Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek, Illinois, is one of the few places where the rare Lipizzan horses are bred, raised and shown. Tempel is located about 35 miles north of Chicago, in the Gurnee area. The eyes of the world could be on Tempel Farms in 2016, because it has been selected as the Olympic site for equestrian events if Chicago wins the 2016 Olympic bid.
During the summer months the Lipizzan stallions put on a performance for spectators in the outdoor areas. The 90-minute show is always fabulous, as the beautiful horses dance to the tunes of classical music.
Tempel Farm is a beautiful, well-kept property with expanses of green grass surrounded by white wooden
fences. Many of the horses that perform at the shows are still in training, as it takes up to eight years for a stallion to be completely trained. The Lipizzan stallions perform the classic art of dressage, in the tradition of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna.
Graceful stallions perform their signature “horse ballets,” one of the three equestrian disciplines of the Olympics. The stallions perform dramatic Pegasus like leaps known as “Airs Above the Ground.” Very few breeds possess the combination of physical power and suppleness to be able to accomplish this gravity-defying movement.
Most of the performances are by the stallions, but the mares get into the act as well. Mares gracefully pull the buggies in one of the segments of the show.
Mares & Foals is a favorite part of the show. Mares and selected foals are led from the pasture and down the slope to the performance ring. The foals generally stay close to their mothers, but they also get naughty and romp around in the ring. This helps give foals a taste of life in the performance ring and the audience the chance to delight in their antics.
After the performance, spectators are invited to tour the barn where the stallions are stabled. The long hall to the stables is lined with pictures of shows, awards and people. One of the large pictures on the wall is of Ronald Reagan riding a Lipizzan along with the stable owner.
Visitors are also invited to view the part of the property that the Olympic equestrian ring is planned to be placed, if Chicago wins the bid for the 2016 games. The self-guided walking tour includes the current competitive areas and mapped locales and renderings of the 18,000-seat stadium that is proposed. The plan includes the stadium and more than 30 additional equestrian complex buildings.
Tempel Farm offers excellent family entertainment in northern Lake County. Tickets at the gate are $18 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and $10 for children, ages 4 to 14. Veterans and active military personnel with IDs will get in for half price. Performances are on Wednesday morning at 10:30 and Sunday afternoon at 1. The 2009 schedule opened on June 17 and runs through September 6. There is an outdoor café offering lunch, snacks and beverages. Tempel Farms is located about 35 miles north of Chicago and is in the Gurnee, Illinois, area. For additional information, call 847-623-7272.
Information is subject to change.
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