presentation where the rider performs all the maneuvers of the Grand Prix Olympic level dressage on the longline, while walking behind the horse and guiding him through his paces.

The next year we were the opening show for the brand new Lansing Center.. No more basements except for the Nashville Municipal Auditorium which will make for another funny show story!

As far as the Lipazzaners vs Retro: Kimmer... The HORSES WON..


Fast Film said...

I thank you for posting this informative equine entertainment. Any of your readers who watched the World Famous Lipizanner video in this post now knows a great deal about Dressage in the Olympics: everything they demonstrated, except the courbette, levade and capriole, is part of that competition. (The Andalusian doing the Spanish Walk etc. isn't.)

I'm afraid that the horses on the floor above you were showing nerves about their new surroundings when they kept you awake. Horses have to be trained to accept being somewhere other than terra firma, which is why they have to be trained to be hauled in trailers as well.

In the last bit you've written, the handlers are line-driving the horse with those extra-long reins on either side, going wherever they wish to: a longeline is a single long line attached to the horse's bridle and the horse goes in a circle around a handler.

The Disney film about Patton saving the Lippizans is fairly accurate that studio. I've always wondered how someone as irrascible as Patton, even as a general, managed to pull this off. For those outside the loop, the mares were in one newly divided country post WW2 and the stallions were in another new country controlled by a superpower then not inclined to utilize horses for anything but sausage. No mares + no stallions would have = no new baby Lippizans forever. Patton's achievement was their reunification.

Retro Kimmer said...

Wow thank you for the lesson HH but they were hopping around very rhythmically!! Patton wasn't so band in fact he was so popular in Luxembourg that he is buried there at the request of their government, I saw his grave and monument there.
Poor big horsies and poor ME!

Marilyn Bettencourt said...

"oh wow, thanks for sharing...they are beautiful horses...but also very large ones..."

Unknown said...


Marilyn Bettencourt said...

what an experience for sure!!!! I am working the Renaissance Festival with my booth and the horses they use for jousting are quite large as well, I would have to use a step ladder to get on one of those ...lol

Fran Doman said...

Yay horsies! Great story, as usual, Kim. I saw them at the EMU
convocation center a few years ago.

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