By Jeremy Miles
VETERAN American producer Gary Lashinsky knows all about transporting highly unpredictable creatures across the globe. For more than 30 years he has been the theatrical mastermind behind the spectacular international Lipizzaner Stallion Show. But before that he worked in rock n' roll producing shows by bands like Led Zepplin and the Rolling Stones.
Lashinksy, who's Lipizzanners arrive at the Bournemouth International Centre on Tuesday for the first of three performances, didn't regret the change in direction one jot.
On an earlier visit to Dorset he told me: "The stallions are a lot easier. If it came down to having to get one of those horses on an airplane or one of those guys like Keith Richards, I know which I would prefer."
What's more the Lipizzanners seem almost as popular as The Stones. With their unique family show featuring music, choreography and routines that trace their illustrious history, these magnificent horses have been seen by more than 23 million people.
The breed has been prized over the centuries as both a horse of war and a noble mount for the aristocracy. It's history and traditions have now been incorporated into an astonishing piece of equine ballet.
Appropriately perhaps the animals were saved from extinction 50 years ago by another great fighter, General George S. Patton. The deed was immortalised in the stirringly patriotic Disney film The Miracle of the White Stallions.
It's a spectacular show that shows the kind of slickness that can be achieved after three-and-a-half decades of teamwork between horse and production team.
But it wasn't always so simple. Gary Lashinsky recalled some "teething problems" from the early days like how he discovered the hard way that horses don't do jet-lag.
The first time they touched down after a long haul flight he took the decision to rest them for a couple of days "By the time they finally got on stage they were so frisky it was almost like a rodeo."