The last weekend of October brought a great crowd of Lipizzan people to New York! Saturday’s events included the annual USLF business meetings, followed by an afternoon masterclass on Lipizzan conformation, movement, and differences among the various types found within the breed. Klemen Turk was a great teacher with a wealth of detailed explanations. There was not one question that he could not answer! Saturday evening was a group dinner in the lovely intimate setting of the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, NY.
The following day brought the action to the Waltzing Horse Farm in New Berlin, NY. First thing in the morning, all of the evaluation horses were officially measured as attendees rolled in. Shortly afterwards the Arena Masterclass was held, again under Klemen’s expertise. The somewhat famed 30 year old stallion 499 Conversano Barbarina was the first model horse as Klemen went over all of the fine points of conformation and function. Attendees had a good “hands on” opportunity during the class, asking questions while applying what was learned both the day prior and also that morning. C. Barbarina later showed the beauty of his mechanics in motion when Klemen asked his handler to “run as fast as possible” so that he might really let loose.
Over lunch the attendees enjoyed great local Italian food in addition to a work in hand demo by Sarah Casey. Two stallions were used in the demo. Maestoso Krabbe, owned by Jennifer Judkins, was the first horse used to show elementary level work in hand, where the horse learns to understand a half halt, the whip, and eventually lateral work. The second horse, Maestoso Marina, owned by Sarah, demonstrated an advanced horse working in piaffe and developing passage. There was also a driving pair of Lipizzan geldings present for Klemen to demonstrate the basics of driving with. Klemen discussed the harness and correct fitting of the gear. It was really special to have an expert in the sport of driving on hand for such a demonstration.
After the close of the demonstrations the inspection horses were brought out. In total there were four mares and five stallions evaluated. It was a very informative weekend, and everyone left having learned at least a bit more than they knew before!