A week ago my photography club took a field trip to visit Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions near Myakka City, FL. Founded in the 16th century for exclusive use by the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzan’s are the most beautiful and rare breed of horse found today. The horses were saved by General George Patton assisted by Colonel Herrmann and his father, Colonel Ottomar Herrmann from the Russian advance during WW2. The horses were smuggled out from behind enemy lines, riding and hiding by day. If not for their heroic efforts most likely these amazing horses would not have survived.
Colonial Herrmann purchased and brought horses after the war, here to Florida, and began his own training and breeding program. Today several generations of Herrmann’s lead by Gabriella, carry on the tradition of breeding, training, offer riding lessons, hold special events, clinics and travel during the summer months to perform.
We arrived early enough to see the stallions and mares in the stable, being groomed and prepared for the weekly public training session, held every Thursday during the winter months.
I captured this mare with her hair braided waiting to perform. Just before the show it was unbraided to allow her beautiful hair to flow gracefully with the breeze as she rode around the arena.