Posted by Ticketstroom – 06 December 2016
Powerful, elegant, noble and graceful would most certainly be the words used to describe the Lipizzaners. We were fortunate enough to be able to attend a very special Lipizzaner show on the 27th November 2016. It was the 21st birthday celebration show of three of their magnificent stallions. They are all of the blood line Favory and they all share the same father. They are named Favory Eles, Favory Erdem and Favory Presciana 1.
The Lipizzaners show is a lovely mix of entertainment and information. As you sit and watch as these beautiful horses perform the most elegant movements, you are undeniably struck by how special they are.
The Lipizzaner breed dates back to 1562 with Archduke Maximilian starting to breed Spanish horses in Lipica, in what is now Slovenia. They were bred as military horses in the beginning because of their strength, loyalty and courage. In 1944 a few select horse where rescued from war torn Europe and brought to South Africa by Count Jankovich-Besan. The Count then met Major George Iwanowshi at a Royal show in Pietermaritzburg, he was offered a Lipizzaner to train, called Maestoso Erdem, who became the first Lipizzaner to be seen demonstrating dressage movements and the dream of a speciality Lipizzaners show was born.
The equestrian centre at Kyalami was started in1960 by Major George Iwanowshi with just eight stallions. In 1969 the indoor hall was built at Kyalami and is still the home of the South African Lipizzaners today. The centre is now proud to have 67 Lipizzaner horses in their stables, it is believed that only about 4000 true Lipizzaners are still alive today worldwide.
Lipizzaners South Africa is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the cultural heritage of these magnificent horses. They offer training courses, horses for tv and shows as well as many other public performances and their ever popular regular Sunday morning shows.
The Sunday morning shows usually start at around 10:30am, but check your ticket for details. You will arrive at the centre which has ample parking. They have a little shop that sells a variety of merchandise. There are also refreshments available – the strawberry smoothies are outstanding.
The doors to the indoor arena open at around 15 minutes before the performance begins, seats are unreserved and are found on a first come first served basis on the grand stand.
All the horses in the show are introduced as they perform. The show is very informative and everything is explained as the show progresses. We had the pleasure of seeing the new stallions that are just being introduced to the aren for their debut appearances. The stallions are allowed to just run free and enjoy themselves, this is so thrilling to watch. They also give you a glimpse into what goes into training the horses and the riders.
After the show all the guests are encouraged to visit the courtyard and stable area. There are carrots available for a donation which you put into the provided donation box, which you can then go feed to the horses. This interaction is wonderful, it’s a great feeling to be able to see and touch those mighty horse you just saw perform. The riders are also on hand to answer any questions. They have seating under the trees and a little café, Cafe Capriole for a light lunch and something to drink.
Be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming shows over the Christmas season, with the Welsh Male Voice Choir performing at all the Christmas shows in December. To keep informed regarding all events of this nature keep following @ticketstroom on Twitter, Ticketstroom on Facebook as well as follow this blog.