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Tempel Lipizzans Leap into 2012!

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After a hiatus in 2011 to focus on training, Tempel Farms is launching a series of performances featuring the internationally-recognized Lipizzan Stallions. The season kicks off on Saturday, June 9 with Evening Toast and Performance from 6 – 9 p.m.; the first matinee program will be held on Sunday, June 24, 1 – 3 p.m. All shows take place at Tempel Farms in rural Old Mill Creek, Ill., where the rare Tempel Lipizzan horses are bred, trained and perform.

The Tempel Lipizzan performances, often described as “equine ballet” follow training from the youngest stallions basic movements, to rhythmic, choreographed dance steps on the ground, to the dramatic Pegasus-like leaps and lifts known as “Airs Above the Ground” (exercises above ground), the difficult "high school" dressage movements made famous by the breed. Lipizzans are one of very few breeds that possess the combination of physical power, athleticism and suppleness to perform these seemingly gravity-defying moves.

An early breed established in Europe many centuries ago, these powerful horses were originally trained for medieval battle maneuvers for royal armies. Their graceful moves were refined to a form of entertainment during the late Renaissance in the royal courts of Europe. Today, the dancing stallions continue to entertain and delight audiences everywhere with their difficult routines choreographed to music.

Each Evening Toast and Performance begins with a champagne toast to the Lipizzan Breed and honored guests. The performance, which is set to classical music, will follow the varying stages of the development and training of the Lipizzan horses. From Young Stallions through Airs Above the Ground to the Quadrille, or Ballet of the White Stallions. Following, guests are invited into the stables and stable courtyard for a self-guided tour where complimentary hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer will be served as the sun sets.

Matinee performances will take place on select Sunday and Wednesday afternoons and are geared toward families. After the performance, attendees can enjoy a self-guided tour through the stallion stable and visit the yearlings in the pasture. Riders, trainers and handlers will be present to answer questions.

Tempel Farms is located in northern Lake County, Ill., a 50-minute drive from Chicago or Milwaukee, near Great America. In addition to the June 9 event, Evening performances are scheduled for July 21, August 18 and September 8. All tickets must be purchased in advance and cost $50 each for adults; $45 for active military/veterans and $20 for children under the age of 15. Matinee shows will be held on June 24; July 25 and 29; August 22 and 26 and September 23. Costs are $25 for adults; $20 for active military/veterans and $15 for children under the age of 15. Tickets also can be purchased at the door for $30 for adults and $20 for children and active military/ veterans.

In case of inclement weather, performances are held indoors. Parking is free. To purchase tickets online or for more information, visit www.tempelfarms.com or call (847) 623-7272.

The Tempel Lipizzans began in 1958 when the late Tempel and Esther Smith imported 20 Lipizzans from the Austrian stud farm in Piber and started what became the largest privately owned herd of Lipizzans in the world. Their prestigious appearances include several Presidential Inaugurals and special exhibitions at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Taste of Chicago, Ravinia Festival, Arlington Racecourse and Madison Square Garden. In 1997, the President of Austria presented the Smith family with the Officer’s cross, Grand Declaration of Honour for Service to the Republic of Austria, in recognition of their “careful management of a cultural institution with such close ties to Austria.” Tempel Farms is the only place in the United States where these rare white horses are bred, trained and perform on the same property. Tempel Farms is located in northern Lake County, Ill., a 50-minute drive from Chicago or Milwaukee, near Great America.

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