Has there been a better age for armchair travel? Today, a look at how the Spanish Riding School is keeping their white horses in kibble. Ellen Broadhurst, author of The Chronicles of the $700 Pony [Half Halt 2006] & The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony [Half Halt 2008], is living the ex-pat life and touring the world with her family. Welcome Ellen:
Lipizzaner Als Trauzeugen!
Translation: “Lipizzaner as Groomsman!” For your wedding. Listen, these horses are expensive to maintain, so consider it a donation to a worthy cause should you decide to go this route.
Now you can tie the knot in the Spanish Riding School! Celebrate your wedding in the sumptuous lounge bar or in the impressive baroque Winter Riding School Renaissance courtyard. When organizing your dream wedding, we are very glad to help you!
I suspect it might be cheaper to purchase one of the Not Ready for Prime Time horses than it would be to use the facility for your wedding. I was trolling the Piber website (Piber being the Lipizzaner Stud) vaguely wondering if it was worth taking a day to go see the babies before we leave Austria, and decided to check out the”for sale” page for, you know, research.
There are no geldings, and only two stallions available for sale at the moment, but a host of mares (link to sale pages). One of the stallions is a “price available on request” dude, so no idea if that’s because he’s so awesome, or if he’s cart horse material, but the other fellow, one who is noted as being currently in training at the Spanish Riding School, is only €12,000 (about $16,600 US). Not including shipping, of course. That’s out of my price range, but it seems like a bargain if you are shopping for that sort of thing.
As with having the Lipizzaners join your wedding party, the ultimate goal is to support the riding school financially:
The net proceeds from the Fête Impériale will not only help to protect Europe’s oldest cultural horse breed but to preserve the quality of the Spanish Riding School. Enjoy a glittering evening under the stars to ensure that the Lipizzan Stallions continue to dance.”
Chief Executive Officer Elisabeth Gürtler www.feteimperiale
The Ball Season in Vienna is January to March, so there aren’t a ton of summer balls. One imagines they do this one in the summer because at this point they will have sent the stallions off to their summer holiday in Heldenberg. The stallions are gone during July and August, although the Riding School does a program they call “Piber Meets Vienna.” Piber is of course the stud where the babies are born.
The ball this year is on Friday, June 27; tickets are not surprisingly a bit pricey, but if you are going to go to any ball, why not support the horses? For €180 (per person, to be clear), you get entry to the ball, but no table, plus an invite to a cocktail reception and access to all of the cash bar/buffet action. If you skip the cocktail party, you can get a ticket for as little as €120. Tables run more (a lot more), but if you are really interested, you can check out ticket options here: Fête Impérial Tickets.
Or, buy one of the mares. She’s way cheaper than a table.