Harvesters in MARCH
Saturday, March 09, 2019, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Harvesters to Witness a Part of Equine History
If you can reach back far enough into your memory as a child, you may remember a Disney movie called “The Miracle of the White Stallions.” The movie was based on an actual historical event toward the end of World War II when the Allied Forces intervened to save the beautiful Lippizan horses that were part of the famed Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria.
Do you know that a small part of that equine history and heritage resides about 17 miles from Harvest? Located on Singletary Road near Myakka City is Hermann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallion Farm.
The Harvesters will visit the farm on Saturday, March 9, to learn more about these magnificent horses.
Colonel Ottomar Herrmann, joined by two subsequent generations of Herrmanns, created an American lineage of the Lipizzans. Only about 3,000 of these horses exist today worldwide. 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 Slovenia).
The Hermann family, now led by Col. Hermann’s daughter Gabriella maintains a 200-acre ranch on Singletary Road to ensure the propagation of this extraordinary breed.
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. 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.
The Lipizzans tour during the summer months. During the rest of the year they reside at the farm where they train horses for the upcoming touring season. The Harvesters will view one of the three training sessions that are open to the public weekly between December and April. During the 90-minute session, in a lively and informative narrative throughout the presentation of Hermann’s remarkable stallions, the history, evolution and contemporary application of this most sophisticated horse and rider training will be told. You will see the stallions perform the Airs Above Ground, the maneuvers for which they are world-renowned.
Reserved bleacher seating will be available around the arena, but you may also bring your own lawn chair and sit closer to the arena fence. Cost for the presentation is by donation (requested $5 minimum) which will be payable when you arrive. The presentation starts promptly at 10 AM. Following the presentation, you may tour the barn and visit the stallions.
The Harvesters have lunch reservations at Miller's Ale House in Sarasota, following the visit to the Lipizzans. You will be ordering from the menu and cost of lunch will be on your own.
Since this is a local event, there will be no formal carpool. However, a list of particpants will be sent out to those who have registered so that you can form your own carpool if you wish.
To join the Harvesters on this adventure into equine history, please go to the Harvest website: welcometoharvest.org/harvesters. When you register, please be sure to indicate by checking the “add-ons” whether you will be joining the group for lunch and whether you will need bleacher seating or be bringing your own chairs. Registration deadline is Friday, March 1.
If you have any questions about this or any other Harvester event, please contact Bob and Mary Stark at 231-564-0677.