Welcome to the Spanish Riding School's 2005 USA Tour Web Log!
IMPORTANT: Please scroll down past this introduction to read the latest post; most recent posts are placed at the top of the blog. Older posts are at the bottom, and at the left of this column you will see links to the archives of stories from September, October, and November.
Your comments are welcome! Just click on the "comments" link at the end of a post to leave your input or ask for more information. Thank you for making this blog an interactive experience and for sharing your impresions of the Spanish Riding School.
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna visited America in the fall of 2005! For six weeks, 30 Lipizzan stallions and 10 expert riders toured America, and many of you were lucky enough to see a performance. It was their first visit to the USA in 15 years.
Even though the tour is over, you can still check this blog for exclusive news from the tour, information about the horses and the School, and see how America welcomed and celebrated the grandeur of the world's oldest riding school.
Ride along with EquiSearch.com and your blog guide, Fran Jurga, for web-based fun and news. Whether you are a dressage devotee, a vulture for Viennese culture, or a history buff with an interest in World War II and General Patton, you'll find all the facts and all the fun here, along with links to much more information.
Be sure to visit EquiSearch.com for news from all over the horse world and bookmark this blog (or click on the RSS link for a feed). Come back soon!
Labels: Equisearch, Fran, Jurga, Riding, School, Spanish, Tour, USA, Vienna
I have seen several references to a 2 hour clinic that will proceed the SRS performances in each venue. There seems to be some misunderstanding about who can attend. I have tickets for the Saturday performance in Atlanta. If there is a clinic proceeding this performance, I would like information on how to attend.
The USEF has info about the 2-hour clinic. Check out this link for more info and to find out if you can attend: www.usef.org/content/newsDisplay/viewPR.php?id=577
I am curious to know if there will be a bay stallion touring with the SRS as per the tradition. Thank you!
Does the Spanish Riding School or do any of the riders have email addresses where we can send fan mail? My husband and I are excited to have tickets to the very first performance in Columbus, and I would love to let the riders - AND horses! - know how much we appreciate them traveling to the US.
Right now, there is no direct contact with the staff or riders, but keep an eye on the blog and we will let you know when and if that changes.
Some of the staff and riders speak little or no English so it is difficult for them to communicate.
I will ask about this once the tour gets rolling. Columbus is just a few days away, how lucky that you have tickets!
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Are you planning any tours to washington state? If so when and where.
I would gladly attempt using the German I studied in high school and college to converse with the riders and/or trainers. It has been quite a few years, but I believe I can still translate well enough. I can also try Polish, if that is preferred, but I suspect German is the best language to use.
I am SO excited the stallions are coming! And happy I found this blog. At the risk of dating myself, when I was a child my parents surprised me and my brothers with tickets to the SRS on its visit to NY in the early 1960s. My father was in Germany under Patton's command in WWII but was not involved with the rescue. Now he and Mom live with me and a week from today I'll surprise them with tickets to the Sunday show in St. Louis! I cannot believe I get to see these great horses twice in my life! Sandy
OMG I just saw about the 2 hr clinic before. I've been waiting to go to see these stallions since April, and have been a fan of the breed for many years. I'm lucky enough to have tickets to the first show tomorrow in Columbus. I can't wait.
There was a dark brown horse at the show in Columbus 11-05-05. Very nice show, a descendant of G. S. Patton was present.
On Saturday November 5th I attended the show, and it was amazing! I have a horse of my own and absolutely love them! I'm so proud of what you all have done with the breed, and how well they are being taken care of. Keep up the good work! I am so excited about this program you have going. Its great! Keep up the wonderful work.
The Columbus show was outstanding! The clinic 2 hours prior to the show only lasted 1/2 hour, but was very interesting. It was open to anyone who had show tickets, but it seemed that seating assignements are not observed for the clinic, so if you have great seats for the show, don't assume you will get them for the clinic! Also, we were not allowed to leave and re-enter the arena after the clinic, so plan to spend an hour and a half hanging around between the clinic and the show.
There was indeed a brown stallion, and he was wonderful! We were lucky to have seats in the first row, right on the centerline, probably only about 10 feet from the dressage arena. We felt like we could have reached out and touched the horses! I don't believe we could have seen the show better in Vienna. I saw several stallions look directly into my eyes as they passed.
The horses appeared to be unfamiliar with having an enthusiasic audience so close to their arena, and there were also very severe thunderstorms approaching, so there were a few little spooks - but we found it very educational to watch the riders handle these with calm poise, never allowing an interruption to the show.
It was truly a magical night!
Loved the Sunday matinee show of the horses in Columbus....my first ever to see them...had waited 78 yrs.
One posting states that a descendant of Gen. Patton was in the audience. Actually, the gentleman was a soldier who had served under Patton..and had been a prisoner of war. (I don't think G.Patton had children).
I posted earlier about seeing the SRS in New York in the 60's. 6 days and counting until we see them in St. Louis!
In response to an earlier note, George Patton did have a son, at least one, who died recently. His son, also named George Patton and also a West Pointer, was a general in the Army, served in Korea and Vietnam and was, in several respects, a chip off his father's block. Sandy
The gentleman in the audience on Sunday served with Patton in WWII; Patton's grandson was in the audience at Saturday's performance.
For those of you that have seen the show. How long did it last? I want to make dinner reservations after the show in Philly and would like to know what time to make them.
Also, for those that have attented the pre-show. What was the clinic about? Were you just watching them warm up? More detail please. I have to drive from NYC that day and need to know if it is worth fighting traffic to see 30 mins of walking around.
The pre-show clinic was a demonstration of the SRS training techniques, briefly covering the young horse, the intermediate horse, the advanced horse, and work in hand. Since this was covered in 1/2 hour, there was not a lot of detail. But if you are interested in dressage it is worth seeing - especially the demonstration of the correct vs. incorrect way to get a canter piroette.
The show lasted about 2 hours and 15 min, including a 15 min intermission.
I spoke with the contct person for the Houston performances, who told me the clincs included a Q & A session, which would be wonderful.
This blod has had some great info. Its a pleasure to have it.
We were delighted to have front row seats for the Nov. 5th performance in Columbus. It was the third time the SRS has toured this country, and we have seen them each time.
We were very disappointed, though, to not be able to buy a souvenir due to the crowd around the souvenir stand. Will these items be offered for online purchase at some time?
I am attending the Saturday St. Louis show this weekend. I was just wondering what the dress code is...random I know but I dont want to be under/over-dressed. Thanks all!
I was talking to the Savvis Center (the St. Louis site for the SRS this weekend) about handicap access and the fellow I talked to said he hadn't seen today's numbers yet, but as of late yesterday there were still seats available for this weekend's shows. There's a St. Louis Blues hockey game tonight and then they'll switch the arena over from ice to equines! Sandy
I was at the show in Columbus OH and thought it was fabulous. I was surprised there were not more dressage enthusiasts in the audience. The pre-show clinic was one excellent, but there was no q&a session. Rudi Rostek is oh so handsome, a real prince charming on his white stallion...a gorgeous man and a love of horses...just dreamy!!!
where are the horses/riders now?
We have tickets for the Sunday Houston show and I too would like to know what to wear.I know that sounds silly, but we're flying from Cheyenne.
I have studied dressage for 23 years and now I get to see the best. I can hardly wait!
I would like to hear about the performances from some who have been there this time.
I saw them yesterday at the Sunday St. Louis show! A few answers - attire is almost anything, from bluejeans to pant suits. A few men wore ties, but most were in polo shirts, some t shirts. The staff said the Saturday night crowd was a bit dressier. I couldn't believe how many empty seats there were! The preshow started 2 hours before the main show and lasted about 30 minutes. They had a brief Q&A session after that, but whether they do that depends on when the arena is going to open its doors for the show itself, so I guess you could call ahead. They changed the preshow from the Columbus event - this one was 2 young stallions, one very young, say 5, and the other maybe 8. The older of the 2 was working on walk/canter transitions and he didn't like picking up the right lead from the walk. The chief rider said after the 2nd balk (and kick!) "I'm glad he did this - we always need to remember that riding a horse is not like pushing a button". Then they brought in a more senior stallion who was learning the piaffe in hand. The Savvis Center staff let people out after the preshow and they could come back for the show itself. They said that decision was left to the individual arenas. Some of the stallions in the show didn't like something at the end of the arena and balked and ducked a couple of times, most noticeably in the pas de deux, but corrections were patient. The strength, flexibility, communication and balance of the horse/rider teams is so striking .....I could go on and on. Watch for the dapple gray caprioler! The solo was so lovely it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you SRS, and everyone who made this tour possible! Sandy
I saw the show in St. Louis yesterday with my 7 yr old daughter. I've wanted to see this show since I was her age and I was not disappointed. The show was fabulous and the horses and riders are just amazing. I hope to experience this again in my lifetime!
who speaks during the pre-show demonstration? who answers during a q&a?
are any of the riders doing clinics anywhere in between official tour performances?
at the St. Louis Sunday show the preshow was begun by the announcer (whose name I forget) who talked a little about the history of the breed and the SRS, but the majority of it, and all the technical material was conducted by Chief Rider Johann Riegler (I think I have the spelling right - the program is at home). He did the Q&A session too. sandy
how good is chief rider riegler's english?
On the Columbus Sat. Evening show the Grandson of Gen. Patton was there, I sat near to them. Sunday may have been a different story. Each venue has members from either Patton or Reeds family there. (Well for the Sat. Evening at least)The riders are not doing clinics between venues, the time is to short. Some of them do come over to school Lipizzan horses here in America. They are private people who bring them and they are usually very happy to let others come. There is one in California this January with the young rider Rudy and Andreas Hausberger comes each summer for a round of clinics (he did the horse on the long line). In case you all dont know the average age of the stallions on tour is 17.5 and the one solo horse is 25 or 26, the Houston show will be his final peformance before he retires.
Is there a clinic before the Saturday evening show in Washington? If so, what time?
Can anyone tell me whether the School's performance includes a solo of the Schools on the Ground by Siglavy Mantua I? (here's hoping!)
Are you talking about a performance at the School in Vienna?
No - the solo is done only during Gala events, not during a regular show. Mantua is already officially retired in Austria. The shows in the US are his last public appearances. He is scheduled to go to Piber after this tour for breeding.
Regarding S.Mantua 1, I have had the pleasure of seeing him in training and performance in Vienna on a number of occasions and also on the British tour. He is a true star of the SRS and I thank Oberbereiter Krzisch for his wisdom, devotion and expertise in training such a wonderful horse. I will miss "Mantua Eins" in Vienna, but the horse deserves his well earned rest at his birthplace in Piber after 23 years work in the Hofreitschule.
I am looking forward to seeing the performance thisSunday , Washington D.C.This will be the third time I have seen themin DC, and, ine third venue, I also spent 5 years inVienna, and, spent manymornings watching the schooling sessions, also saw one evening performance, and,the fabulousfestival resentation in the stadthalle h duringthe 400th anniversary celebration.There are moments of such beauty that they bringtears to my eyes, and, I neverwant to leave at he end of the performance.The only diference this time isthat I am now in a wheelchair disabled due to stroke, and, wil be unable to get down close to the arena, ifyouare athe 2:30 performance in DC pleasestop by , and, say "hello"I wil be inte whelchair accessible area.Does anyone know if ther is a video available for purchase?
dear carol ames:
i'm sorry to hear of your stroke. it must be difficult. the arena may have wheelchair seating close to the arena, especially if you phone in advance, talk to the arena manager, and make a fuss about the federal disabilities act: by law, there SHOULD be wheelchair access in ALL locations of the arena.
there is a video for sale, if you email me privately, i'll tell you where i saw it.
i've noticed that some people posting here no quite a lot of detail about things regarding SRS.
i USED to know quite a bit myself, because i dated one of the riders.
that was YEARS ago, and i haven't even ridden a horse in many years, but i'm thinking more and more about all this now...
will those of you who are more "in the know" contact me, and maybe we can swap some stories...
egads! i wrote "no" instead of "know"!!!!
that'll teach me to write online at 3:00 AM!!
Dear Ms. Ames,
as far as I know these are the DVDs that will be sold here in the US: DVD Piber multilingual, DVD SRS of Vienna multilingual, DVD Span. Riding School NTSC. Not sure how much they will be in USD. If you can't get them there try the museum online store at:
The show tonight at the MCI center was awesome. There was a bay stallion at the beginning of the show leading the opening dressage movements. The stallions were magnificent. The exercises done by hand were great and you could see all of the loving care bestowed by the riders as they asked these horses to perform such difficult moves. The exhibition by the stallion performing on reins with the rider walking behind him, doing the same dressage movements with no rider, just cues from the bit and spoken words was breathtaking. I will always treasure tonight and wish I could go see them again.
Hello, everyone. My name is Troy Tinker, and i am the the commentator for the American tour of the Spanish Riding School. It's so wonderful to read all of your amazing comments. Thanks for the support of this breathtaking show. I only recently learned of this blog, but will be checking it from time to time over the next few weeks to try and answer any questions you may have.
we just had a spectacular show last night in DC and another on the way today. Next stop will be Philadelphia. Please, feel free say hello to me at any of the performances.
To my great disappointment, I notice there are no shows listed in the Western part of the US. You very lucky people who have seen the the performances!!!! Is there any chance dates could be added to the tour that come closer to Colorado? That would be heavenly!
Another wonderful audience in Washington, DC at our Sunday matinee performance. You folks are awesome! We move to Philadelphia tomorrow, and we hope to see all of our fans there!
The pre-performance clinic was a big hit in Washington and the attendance was really encouraging! Herr Reigler narrated while Andreas Hausberger and other riders demonstrated on several horses. I hope people in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Houston will make plans to be part of the total experience!
Thank you, Troy, for posting! Your presence on this blog is an honor! You did an incredible job of announcing in Washington (and I am sure you did the same in the other cities).
Thanks,everyone, for checking the blog!
The pre-performance clinic was a big hit in Washington and the attendance was really encouraging! Herr Reigler narrated while Andreas Hausberger and other riders demonstrated with several horses. I missed most of it but everyone told me how much they enjoyedit. I hope people in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Houston will make plans to be part of the total experience!
I am hearing nothing but rave reviews of the performances so far! I was at the Columbus performances and Lipizzan registry meetings/dinner with the riders and enjoyed it so much that I'm heading to Atlanta for more - I'll be sure to stop by and say hi. Safe travels ~
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Show Narrator here, trying to answer a few questions. Thanks for your interest in the Spanish Riding School merchandise. The response to it has been overwhelming! I don't think that anyone at the Venues in St Louis or Columbus thought the demand would be so huge, and it was hard to serve everyone in a timely fashion. We are adding to the number of stands, where possible, and increasing the number of service staff, but it may still not be enough. There are plans to continue selling merchandise on-line, for an as yet unspecified period of time. There have to be soem glitches worked out, and I'm afraid it will not sell things like the collectible plush ponies, because they are limited to only 5,000 since they are collectible, but most of teh other items should be available. For more info on this, you may visit the website of teh American Producer of the Spanish Riding School sho, White Stallion Productions. There should be news on that site about the SRS merchandise once all the plans have been made. Be careful, though because they that site also sells some merchandiose for their US based Lipizzaner Show, "The World Famous Lipizanner Stallions" (Which I also host, by the way). This is all quality merchandise, but if you're looking for SRS school logo, you want to make sure you order the right thing! That web site is www.lipizzaner.com.
If you have comments for the riders, feel free to submit them here, and I'll make sure they get them. Rudoplh Rostek is already being playfully teased about the "Prince Charming" remark a fan made, and I love to be the first to take news like that back to them Lol!
There is a bay Lipizzaner, Favory Allayah, and he is an amazingly handsome, and nobile stallion.
Regarding shows in the western half of the US,..no, I'm afraid there are none scheduled this trip, however, I believe they plan on doing a western US tour in 3 years. Your continued demand for that will make it happen!
My husband and I sat down to breakfast on Sunday, and I asked if he was reading the paper. He wasn't, but he picked up Saturday's paper, and halfway through breakfast pointed to a little tiny photo and blurb about the performances on Saturday and Sunday. I've been a rider all of my life, and he has heard me talk about the SRS and the performance I saw back in 1990 in San Francisco. With no idea whether the tickets were sold out or not, we hopped on the metro and at 1:30 were in possession of a pair of seats about 18 rows up at C.
I don't think I can say anything that hasn't been said before: the horses were amazing, the riding beautiful, and both horses and riders were strong and elegant.
After the show, I commented that tears welled up in my eyes when the horses and riders first entered the arena for their introductions, and my husband echoed the sentiment. We both had strong emotional responses to the beauty of the animals and the opportunity to see an international treasure and piece of living history, as well as the pinnacle of an art form.
My husband is a member of the US Navy and will be in Germany during January. I plan to meet him at the end of the month, and we are thinking about spending a few days in Vienna. Does anyone know where I can find information (preferably in English) about watching them work with the stallions at the school? The ticket sales site doesn't have anything available unil mid-February, so I am assuming that the performances are sold out until then.
you can either go to the website of the spanish riding school:
or try the tourism sites:
this one is for entire Austria:
and this one is for Vienna specifically:
Hope this helps.
Thank you. I just visited the SRS site and it looks like I'm out of luck for performances and workouts. Maybe this means we'll just need to take another trip to Austria when the riders and horses are performing.
The sites you listed will be helpful as we plan our trip.
Our group the Potomac Highlands 4-H club from West Virginia brought a bus group to see the show. Every year we do a big trip to something horsey for the kids.
I thought it was a great educational experience for the kids and adults. On the bus ride to the show we watched the movie put out by Disney many years ago which showed how the Americans helped save the horses.
It was wonderful how the show explained step by step about the training that goes into these great horses and their riders, by the time we got to the ballet at the end, we all had a greater understanding of what it took to get there.
You could tell there was a bond between rider and horse.
I am sure we all went home with a greater knowledge about the horses.
I know myself and my 2 daughters enjoyed it greatly.
We had to purchase those cute stuffed horses too.
I’m going to take you up on your offer to pass comments on to the riders. I first saw the Lipizzaners back in 1980, at age 11, when my mom and dad took a whirlwind car tour through Europe. Austria wasn’t on the agenda – but I insisted that we HAD to go to Vienna to see the Lipizzaners. So we did, and I saw a practice at the Riding School.
Fast forward 25 years . . .
When I heard the Riding School was coming to Washington DC, I pulled out the coins I kept from my childhood Vienna trip and showed the levade to my two young daughters. To further prepare the kids, we read the old Marguerite Henry book “White Stallion of Lipizza” and also saw the Disney movie, “Miracle of the White Stallions.” And read the blog. And visited the Spanish Riding School website a million times.
Anyway, the point is we are HUGE fans. Please tell the riders they’ve inspired me to ride my paint gelding even better.
Here’s what my kids wanted to tell the riders. These are their words, verbatim:
From Marie, Age 5:
I hope you get this e-mail. Today I told my mom that my favorite show was the Lipizzaners. I think your show is the best. It was as wonderful as how my mom rides, but even more better. I want to ride just like you when I grow up. I’m your and your horses’ number one fan.
Do the Lipizzaners get to eat special foods like carrots and apples?
I liked to see your performance when you were doing your amazing tricks, to show that you are proud that General Patton saved the horses from war. Hope you are doing well in your new place.
We were trying to give you signs but my mom forgot to put them up. My sign said “We love you Lipizzaners!” and that is true.
My favorite horse was the grey one that was jumping. And I used to have a pony and now I have a big paint horse.
Do your performance again soon in Washington, D.C., down where you did it before.
Marie, Age 5.
P.S. Please let the horses get to see this e-mail too.
* * *
This is Nadia. I would like to tell the Lipizzaners that I like their tricks so much. I am one of their fans. I want them to do more. Please come back next year and do more tricks like the courbette, capriole, and levade.
I am very pleased that I could see your show yesterday. I am so happy that I saw it. It was my first time seeing it.
Nadia, Age 7
Vienna is worth a visit even when the Lipizzaner aren't performing! The training sessions are interesting, and it's also now possible to tour the stables and meet the stallions - great fun! The School's website www.srs.at has details about the timings for tours. The English-speaking guides who give the tours are great, very knowledgeable and entertaining. And the stallions are lovely (but curiously small close-up!)
At certain times of year it's also possible to visit the Lipizzaner stud farm at Piber in Styria, a short distance from Graz. The foals are adorable!
If anyone is interested in background reading about the Lipizzaner and the School, I would recommend Marguerite Henry's children's novel, "White Stallion of Lipizza", and also "My Dancing White Horses" and "My Horses, My Teachers" by Colonel Podhajsky, who was Director of the School during and after WWII. All informative, and great reads for horse-lovers.
For Cathy in Maryland:
I'm so glad that you and your family were able to see us in DC. I will pass your comments on to the riders, and I'm sure they'll be delighted.
How wonderful that you prepared the kids for our presentation with the book and movie. I hear stories like this often and it's no wonder the lipizzaner legend continues to grow from generation to generation. I find it very moving to be connected, in even such a small way, to something so much larger than life.
I am sure that due to the time you have invested in your children, in sharing with them these amazing horses, that Nadia and Marie will one day share them with their children, and no doubt think of you with a smile.
I just found out about the Philadelphia visit. I have tickets for the Saturday show on the 26th. This will be the second time I have seen them and I am shaking with excitement. I can not wait. You won't have to translate my sentiments. They are universal. "Thank You for coming to the states and sharing these beautiful animals and their skilled trainer/riders." It just increases my love of these majestic animals.
OH PLEASE OH PLEASE COME ANYWHERE NEAR CALIFORNIA!!!
In December 1995 I had the opportunity to visit the Spanish Riding School in Vienna - but no one was there! Open doors, no horses, no people. So those of you looking forward to dropping in - call first! Amazingly, sometimes, no one is home.
Reading all of this great stuff on this Blog is making me so sad that I moved from Iowa to California! I have been a lifelong horse lover, and can't wait to get to see the Lippizaners perform.
Hey! saw the lipizzaners in St. Louis! They were incredible! Definitely worth driving 500 miles one way to see! I am now totally enthused and looking forward to moving up the levels on my Percheron/Morgan cross! (Hey, he's not a Lipizzaner but he's cute!) I can't wait to see them next time!
We are just a few hours away from going to see the Philadelphia show and are so excited about it!! This is our anniversary gift to each other, and there is nothing like seeing the magic of these graceful stallions to remind us of the magic of our life together. We are horse people (prior dressage and hunter/jumper turned rodeo team ropers) and even though our horses could NEVER be confused with these athletes, the communication and teamwork between horse and rider is always something to be admired and respected.
I just saw
the ad in the paper this morning. It's the last show in Philadelphia;
are tickets available for this 2:30 show? I'd like two.
Anyone know how I can find two reasonable tickets?
My mom took me to the show in New York when I was a teen and I'd like to take my daughter and grand-daughter-to-be to the show today in Philadelphia. I'm a teacher and have been very busy prepping and grading papers and totally missed the news that they were in town.
Any help would be appreciated.
I'm going to the December 3 performace in Atlanta. I e-mailed the person in charge of the pre-show clinic but she is out of town right now. It said in the e-mail that groups will need a specail pass to get in to the clinic. I'm going with my friends barn and we are a large group. Is this true that groups need these passes? I saw a notice at my friends barn that said that the clinc was not open to the general public, I'm assuming that just groups can see the clinc since you need a specail pass to get in. Also is photgraphy allowed because we have a digital camera and we can totally turn off the flash.
please correct me if I got anything wrong and answers to these questions would be very helpful
miss Carey W. age 16
Again, I wish I had more information about the clinics before the performances. I only know that it was stressed that each city was handling it differently. Don't give up! Keep calling! It is worth it!
Attended the Friday evening Philadelphia performance last night with my daughter and granddaughter. Last year they were in Vienna, but missed the stallions (one of their days off!) I was happy to read that many of you had the same tearful reaction to this beautiful presentation. As a newbie rider (three lessons!) I was in awe. Thank you so much for coming to the States. As to the riders, I found Prince Charming striking, but thought Chief Rider Klaus Krzisch and Mantua I the sexiest.
My friends and I attended the show on Sunday 20 November in Washington D.C.
It's simply spectacular! It will make a dressage lover out you for sure!
We just came back from the Philly show and OH MY GOD.... if you are lucky enough to catch one of their performances, BRING TISSUES. It is a truely breathtaking show. On the camera topic... Even if you have a digital camera and can shut off the flash, there is still the red-eye function that is distracting ( it happened a few times this afternoon... ) and they ask very politely for you not to take pictures, so I think its something that should be respected. Enjoy the Atlanta show!
How old were the horses in the preformances. I understand that the dark brown horse was 25 years old. How old were the other horses?
What were the ages of the horses used in the performances?
Saw the Friday night show in Philadelphia last night, and as always, it was magnificent. I have been lucky enough to see them three times in my life; the first in Philadelphia on their 60's tour, and then in 1999 when I was visiting Europe. I was so disapointed that they would not be in Vienna during my visit that I tracked them down, and found that they would be giving a show in Piber for their 100 Years festival. What a magnificent show! They also had a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir, and, of course, the stud farm was beautiful. It was the trip of a lifetime! But the Philadelphia show equalled it. If there is any way that you can make it to a show, don't miss it!!
I saw the show yesterday in Philadelphia, and it truely is amazing and spectacular to see. It was more than hoped for, and I also had the same tearful reaction to the beauty, grace and skill of these wonderful creatures and their riders. Thanks for bringing the show to this area. I was in Vienna last month, but only had the opportunity to see a practice session, and tour the stables. It was extra fun recognizing some of the riders and horses I saw in Vienna in the performance here.Thanks again.
Sorry I didn't hear/know about the clinic prior to the show. Only issue I had was with the Wachovia Complex's parking situation, as I spent 40 minutes driving around the complex, and unable to get in to park, and was almost late for the show. But, alas, the performance of the SRS made up for all the inconvenience.
Thanks to all of you who braved the cold weather to come out to the Philly shows.
To answer a couple questions, the youngest horse in the show is 7 and the oldest is 26 (that's Siglavy Mantua, a featured solo horse) and this is his retirement tour. These horses live to be 30-35 yrs of age, so they still have plenty of life in them at retirement. In fact, they retire to the Piber farm where they become stud horses. Not a bad way to retire, I think!
Let me try to clear uup some mis-information on the clinics. They are NOT 2 hours long, but start usually 2 hours before the start of the show. the clinic may be 30 to 45 minutes in length, and normally we do have a brief Q and A after, but it isn't always possible.
Good news about the SRS merchandise! If you were unable to be waited on at the performances, you may go to www.lipizzaner.com and click on the spanish riding school merchandise link. Most of the memorabilia at the stands will be available there.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. All of us are safe and sound in Atlanta, working toward this weekend's shows.
My father took me to see the movie 'The Miracle of the White Stallions' several decades ago, and ever since then, I have dreamt of seeing these gorgeous horses. So, I was honored to be in the audience to see them perform in Philadelphia 11/26, and cried when the performance concluded. The Philadelphia/New Jersey (home of the USET) areas love horses, and in all venues. So, it was a very knowledgable and appreciative audience. We all watched everything in detail - the way the reins were held, the riders talking to his horses, the communication with the feet, gait changes - it goes on. But what was so incredible was that the Lipizzans wanted to perform these incredible feats! One young Lipizzan twice missed his Corbette, but the 3rd time around, HE DID IT!!! and, of course, we ALL applauded. That rider made sure his horse could and would do it, and he did because he wanted to! Fabulous!
When the riders gave their final salute, we all IMMEDIATELY stood in respectful ovation to the Spanish Riding School for its history and excellence.
To Mr Tinker, I hope that the SRS will know how much America and Americans thank you and the School for this year's 2005 tour.
To everyone that has seen the show. And to Troy Tinker as well.
I was at the philly show, the saturday preformance.
I would like to know why the riders don't ride with stirrups during the "airs above ground" part of the show. I being a rider and preformed such moves when my horse is trying to get rid of me. (LOL) would think that a rider would want as much support and stalibity to "keep a seat".
Any other people notice that the riders were stirrup-less?
I was amazed that they were able to keep shoulder-elbow-hip-heel in line with out stirrups.
Four of us flew from Colorado to St Louis just to see the SRS. What an awesome performance! We were not disappointed. Untill we got home and heard for the first time about the pre-show clinic. The Event Center was less than half full and there was nothint outside saying what was going on. Why wasn't this more publicized? Was it intended only for horse people?
I attended the Sunday performance in Washington DC, and it was spectacular. I'm a college student, and I didn't think that I would be in the DC area. However, I was home that weekend, and on Saturday I came across this blog and saw that there was a performance in DC the next day. My mother and I immediately got tickets (4 rows from the front), and it was spectacular. The entire audience (horse people and non-horse people alike) was enthralled. I highly reccomend it.
SRS is very meaningful to our family. We became acquainted with Tom Stewart, whom you recently honored in Washington, D.C. for leading the group in WWII who rescued the horses, who then introduced us to Don and Karen W. of Texas. Our daughter-in-law's grandfather, McCaleb, was the leader of the Point Platoon who came under fire during the rescue. Mr. McCaleb inspired our daughter-in-law and family to compete in dressage over the years. This little side story is very meaningful to all of us. Thank you for becoming a connection to bring all of us together.
We would love to have you in Nashville, TN. We lived in Washington, D.C. when you were there before this time,but missed you. Hope to see you during this visit. Sorry we missed D.C. the other day. Ross
The first time I heard of these horses I had just moved and found a book about them. The 'Spanish'became my friends. Finally, after 40 years I have seen them. It was like a prayer, like something far removed from this Earth, something of total beauty that took my breath and now reaches into my best dreams!
Thanks to all who made this experience possible.
Hello, from Atlanta! Nice to see so many nice comments from those who have seen our presentation!
A few more answers for those of you with questions,...
First of all, the Clinics were originally intended for those people who purchased groups sales tickets only, and were not intended for the general public. Some buildings have been allowing the general public in, however, which may be why we had more than 2,000 attend a clinic in Philly last week!
I believe that the decision to make the clinic's a "group sales only" even was a bad one and it probably will be done differently in the future.
There will be a "future" as plans are already underway for another US tour in 2008 0r 2009, this time focusing on the western half of the uS. This is not an official announcement, but you can bet you'll learn more in the future on www.lipizzaner.com.
For those who wondered why the airs were ridden without stirrups, it's because the riders who ride the airs must have perfect balance. With stirrups, the balance is not so important, so they ride without them to show they have mastered that challenge.
Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta, and next week, our final stop, Houston.
Troy, I was told by the contact in Houston that if you had a ticket for the performance, you could attend the clinic. There are 4 of us with tickets together. Are we going to be able to attend the clinic in Houston? Thanks!
We can hardly wait.........
I'm going to the show tomorrow in Atlanta and I can't wait. I've seen the Royal Lippizanners tour many times but it has always been a dream of mine always wanted to see the SRS. Not that I'm attempting to compare the two groups. Believe me, I already recognize the differences. It is quite obvious in watching the commercials and from reading this blog. I can't wait to see the true masters of this art perform. Did I mention I can't wait?! :-)
I do have information concerning the preshow clinic in Atlanta. You had to e-mail Carla White. (Her email is listed on the first page of the blog that shows the articles.) Originally it was only that those that purchased group tickets could get into the clinic, but they chose to open it up to others as well. I've heard that they have no more passes for the clinic on the 3rd, but you might want to e-mail her anyway. I think it would be worth the try.
Anyway, I'm going to attempt to get back to sleep now. :-)
I have traveled from Kentucky to Atlanta to attend the performance this evening. I have heard so many stories about the clinics that it has been really hard to get the correct information.There has been other message boards on the net where people have said they attended the clinic with just there tickets for the show.Seems like the problem has been that each venue has been allowed to make it's own rules. NOT FAIR! So that means that we each got different value for the price of our tickets.
I am disappointed that I will not be able to attend the clinic this evening but I know I will enjoy the show. Can't wait.
I am older so I will probably not get to see the show again but I hope next time they come to the states it is a little better organized.
We went to the show last night here in Atlanta, and it was wonderful!!!
We were so impressed with both horses and riders. It was a real treat to see this classical and masterful riding, and all those beautiful quiet hands of the riders. We can only hope that this will be an inspiration and a reminder to all of us going to work a horse that this kind of training allows a horse to grow, mature and age sound, sane and happy. Lets hope American Dressage sits up and takes notice! This should be the only model.
Thank you to the stallions, their riders, and all the tradition behind this experience for all of us to see live that this is still possible and not some kind of legend, seeing is believing!
We enjoyed it so much we are going today to see the performance again.
Siglavy Mantua I is in the show. He has been my favorite horse for over 20 years since I first saw him in Vienna. I also think Herr Krzisch is the best rider I have ever seen in a saddle.
I met the rider in Columbus, which was great, but have to say I was very disappointed as we were told we'd be getting a tour of the stabling area, then told we could not "due to the quarantine", yet I know of many folks got to go back if "they knew a rider". SO the quarantine had little or nothing to do with this. I was heartbroken not to have seen S. Mantua I after looking foward to it on a very long drive to Columbus, to say nothing of watiing over 20 years for the opportunity.
I saw the Saturday show and pre-show clinic in Altlanta and they were both AWSOME! It was the cooolest horse thing I've seen in a long time.
Mr. Tinker can you please pass this letter on to ALL the SRS riders on the USA tour
Dear SRS Riders,
Hi my name is Carey W. I am a 16 year old girl and live in the USA. I am a English rider and have been riding for 3 months. I was in a schooling show and got 2nd place. I'm not a Dressage rider since I'm still learning and I have no specific displine yet in English riding. The show in Altanta was sooo coool. The horses were pretty and you guys looked great! Thank you so much for coming to Atlanta!
Miss Carey W. age 16
Great job SRS! Thanks for coming to America!
The Saturday night show in Atlanta was even more spectacular than I imagined. The talent of horses and riders gave me goosebumps and, Fran, I sincerely appreciate your posting this log. The information provided added to my enjoyment by making me an "informed" spectator. I, too, was extremely disappointed to be told by Carla White that a pass to the clinic was not available and hope that this method will not be used for future visits of the SRS. It appears that if the Arena was capable of accommodating all those with tickets, it could also accommodate anyone with a ticket that wished to attend the clinic. Troy, you did a wonderful job and I hope you will pass on to all those involved my extreme gratitude for making this experience possible ... especially the hard work and dedication of the horses and riders!
In addition to being eternally grateful to the SRS for this tour--I saw the Sunday performance in Atlanta and was indescribably moved by it--I am also extremely grateful for this blog. I found it and the info about the pre-performance clinic just 2 hours before the clinic began. Also, it was my only source of any real information about so many things concerning the performances.
I know others shared the opinion that it would have been great to have had a bit of information about each of the the horses as they were introduced--for starters, their ages and that this was the final tour for Mantua 1, and also Favory Allaya (didn't I read that somewhere on this blog?). Maybe that kind of information will be included in the future.
Troy, I'm also interested in some of the behind-the-scenes details. How were the horses transported from venue to venue and did they stop over along the way or go straight through (assuming they were vanned)?
How many support staff are traveling with them? I'm guessing that the horses' regular grooms are with them.
I was told that in Atlanta they were stabled in a ballroom in an adjacent building to where they performed. Do they travel with their own portable stalls or are those provided at each venue?
How did the SRS accustom the horses to having the audiences so close to them and on the ground with them, as in Vienna the audience is above them and not at their eye level?
As far as the audience went, one thing that would seem to make sense is to not allow children under the age of 4. During both the clinic and the actual performance there were babies and toddlers present who persisted in making a lot of noise--including loud shrieks--that must have been as disturbing to the horses and riders as it was to the rest of us. Parents in Houston, please take note....
Seeing the SRS is an event of a lifetime. I'm very lucky to have had this chance three times so far in my life and hope and plan to add several more. Huge thanks to the SRS for making this monumental effort to once again come to the US. We who have seen you have been inspired and moved in so many ways. Again, thank you.
Hello, Nancy,and all!
Thanks to everyone who visited us in Atlanta! What a wonderful city! I certainly enjoyed the malls in Gwinnett and Duluth, AND the beautiful new aquarium. Just more reasons to be proud of your area!
To answer your questions...
The stallions are transported to the US by two planes, and once here, three trucks.
They are stabled at each venue in portable stalls. That is part of their agreement with the USDA. They cannot leave the venue and are in quarantine while in the US. Only those people who work with them regularly are allowed in the stables. Someone reported that they saw others going in and out of the quarantined stabling area. Well, I'm not sure who they saw, but the riders do have families here and they have been approved to enter the area. There are also Veterinarians, also approved by the USDA, and people involved with the production in other areas, and their families who have filled out the neccessary paperwork to go to the stables. You cannot allow John Q Public to be in the stables, in the way, and trying to pet or feed the horses, or chat with the riders or grooms. This is their work area, not a public area. Even without the quarantine, it is simply not allowed. With the crowds we have had at these performances, it is absolutely ridiculous to assume that the public can tour the stalls. I know you did not do that, Nancy, but some folks writing to this blog have. Sorry to offend anyone, but common sense would tell you that THAT is a wrong assumption. Try to go back stage at a Rock concert and see what happens!
These horses are living works of art. They are meant to be displayed in the arena, like a painting at the museum. They are not meant to be handled by thousands of people. That would create alot of stress for these boys, and we want them happy!
There is a staff of ten riders, ten grooms, a production staff of about ten, bookeepers and merchandise folks. I am doing a quick estimate of about 40 people that travel regularly with us and maybe another 20 who do the work elsewhere,work like logistics and planning.
How do they keep the horses from spooking at the close quarters of the audience? Well, they don't. There have been some spooking incidents. These are, after all, horses, not robots. But the riders have such an amazing rapport with their animals that these are minor. Rapid movement from the audience and those camera clicking away, do not help, but those incidences have been minor, as well.
As for the screaming children, I agree that it is a distraction. It does not happen often, but it only takes one to kick up enough noise to not only irritate thousands of audience members, but to completely discombobulate this poor narrator! I have 2 kids, myself, now grown, and I love 'em dearly, but when they raised a ruckus at a performance, any performance, they were quickly removed from the audience. Kids will be kids, of course, and parents then,...well, they have to be parents. If your child gets fussy, and they are disturbing others, just exit with them. They'll be okay in a bit and you can return.
Most people who come to see this presentation are excellent audience members, so I only address these issues because you, Nancy, as well as some others on this site, have brought them up.
As for the comments on regarding the clinics,..
Everyone on this end of things knows they need to be handled differently. I think the powers that be (Don't shoot me! I'm only the Commentator!) are trying to figure out HOW differently. Originally, it was available to only those who held a group ticket, but since the tickets all look the same, you can't know who to let in, and who to turn away. The thought was that we'd be doing them for around 500 people. Well, we have been doing them for around 2,000 people in some cases, and some feel that's too many. I'm not sure what the answer will be, but they'll have it all worked out before the next US tour, I promise. There are some smart people running the show and they learn from their mistakes.
If you come to the clinic in Houston, my guess is you'll get in, but I suppose they would have to start turning people away if more than 2,000 turned up.
Next stop, (and last stop) Houston! Please say hello to me if you see me! The riders frequently are so busy with their horses they just don't have time to chat, but I usually do!
This has been an amazing experience, and I love to talk about it!
Saw the show on Saturday in Atlanta. It was wonderful! I even got a sweatshirt and the lines were not bad at all at the consession stands in Atlanta.
There was a very amusing incidient in the first entrance that I won't go into but boys will be boys.Gave us horse people a chuckle.Thoses who were there know what I am talking about. I was disappointed I couldn't go to the clinic as I had traveled 400 miles to see the performance.
I am sure that all of us "horse people" would not want thousands of people touching our horses either.
Hmmm,Pattons Grandson was also in Atlanta.Same guy?? How many grandsons are there?Is he part of the show? Actor?
Thanks to SRS for coming to the USA! I tried to see the show in Vienna but the timing was all wrong.I had wanted to see them since I was a little girl. That's about 55 years ago.
Wunderbar wehrk im Atlanta; danke shoenn. Ich bist im Florida und es raignet im Atlanta und Sie Lipizan ist die Gott uber mein leibst, danke!
Troy you did a great job narrating and please tell the riders:
As an expatriate, it has been a long time since I’ve been proud to say (or to feel), “I am from Austria” due to Haider and cohorts. But I was very proud when I saw the SRS perform in the US and the reaction of the audience towards the SRS.
On a personal note, I believe that the SRS should not have been privatized. Many other Austrian entities desperately would need to be privatized (i.e.: ÖBB, Post, etc.). What comes next privatizing our Museums? The Spanish Riding School is as much an Austrian tradition as is Mozart, Wiener Walzer, the Alps, and Sachertorte. Austria doesn’t just pull the SRS out of the Mottenkiste when we send them on tour in the US - quite on the contrary, they are so much alive that residents in the Hofburg wake up to their daily training during spring time in the Sommerreitschule (what other Austrian cultural tradition is still able to do that?!). The SRS should not have to be concerned about making a profit, they should have to be concerned to uphold more than 400 years of tradition - and the Austrian government needs to realize that!
I agree with the business notion that “if you don’t ride the wave the wave will ride you” - but it is a very fine line to lead an almost extinguished tradition into the new millennium. The Spanish Riding School and Piber have the human and animal capital to achieve this difficult task but only with the right leadership. I don’t know how much influence the riders have on the daily business decisions of the School (which I hope they do-aber bitte ohne raunzen), or how much Austrian businesses empower their employees, but it might be a good idea to print out this blog for future reference. I wish them all (horses, riders, staff) the very best for the future and with Sissy M-T.
Thanks for the photos of Silgavy Mantua's backstage preparations!
And for all the information.
What a great blog! I check it every day. I was fortunate to see the performance in Washington and also was in Vienna for a performance in March of this year.
A dream of a lifetime fulfilled:
Thank you SRS and Fran Jurga!
Today I saw the show at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Although I know nothing about horses (have riden horses a couple of times in my youth), the show and horses are an absolute wonder. I saw a SRS performance in Las Vegas, NV, several years ago, and had to see it again in Houston. Please come again!
I think you did a terrific job in Houston on Saturday evening, particularly with the "Star-Spangled Banner". It was a wonderful performance, and the entire SRS experience is unforgettable.
If possible, can you relay this message to Rider Rostek...that I would attend a hundred more shows just to see him ride? Although I greatly admire *all* the riders for their lifelong devotion...It is so rare these days to encounter such passion and excellence, that the SRS performance is like watching beauty that transcends everyday life.
Please let him know, if you can. How does he react to these silly comments? I am so very curious to know.
Hope to hear back from you,
We got to see the final performance of the tour in Houston on Sunday, and that was a lifelong dream of my mom's and a 10 year dream of mine. This show was absolutely amazing, and I hope to see it again next time y'all tour.
Our only disappointment (and one that could be remedied -- hint hint!!) was that we couldn't buy 8x10s of the horses that we actually got to see on the tour. We did get the program, but that's not quite the same. That would be my request for the next tour -- offer portraits of the performers! As you said, Troy -- they're a work of art!
Fantastic show. :)
Flew from Phoenix to Houston to see the last show Sun afternoon (and flew back that night!) Met some great ladies from Austin standing in line to get in for the clinic, and had a great time with them. It was amazing to think that the chief rider who did the clinic would have been there as a 16 year old cadet in 1971, when my mother and I visited the school on my only trip to Vienna.
It was an unforgettable experience. I splurged on a really close up seat, and it was worth it. Thank you, Troy, for the fine job you did and for your participation in this blog.
Will be anxious to hear about the possible West Coast Tour.
Yes, the pererformance in Washington was every bit as breathtaking as I had remembered , Who wrote the thext for the commentary?? Itwas outstanding Thanks to all who answered my question regarding a video.A dear friend who met us there , and "shepherdedthe 2 of us, 2 in wheelchairs, lent me the money to buy a DVD, and, a poster as well, which hangs onthe front of my large 400th anniversary poster.
Well, it's all over. I should be glad! I am on a well-deserved vacation, now, and can use the rest, but it's hard not to work with them everyday.
To Amy, who asked me to pass along a compliment to Rudy Rostek..
I'm afraid it will take a while. The riders have headed back to Vienna, for a well-deserved Holiday Break. I will e-mail it along. He may well read this blog before he receives my e-mail. Yep, many of the riders are checking in here now, though they probably don't write in.
As for how Rudy handles the compliments he receives, well, he's just a nice down to earth young man, who does take his fair share of kidding from the other riders because he is very good-looking. When I told them about the blogger who refered to Rudy as "Prince Charming" there was much exagerated bowing and "Oh, your highness", from some of the riders. He took it all in stride. There was something said in German that made him laugh, but my German is not so good, so I couldn't catch it.
To Carol Ames, what a sweetheart you are, and thanks for your support. You asked who wrote the text of my narration. Well, I did, but it was based on notes received from SRS folks and from 15 years of narrating the American based "World Famous Lipizzaner Stallion Show", another very fine show which features these beautiful white horses, most born at the Piber
Thanks to all who attended our presentation. Spread the word! We want to see you back with friends on the next US tour!
Also thanks to Fran for putting this blog together. What a great way to keep up with SRS!
Being the first American to narrate the SRS presentation has been a dream come true for me, and I look forward to doing it again when they return to the US in 2008.
Until then, goodbye and Happy Holidays. I am, for the time being, galloping into the sunset.
As a young, horse crazy, girl, I saw Disney's "Miracle of the White Stallions," and it was love at first sight. This year, nearly half a century later, my dream of seeing the Spanish Riding School came true. I thought I would have to go to Vienna to see them, and I was researching a trip which I may still take.
Watching the stallions march into the Savvis Center brought tears to my eyes as I watched a childhood dream come true. It was a glorious sight, made even better because my equally horse crazy childhood friend, Donna, was there to share it with me.
A million thanks to the people responsible for making this tour possible. I hope we don't have to wait so long for the next one. I may be too old to drive to St. Louis in another 15 years!
Comments from Jean Antrim-Erickson
past owner and lover of 10 Lipizzan,pure and cross geldings.The show in Phile was superb especially.the riding of Riegler,Krisch nd the Long lineing
solo.The confussion surrounding the
"Free"2 Hour cliic was very poorly advertised an
handled,I got in by
mentioning my trainer Karl Mikolka,
and his cousin Klaus Krisch.
I have great anxiety concerning the future of this invaluable institution,it's welfare and whether it will continue to flourish as it has in the paat under
Um, I know it's 2007, and all of this is from 2005, but I just figured it was worth a shot. Do you know anything about how the riders got into the school in the first place? Have they been there since they were ten or something? Heh, I've just been wondering about how the riders came to be at such a great academy. If you ever read this, please answer at my email cb_Smith8@yahoo.com
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