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Flying Horses

The Stallions of Wadsworth


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In the 16th century Austria's rulers imported horses from Spain to shore up the declining quality of their homegrown steeds and launched a new breed: the elegant white Lipizzans, the dancing horses that made Vienna's Spanish Riding School famous. Americans Tempel and Esther Smith visited the school in the 1950s and were so impressed they brought home 20 of the horses and established their own Lipizzan stable. Now 5 percent of the world population of Lipizzans--100 horses--live at Tempel Farms in Wadsworth, under the care of trainers skilled in dressage. Since 1980 the farm has been open to the public during a short summer performance schedule. The horses "dance" to classical music, executing moves like the levade (balancing on their haunches) and the capriole (a jump and airborne kick). After the hour-and-20-minute show, which is more like a ballet than a circus, visitors can tour the stables and lunch at an outdoor cafe on the grounds. The Tempel Lipizzan Stallions perform at 10:30 AM Wednesdays and 1 PM Sundays through August 30. Tickets for the show are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $6 for kids ages 4 through 14. The farm is at 17000 Wadsworth Road; call 847-623-7272 for directions.

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