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Spirited Visit by Young Stars

Piber meets Vienna / Spanische Hofreitschule, Herbert Graf

The Spanish Riding School’s summer program

Last year, I had the opportunity to see my first program in the Spanish Riding School. This came at a time in which there weren’t any actual performances, as the main actors, the noble Lipizzaner school stallions, happen to be at Heldenberg for a well-deserved summer vacation. At Heldenberg, north of Vienna in Lower Austria, up to 81 Lipizzaner horses are trained and enjoy a good quality of life. All school stallions that are trained spend about half a year at Heldenberg.

Spanische Hofreitschule, Julie Brass

Spanische Hofreitschule, Julie Brass

Young, future brood mares and mother mares undergoing performance tests visit Vienna with their little foals from Piber in southwest Styria, which since 1920 has been the place of birth and home to the Lipizzaner. In Vienna, they enchant their audience in the Baroque Winter Riding School in the Hofburg Palace.

This is my tip for everyone who wishes to have a look at the Spanish Riding School and a must for all horse lovers.

Spanische Hofreitschule, Julie Brass

Spanische Hofreitschule, Julie Brass

“Piber meets Vienna”

This year, this summer program will run from July 7 through August 2, 2015, from Tuesday through Saturday between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Tickets cost between € 10 and € 40. In addition to the various demonstrations by the Lipizzaner, historical means of hitching horses to carriages, with original coaches and coachmen in traditional uniforms, will be shown. During the presentation, the moderators will give insight into stud life, breeding and upbringing as well as into the time prior to training the world-famous Lipizzaner.

A round of applause for the youth

The highlight of course comes when the foals, some of them only a few months old, gallop in, bring real power into the venerable hall of the Spanish Riding School, and are greeted by the audience with loud “ahs” and “ohs”… yes, they’re really sweet!

Last year, you could see the mares and their foals every day from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in the Burggarten. Additionally, “green children’s room” was fenced off for daily excursions into the fresh air. Hopefully they will do so this year too. Simply have a look.

Spanische Hofreitschule, Archiv, Boiselle

Spanische Hofreitschule, Archiv, Boiselle

450 years of the Spanish Riding School

By the way, the Spanish Riding School is celebrating its 450th anniversary in 2015. On June 26 at 7:00 PM, there will be an anniversary performance at Heldenplatz, in front of the Office of the Federal President. Afterwards, the summer ball of the Spanish Riding School, “Fête Impérial 2015”, will take place. The ball will of course be dedicated to this anniversary.  There are still some tickets available both for the main performance and for the dress rehearsal on June 25, as well as an additional gala performance on June 27, at www.srs.at.

Main picture: Spanische Hofreitschule, Herbert Graf

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