Esther Buonanno is committed to the breeding and training of Tempel Farms’ performing Lipizzan horses.
At Tempel Farms, Lipizzan horses perform throughout the summer, showcasing the art of classical dressage with dazzling grace and dexterity. Program director Esther Buonanno oversees the Lipizzans’ breeding and training, which is rooted in tradition. “This is the place where you can see performance art from 400 years ago,” she says. One of the oldest breeds in Europe, Lipizzans were originally owned by royalty. “They’re the ballerinas of the horse world,” says Buonanno, who is part of a long legacy of promoting the breed. Sixty-one years ago, her grandparents founded Tempel Farms, inspired by the famed Spanish Riding School in Vienna, which is one of Austria’s biggest tourist attractions. Buonanno just received the honor of being the first American ever invited to join the honorary committee of the Spanish Riding School. This summer, visitors will enjoy a rare brown stallion performing the courbette (a move where he hops on his hind legs) and an expanded VIP section offering sparkling wine, beer and charcuterie. The farm’s new foals are sure to steal the show when they are loosed into the ring to frolic with abandon. Performances June 16-Sept. 6, tickets $20-$75, 17000 Wadsworth Road, Old Mill Creek, tempelfarms.com
Photography by: katrina wittkamp