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Dancing stallions thrill audience

Horse lovers flock to Gainesville show to watch skilled performers

POSTED: January 13, 2009 11:47 p.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Two Lipizzans make their way around the stage during the "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions show Tuesday at the Georgia Mountains Center.

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They are as graceful as any contestant on "Dancing With The Stars," but these performers may be even more talented.

Instead of executing their carefully, choreographed steps on two feet, these performers do it on four.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people piled into the Georgia Mountains Center to see a performance by the "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions. The stallions are a group of highly skilled horses whose natural abilities are coupled with the intensive training to create an exciting show for all ages filled with precise steps and airy leaps.

While not all attendees were necessarily horse enthusiasts, there were some in the audience, like Danielle Brock and Mandy Teaver, who couldn’t wait to see the animals in action.

Not only do the two have a passion for horses, they decided to get in character with their cowgirl hats and boots.

"I just love horses. They’re so beautiful," said Brock, 11, of Gainesville. "We like to go to rodeo shows, but this is our first time seeing (the Lipizzaner stallions)."

Both girls like to do more than just watch horses; they also enjoy training them.

"I’m teaching my horse to do tricks like (the Lipizzaner stallions)," said Teaver, 8, of Lula. "She’s too big to do some of the tricks, but I’m teaching her how to jump."

The techniques displayed by The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions date back to the days of kings and queens and were used as the carriage horses of nobility.

The high leg lifts and leaps also were used on the battlefield.

While hundreds of spectators witnessed the stallions’ graceful performance Tuesday, Troy Tinker, the show’s master of ceremony, said that more than 27 million people have seen the touring show.

During the show, the horse and rider teams were introduced and Tinker explained the basic steps that the animals would be performing to classical music by composers like Beethoven.

Those who missed Tuesday night’s show have a second chance; the stallions have a repeat performance at 7:30 tonight.



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