In a week of great horse shows in America, the most accomplished performers of them all. the white Lipizzans, came back to Vienna after 10 long years in exile. Amid the colonnaded, baroque splendors of the Spanish Riding School, built for the horses' ancestors in 1735, the royal whites pranced through their statuesque dances before a glittering assemblage of invited notables, many of whom were moved to tears. Proud vestiges of a glorious past, who were saved in 1945 when General George Patton intervened to keep them out of the path of air raids and the advancing Russians, the Lipizzans were appearing in the ancient riding hall for the first time since the war.
To the relief of the sentimental Viennese, few of the chivalric traditions were missing. The world's foremost exponents of High School dressage still posed in the classic levade (front feet up, body at a 45� angle), still mastered with seeming ease the difficult courbette (a series of forward jumps on the hind legs only) and their famous capriole (right). Their gold trappings gleaming in the soft light of chandeliers, the Lipizzans responded with military precision to commands transmitted by stonelike riders with an imperceptible shift in weight, the lightest pressure of knees. The riders' uniforms—two-cornered hats, knee-tall boots, tight white breeches and long brown tail coats—were exact replicas of early 18th century originals commissioned by the Hapsburgs. The effect was that of ballet in the grand manner. For the finale, the "Great School Quadrille" circled the hall to nostalgic strains of old Viennese music and the applause of an appreciative, welcome-home audience.