Brain Bubbles

Expressions of a caffiene regulated brain.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

International Treasure!

I went to go and see the last performance of the Lipizzaners this weekend out at Spier near Stellenbosch before they travel back to Johannesburg. Talk about a dream come true! Ever since I saw their European counterparts on TV as a child, I have dreamed of going to watch a performance of theirs. I am so proud as a South African to be able to say that our South African bred Lipizzaners, and training school is the only school in the world, to have the official stamp of approval of the original 'Spanish Riding School in Vienna'. Their story is an interesting one, a Polish Count fled the approaching Russians during WW II by harnessing his beloved horses to carts and fleeing westwards. He had to paint them with oil and parafin to make them look sickly, so that they wouldn't be eaten!!! He eventually emigrated to South Africa in 1948, with his horses following him a few short months later by boat from England. They have been bred in the Natal midlands since then, with 30 stallions standing at Kyalami in Johannesburg at the training school where they give weekly performances on a Sunday. It is a very highly specialised form of training which they under go, called 'Haute Ecole' which means 'high school', and thankfully, it is a very kind and natural form of training - they basically teach the stallions to perform their own natural movements, but on command. If you EVER get the chance to visit either Vienna or Johannesburg - GO AND SEE THEM, you will not be sorry, it was so beautiful, with such wonderful classical music that I had to wipe away a tear! Yes okay, I am a total softy when it comes to horses, and maybe because I know horses, it was that much more special, anyway, go and judge for yourself! Posted by Hello