Tempel Lipizzans ending 65-year run

Only three performances left at horse farm in Old Mill Creek

The Tempel Lipizzans program, a passion of classical horsemanship for the Esther and Tempel Smith family, is ending after 65 years and three generations.

Program Director Esther Buonanno announced the closing Friday afternoon “with pride and great sorrow.”

“For a variety of reasons, our ownership family is moving in different directions,” she wrote in a statement announcing the closing. “For 65 years and three generations, promoting and preserving the Lipizzan breed and classical horsemanship has been a passion for our family, those who have worked closely with the horses and community members near and far.”

Breeding and training Lipizzans in the classic style of dressage has been the mission of Tempel Farms, founded by Buonanno's grandparents in 1958 at 17000 Wadsworth Road in Old Mill Creek. Public performances began in 1983.

There are three performances left, and tickets are nearly sold out. Public programming, including performances and tours, educational programs and boarding operations for horses outside TLC ownership will end.

Tempel Farms was one of few if not the only facility that bred, trained and exhibited its Lipizzans publicly. Trainers adhered to standards established hundreds of years ago in the classical schools of Europe.

Buonanno said the decision didn't come lightly.

“These changes will make space for me to grow in new directions and to have more time with my family,” she said. “The Lipizzan horse remains close to my heart, and I'm certain I'll find meaningful ways to support the breed in the future.”

Images: Behind the scenes with the famous Lippizan stallions

Bring on the dancing horses: How rare Lipizzans get to the top of their game, amaze the crowdss

  The audience applauds during Wednesday's "How a Lipizzan Learns to Dance" presentation at Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek. Rick West/, 2022
  Esther Buonanno of Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek walks Potato out of the barn. The Tempel Lipizzans program run by her and the Tempel Smith family is ending after 65 years and three generations. Rick West/, 2022
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.