“Horse of Battle, Horse of Ballet,” reads the motto for the milk-white Royal Lipizzaner Stallions (407/366-0366, www.lipizzaner.com ) who summer on Lake Champlain each year. The Lippazan breed supposedly dates back 2,000 years to Carthage, crossing over with the Moorish occupation of Spain in 700 A.D. Later bred by the King of Austria, the commanding stallions became the horses of the Austrian royal guard.
More than 30 years ago, a producer by the name of Gary Lashinsky brought the horses to the United States to perform in musical dressage performances with leaps and gallops that mirror the equestrian maneuvers of the army. The current show is as much Vegas as Vienna—but there is something undeniably visually arresting about seeing the stallions standing upright on powerful haunches, and soaring through the air with the lake as a backdrop. The stallions perform throughout the summer, from mid-July to Labor Day, at Knight Point State Park on North Hero Island.