Stallions to horse around at Convo for your enjoyment

By Chris Krapek

They are horses of battle. They are horses of ballet.

The “World Famous” Lipizzaner Stallions will perform its equine ballet at 7:30 p.m. tonight at The Convocation Center. Tickets are $21.50-24.50 for adults, $13.75 for children 12 and under and $11.75 for seniors over 60. There are also a limited number of “Gold Circle” seats for $29.50.

Lipizzaner stallions were bred over 400 years ago and are considered the best exhibition horses in the world, said Gene Lashinsky, producer for the show for the last 40 years. The stallions have evolved from horses of battle, to a sign of high-society to now, the stars of a ballet which visits 140 cities annually.

The two-hour performance features an educational narration as 12-14 horses pull off difficult, yet exciting maneuvers.

“We emulate our show in the image of the Spanish riding school [in Vienna] which shows the dancing white Lipizzaner stallions and solo horses doing high school routines,” he said. “Plus we have the ‘Airs Above The Ground,’ which are the leaps the horses are most famous for.”

The “Airs Above The Ground” showcase what the stallions were primarily used for in battle; their amazing ability to jump and gracefully maneuver in mid-air to protect and defend the rider.

Heather Priest, marketing manager for the Convocation Center, first saw the show in 2009 and it blew her away.

“My favorite was when one of the stallions stood up on his back legs and then gracefully jumped into the air,” she said. “…It is unbelievable how much talent these stallions have.”

Don’t be deterred if you don’t know the difference between Secretariat and Seabiscuit–you don’t have to be a fan of equestrianism to enjoy the show.

“You don’t have to know anything about horses,” Lashinsky said. “When you leave the arena, you’ll know a lot more than when you came in.”

Although the Lipizzaner Stallions have performed in DeKalb twice before, there have been several changes made since it was last here, including new music, horses and choreography.

Lashinsky believes that a person of any age will enjoy the “World Famous” Lipizzaner Stallions.

“It’s a show for the entire family,” he said. “Kids love it, adults love it, families love it, senior citizens love it–from eight to 80.”