Lipizzan stallions to visit Lawlor Events Center | NevadaAppeal.com

Lipizzan stallions to visit Lawlor Events Center

by Maggie O'Neill, Appeal Staff Writer

The dancing and prancing white horses coming to Reno this weekend come not from one of Grimm’s fairy tales, but from the annals of history.

Lipizzan bloodlines are traceable to the 16th century, when Archduke Karl of Austria created a “royal stud farm” at Lipizza. The Spanish horses were trained for the military, and the great muscle strength in their legs equipped them for battle and to put fear into their enemies.

“You’re stepping back hundreds of years in history,” said Gary Lashinsky, producer of the World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions World Tour performing at the Lawlor Events Center on Saturday and Sunday.

“You’re seeing something special and unique and had it not been for General Patton, it would not be here today.”

About 2,500 Lipizzans exist today with credit given to U.S. Gen. George Patton for rescuing about 300 of the horses during World War II.

Born black, Lipizzans change to a white color within six to 10 years. They also perform dressage, similar to ballet, and even complete challenging movements in the air.

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Lashinsky said he is fascinated by the Lipizzans’ “willingness to learn, ability to perform, and the airs above the ground.”

At this weekends’ two shows the Lipizzans will perform several airs, including the Courbette.

This move requires incredible strength in the back legs of the horses, and is similar to a human hop. A Lipizzan stands on its hind legs and jumps forward keeping its front legs up in the air.

“It requires a lot of strength and a lot of muscle,” Lashinsky said. “It is the most difficult of the movements, very specific, and preserved as a living form of equestrian arts.”

Lashinsky said he is grateful he has been able to show off the extremely talented and smart Lipizzan for 33 years in his shows.

“You don’t have to be a horse lover to appreciate the beauty and magnificence of these horses,” he said. “There is no other show producing the Lipizzans. Other than getting on a plane and flying into Vienna, this is the best thing to see.”

Lashinsky’s Lipizzans are from Austria and his show uses 12 to 15 horses. The shows are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“This is a very, very special horse,” he said. “I’ve had them for 33 years. They’re not just a wonderful horse. They’ve got brains.”

IF YOU GO

What: World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions World Tour

Where: Lawlor Events Center, University of Nevada, Reno

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $17.50 and $19.50 for adults, with children 12 and under and seniors, 60+ receiving the cheaper price. Call (775) 784-4444, (800) 225-2277 or go to http://www.tickets.com