Herrmanns Royal Lipizzan Stallions
Today I have a special treat for you. Until recently I was totally unaware Herrmanns Royal Lipizzan Stallions even existed, much less that they spend a large part of the year 90 minutes from Tampa in Myakka City. You can visit them there January-May. I caught a ‘dress rehearsal’ for their show there this past Saturday. Here is some info about them and their amazing history from their website:http://www.hlipizzans.com
Founded in the 16th century for the exclusive use of the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzans are unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. The pride of the Hapsburg Empire, the Lipizzan breed was first established by Archduke Charles at Lipizza (now part of Yugoslavia).
Only a few hundred have ever existed at any one time. Indeed, it is a contemporary miracle of sorts that this precious bloodline is not extinct, having barely been saved by General George Patton from the Russian advance during World War II. The Lipizzans’ celebrated escape was recounted in the Walt Disney movie, “Miracle of the White Stallions”.
Assisting Patton in the clandestine mission to rescue the regal Lipizzans, Colonel Herrmann and his father, Colonel Ottomar Herrmann, Sr., smuggled the horses out from far behind enemy lines, riding at night and hiding by day. “We moved out into the night with nothing,” recalled Herrmann, “only a handful of horses”. The Lipizzans’ they saved under the protection granted by Patton, were “more precious than jewels”, he declared.
Colonel Herrmann, joined by two subsequent generations of Herrmanns, created an American renaissance of classical equitation’s. His family maintains a 200 acre ranch in Florida to ensure the propagation of this extraordinary breed.
All Airs Above the Ground, originally outlined by Xenophon the Greek, derive from defensive horsemanship created for war and predated-dated the birth of Christ by some 400 years. These spectacular leaps and plunges were originally meant for use by mounted riders to inspire terror in the hearts of foot soldiers.
That this nearly lost art remains alive, is due in very large part, to the commitment of Colonel Herrmann, scion of the Herrmann family, and historically among the world’s greatest trainers of this rare breed. In a lively and informative narrative throughout the presentation of his remarkable stallions, the history, evolution and contemporary application of this most sophisticated horse and rider training is recounted. It is repeatedly noted that extreme patience and, most particularly, love are the requisites to such highly schooled animals. Herrmann epitomized the master of classical European equitation.
It was a really nice day however I felt a bit limited in getting the quality of images I really desired due to 2 things-the lighting was bad-I was shooting at the worst time of day 10-12 and also there were swarms of ‘love bugs’ everywhere! I have never had so many bugs around me in my entire life! Fortunately they do not bite but they are very annoying and it was just really creepy and distracting! Still I was able to capture a few images I like. I love horses, they have a bit of a mystical quality about them.
These were especially beautiful and well-trained, they were very dressed up along with many of the riders. My favorite parts where when they jumped up in the air as I always so love capturing animals in motion.
There was also an area with some less fancy horses where I got a few shots I really like. I was able to pet these horses, I put my hand on their head and just sense a strength and intelligence in them.
This last shot is my favorite of the day as it evokes the mythical quality I look for when photographing horses, especially white ones. If you would like to see some of my other favorite photos featuring horses please check out this gallery at my official website http://www.stephaniellenphotography.com/Animals/Horses/13026337_NGas2#1026101929_JyFbY. Also please share this or any other post you like on Face Book, and/or Twitter, which are now linked below each post!