Lipizzaner Horses
(click on pictures to enlarge)

History of the Lipizzaner Horses

These horses have the village of Lipizza in present day Slovenia to thank for their name. It was near this village that the then court stud in 1580 was founded with Spanish horse stock. 

Lipizzaner Stallions are and have always been the main players in the Spanish Riding School. They are the result of 100s of years of breeding from Spanish, Italian and oriental Arabic blood. 

They are distinguished by their perfect, classic bodies, their gracious movements, willingness to learn, vivaciousness and good temper and their resilience. 

An expressive head with the occasional ramsnose ( a trait of the African inheritance), a highly set neck, relatively low withers, a fairly long and powerful back, which runs into a muscular crupper, pronounced bodily proportions and simple profiled limbs with strong well forms joints and elegant hooves; the tail and the main are thick and fine haired - absolutely the baroque horse. 

The horse's size is between 155 and 158 cm. He has a springy gait with a high knee action and is particularly nimble. 

The Lipizzaner matures late, but also lives to a ripe old age of often between 28 and 32 years. As for the coloring the white horse is dominant - a brown Lipizzaner is a rarity, which for tradition's sake however can always be seen at the Spanish Riding School. 

The foals are born dark or black brown and acquire their white apparel only further on between the age of 4 and 10 years. 

For six months the foal remains with its mother, then it is separated and unhitched and marked with the traditional 4 brandings

The Studbrand is on the left croup - a P with the Austrian Crown above it. 

The ancestral brand is under the left saddle. The parents of the horse are represented here. The letter indicates the father, and the symbol under it the father of the mother. The Lipizzaners are branded with the starting letter of one of the six stallion lines (fathers - see below). After the respective letter one can also see the breed number. 

The foal register brand is on the right side of the saddle. It is under this number which one will find the horse in the foal register. 

The brand of descent is on the left cheek. This marks the racial purity of the horse and is in special cases an "L". 

The stallions' lineage which still today and certainly in the future will supply the Spanish Riding School with descendants goes back to the following ancestors: 

All the Lipizzaners in the Stud in Piber and the Spanish Riding School come from one of these 6 lines of Stallions. 

Pluto: Pluto whose background is solely Spanish was born in 1765 in the royal stud in Frederiksborg. 

Conversano: a black horse with Neapolitan origins was born in 1767 

Favory: a dun, born in 1779 came from the imperial stud Kladrun (Bohemia) 

Neapolitano: came from the Po region and was brown and was born in 1790 

Siglavy: This Arab horse from Syria came to the Stud in Lipizza in 1810 

Maestoso: was the son of a Neapolitaner and Spanish horse. Maestoso II was however born in 1819 in Hungary 

Top of Page