Instead of “Dancing with the Stars,” Gary Lashinsky presents “Dancing with the Horses” when he brings the World-Famous Lipizzaner Stallions to town.
He’s been producing the show since 1970 and now owns a large property just outside Orlando, where the horses live when they are not touring.
“We emulate the Spanish Riding School of Vienna,” he said. “We give the traditional presentation of dressage. It’s more of a family-type show. There’s narration and good music. The narration is important to give a much, much better understanding of the show. People can sit back and enjoy it.”
The “dancing” white stallions, Lashinsky said, are much more proficient than Cloris Leachman, who was on last season’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
“They are the four-footed dancers of the equine world,” Lashinsky said. “These are the stars. They are more graceful than that old lady on last season. They are delightful.”
People of a certain age remember the Lipizzaner Stallions from the 1963 Disney movie, “The Miracle of the White Stallions.”
It was the true story about the 42nd Squadron of the United States Army’s Second Cavalry saving the horses in 1945 during World War II.
“It was true,” Lashinsky said. “Absolutely no liberties were taken by Disney. The saving of the horses was quite a story.”
The valuable horses at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, were saved under the orders from Gen. George S. Patton, who was acquainted with the director of the school, Col. Alois Podjahsky. Patton and Podjahsky competed against each other in the Olympic Games in equestrian events.
Lashinsky first presented the World-Famous Lipizzaner Stallions in 1970. He’s been working with the horses ever since, even learning to ride dressage.
In 2005, he presented the Spanish Riding School’s first world tour in 15 years, including several U.S. dates.
Lashinsky spent years promoting rock concerts. He says he’d much rather work with the horses than the likes of KISS, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin.
“They (the horses) don’t make dumb demands,” he said.