The White Horses is a children’s TV programme that originated as a Yugoslav-German co-production. Originally titled “Ferien in Lipizza”, the show was filmed with German dialogue and Serbo-Croat subtitles, before being dubbed into English and broadcasted on BBC One. I can’t say I remember much about the program but what a theme tune!
Set on a stud farm, the storyline revolves around teenage girl Julia, who travels from Belgrade to spend a holiday on her Uncle Dimitri’s stud farm. The show is focused on the adventures she has while learning about and interacting with the majestic white Lipizzaner horses raised on the farm.
Throughout the series, Julia develops a deep love and understanding for the elegant and highly trained Lipizzaner horses at the farm. Her adventures often revolve around the challenges of caring for these unique animals and the bonds she forms with them. Alongside Julia, the show also focuses on the team working at the stud farm, each with their unique strengths and experiences.
The show revolves around a group of main characters who each play a significant role in the show’s narrative. These characters include a teenage girl named Julia, her Uncle Dimitri, and head groom Hugo.
Julia, portrayed by Helga Anders, is the protagonist of the story. She leaves Belgrade to spend a holiday at her Uncle Dimitri’s stud farm. Curious and adventurous, Julia’s character drives the storyline as she becomes enamoured with the beautiful white Lipizzaner horses and committed to learning everything she can about them.
played by Helmuth Schneider, is in charge of the stud farm where the white Lipizzaner horses are raised. As a wise and experienced horse expert, Dimitri guides and supports Julia in her adventures and is essential in the development of her character.
Hugo, portrayed by Franz Muxeneder, is the head groom at the farm. He plays an integral part in the care and management of the horses. Throughout the series, Hugo’s knowledge and skills contribute to Julia’s growth as she learns about the intricacies of raising and training horses.
This series consisted of 12 one-hour episodes, and was dubbed into English to air on BBC One. In one notable episode, Julia learns the importance of trust and teamwork with the horses. This episode sees Julia assisting in the training of a Lipizzaner mare, overcoming the initial challenges of taming the spirited horse. This episode not only showcases Julia’s growth as a horse handler but also highlights the strong bond humans can form with animals.
Another memorable episode delves into the history of the white Lipizzaner horses. The horses, originally from the Lipica Stud Farm in modern-day Slovenia, are known for their impressive performances and intricate dressage movements. The characters delve into this rich history, discovering the horses’ origins and how they became an important symbol of the region.
Throughout the series, many episodes depict the trials and triumphs of horse breeding, training, and riding. Several episodes also focus on the personal growth and friendships forged between characters such as Julia, Uncle Dimitri, and head groom Hugo. These episodes provide young viewers with valuable life lessons and an insight into the fascinating world of horse handling and care.