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Spanish Riding School Seating

I would like to reserve seats for a Lipizzaner Practice session this autumn. Can anyone recommend good seating to reserve? My husband I are not tall if that makes a difference on the recommendation!

Posted by
1598 posts

Sorry, I haven't been there yet. However, I think the performance ticket prices should indicate the better view seats. Hope this helps. https://www.oeticket.com/en/event/vorfuehrungen-spanische-hofreitschule-wien-14459393/?affiliate=H52 It's good the training sessions are a lot cheaper. Just like a dressage show, you learn a lot watching the schooling ring. Enjoy!
I'm following your thread. Next June I have two days planned for SRS tour, training and performance. Maybe a day at Piber if I'm traveling solo or with a horsey person. This year, I'm going to Lipica, although I hear it's the least interesting of the three.

Posted by
1299 posts

I thought the first row along one of the long sides would be good, but it was iffy because of the fairly high and not very open railing. Seating was also extremely tight. My guess is that the stadium-style seating on the short side would have had a better view.

Posted by
13055 posts

When we went to the practice session in 2016, there were no reserved seats at all —-you went in and sat where you wished. Has that changed?

There were few people when we went, and we really enjoyed the “show”. We went toward the end of the 2-hour session, as that is when they bring in the young horses for training. It was really interesting to watch. I was impressed with how liberally the rider handed out treats to reward his horse—-using them in part to encourage him to flex his neck to reach the offering held out by the rider’s hand.

Posted by
1105 posts

I sat at the end of the arena. It was a clear view. Practice sessions did not reserve when I was there in 2018. I actually stood for awhile and that was better.

Posted by
4684 posts

I went to a practice session a few months ago and it was soooo boring. I mean really boring for a full hour. The horses just went around in a circle for the whole time - seriously. The seating is assigned. We sat in the "stadium" style seating at the short end of the performance area. There was a tall guy in front of me, so I had to look around him. The people on the long side are quite high up and were looking down over the railings. Seemed awkward. Honestly, just walk by the stables for free and look at the horses or pay $$ for an actual performance.

Posted by
1598 posts

Emily, dressage is like watching grass grow until the horses are at FEI level which few are. It helps to know basically what you're watching on the dressage training scale and be able to interpret the subtlety of the aids.

Posted by
4684 posts

Have you been to a practice? It was literally the horses walking in a circle for an hour. I guess if someone REALLY likes horses, this may be interesting, but it wasn’t for me. I’m sure you could teach me a bit, though!

Posted by
1598 posts

Emily that would be boring. No, I haven’t been to Austria yet, June 2023 is my plan. Only time I did all walk rides was when either me or my horse was lame/ hurting. Even then we did serpentines, leg yields, spirals in and out of circles. Anything to keep us a little fit and supple. During his last two months we hand walked laps around the arena listening to French YouTube lessons.

Posted by
3021 posts

I'm traveling to Vienna with a friend in 2 weeks. We're going to a practice session. I told my friend my interest in that activity is about a 3 out of 10 (1 = I'd rather stab my eyeballs with COVID-19 spike protein). He really wants to go. I agreed to go. He is graciously paying for the tickets.

Posted by
1484 posts

@Dave

Please report your impressions here.

Nevertheless, I wish you a pleasant stay in Vienna.

Posted by
202 posts

Just as an FYI, last month I purchased tickets for a Performance I, on 12 Dec, 22. Last Thursday I was notified by the ticket seller that the performance was cancelled and my ticket price would be refunded. I went to the School's web site and noted that weekend in December, there were no "Performances", either I or II. They did offer something called Lipizzan Classic Vienna, which involves wagons, "classical carriage driving". No thank you.

I did not check any other weekend for the normal performance, as I will not be there. Not a clue why that weekend was cancelled.

Posted by
1484 posts

The Internet homepage of the Spanish Riding School is a mess. Not only is it very slow, it is confusing, because different terms are used on the homepage compared to the downloadable year's schedule.

As far as I understood - no guarantee -, performance I is the standard (horses only) and performance II includes carriages as well.

Classic Vienna (aka performance II) combines the classical horse riding show with carriage driving.

How could one assume that a royal's carriage would be drawn by ordinary horses? :-)

Posted by
34 posts

Just like joseph.mcmahon above, we purchased tickets last Monday for a performance on August 14, 2022. On Saturday I received an email that the performance was cancelled. The email stated that refunds may take a while, so will keep checking our credit card for the refund. In looking at their calendar, all the performances for August now show as cancelled.

Posted by
34 posts

OP: to try to answer your question about seat selection, we decided that although we wanted to see the performance, we didn't feel we needed to choose the most expensive seats on the end. We purchased Category 9 seats on the side. I had considered the Category 5 seats in the 1st row on the side, but in doing some research, found out that directly behind Category 5, are Category 11 tickets, which are standing room only. Things I had read online said that the standing room folks tended to hover over the Cat 5 seats & I didn't feel comfortable with that. The Cat 9 seats are behind & a little above the standing room section. Obviously I won't know if I chose decent seats or not now, but that is how I made the seat choice.

Posted by
284 posts

Appreciate the insights on this thread, as we're ticketed for the Oct 1st performance. This will be our first time attending, so keeping fingers' crossed that everything goes as anticipated. If not, guess it'll leave more time for Sachertorte.

Posted by
1299 posts

The Cat. 9 seats mentioned by TinaC didn't seem great (as mentioned above I was in the first row at the railing). I suspect you would only be able to see the far side of the arena, which is down a fairly high level.

Frankly, because of how the arena is arranged, seats with a good view are pretty limited.

Posted by
1598 posts

TinaC, I’m surprised that SRS sold August performance tickets. I emailed them a while back (don’t remember why) and was told that the horses go on vacation in July and August. This is why I’m planning a June trip next year. I’m guessing that maybe the performances in July are to recoup lost Covid/tourist revenue? but August is down time?, but I don’t know.

Posted by
34 posts

Horsewoofie: I was surprised as well that tickets were available for August. Our travel partner had this as the one item she really wanted to see on our trip & I told her that I had read that there were no performances in August. In January, just so I could confirm to her there were no performances, I went on the Spanish Riding School website & found Saturday performances for the entire month! We held off on buying tickets at that time in case the trip didn't work out (due to Covid issues). I went back on the website Monday & found all the Saturday performances cancelled, but now they added Sunday performances. I quickly purchased our tickets, only to have all the Sunday shows cancelled a few days later. She is disappointed, though. Hope you can see a show next June!

Matt: I hope your performance happens & would love to know what you thought of it.

LIZinPA: it sounds like those wouldn't have been good seats then. Did you have any issues with the Standing Room seats behind your Cat 5 seats? Something for us to consider if we get back to Vienna in the future.

Posted by
1299 posts

TinaC
I don't recall bring bothered by people standing behind me, though I do recall feeling a bit claustrophobic in general. Might just have been me, though.

Posted by
1484 posts

In July and August the Lipizzan horses are in a summer training camp not far outside Vienna.

It can be visited:
https://www.derheldenberg.at/en/attractions_overview/lipizzan-training-centre/

On July 2nd there is the yearly (except in Corona years) gala performance there:
https://www.derheldenberg.at/lipizzanergala-2022/
It is kind of kept secret, because there is no English equivalent to the German page.

There are a few tickets still available:
https://www.oeticket.com/en/event/lipizzanergala-am-heldenberg-lipizzanergala-2022-heldenberg-14468819/
(Select "Seating chart" first.)

Posted by
1598 posts

wmt1, I wasn't aware of der Heldenberg. It's not listed as a venue on SRS's website nor does their website say it's affiliated with the Spanish Riding School. I had planned to go to Graz for a two-nighter and spend a day at Piber Stud. Problem is the only transportation I can find from Graz to Piber is taxi at a cost of about $150 RT. Ugh! Don't know if that's worth it, since I have three things planned at SRS in Vienna and will see Lipica this fall. Has anyone been to Piber?

Posted by
4684 posts

Matt - to be honest, the only thing more disappointing than the SRS Practice is the Sachertorte. Dry and meh. Have an Apfelstrudel instead.

Posted by
284 posts

Thanks Emily, I must say I've really benefitted from your local knowledge these past few years. We were confirmed on a 2020 GAS Tour (cancelled when everything shut down and borders closed) so I've been making notes in particular regarding yours and wmt1's suggestions for the past 24 months. These include our Wachau/Danube stops as well as several restaurant recommendations. We'll likely wander down the street from Demel the morning of SRS performance, and as I understand it they have no shortage of pastry options. :) All the best!

Posted by
1484 posts

@horsewoofie

It is not difficult to get to Piber from Graz using public transport.

Train line S7 from Graz to Köflach, and Bus 702 from Köflach to Piber. Note that bus 702 is operated Monday to Friday, only.

To find a proper connection you should use the OeBB website: https://www.oebb.at/en/
Starting point: Graz Hbf
Destination point: Piber b.Köflach Schloss
Do not forget to uncheck the option "Direct trips only".

According to Google Maps the bus stop "Piber Schloss" is half a mile away from the Piber Stud Farm.

Here you can download the bus 702 time table: https://www.verbundlinie.at/stream/j22/stv_94702m_j22.pdf

Posted by
505 posts

We sat on the side, first or second row (for the show, not practice). From time to time we couldn't see the horses immediately below us. I think "Threadbare" nailed it with the end seating. (BTW, we had reservations but didn't realize the ticket pick-up was a short walk around the building to a ticket office -- which was jammed. We hadn't allowed enough time for navigating Vienna on our first full day in town, and nearly missed the start of the performance.)

Posted by
3021 posts

I‘m on minute #40 of 60 and am fully convinced that poking myself in the eyeball with COVID-19 spike protein would be a far superior experience to the Spanish Riding School morning work out. I laughed hysterically at minute #10 because all the horses were doing was going in circles. The walking/trotting in circles has persisted to minute #47.

Full disclosure: (1) I‘m not a horse guy and (2) I have mixed feelings about how ethical it is to turn animals into objects that perform tricks for human consumption and profit.

My friend who wanted to come? He‘s dying, too, and wants to leave but there is a large man at the end of our row who seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself, and we don’t want to interrupt him.

Posted by
1484 posts

Thank you Dave. That supports my stance of refraining to attend an SRS performance.