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Important data
Origin: Lipica ( Sežana ), Slovenia
Main breeding area: former Austro-Hungarian monarchy
Distribution: low, endangered domestic animal breed
Stick measure : 148–162 cm, the aim is 153–158 cm
Colors : Milk mold, rarely browns, blacks, foxes and duns
Main application area: Riding and driving horse

The Lipizzaner ( Slovenian : Lipicanec ) is a representative of an ancient horse breed. This name appears for the first time in 1786. The Karster , as it used to be called, takes its name from the Lipica Stud , the original breeding facility in the former Habsburg monarchy . The breed gained fame primarily through its use at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

Background information on horse evaluation and breeding can be found under: Exterior , interior and horse breeding .


Most Lipizzaners (around 91%) are gray , so they are dark in color as foals and turn white at the age of six to ten. But there are also occasional other coat colors . Today there are only occasional brown, black horses, foxes and duns in addition to milk white horses. Originally, however, the Lipizzaners also had all other colors up to pearls , carrots , platters and tiger pucks . The paintings by the farm animal painter Johann George von Hamilton testify to this variety of colors.

The type of Lipizzaner has not changed significantly for a good 300 years. It looks elegant, medium-sized and compact; in short, athletic. He is characterized by hardness and endurance. Head, neck (set high) and shoulders fit together very well. The height today is usually between 155 and 165 cm. Today the Lipizzaner only occasionally wears a distinctive Ramskopf or a Ramsnase, which is due to the old Spanish influence. His hindquarters are well muscled, the pastern slanting. The hooves are extremely hard and very well formed when rearing in a healthy manner. The mane and tail are pronounced and fine-haired, but less lush than in Andalusians . The back is of medium length and strong. The movements of the Lipizzaner appear graceful and are characterized by a springy gait. He is made for a good gallop . His knee action tends to be high, resulting in expressive piaffes and passages.


Favory Pallavicina

The Lipizzaner is a late-maturing horse with a lively temperament. He is exceptionally long-lived and suitable for breeding and working under the saddle well into old age. The Lipizzaner stallion of the former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito , Maestoso Mara, died at the age of 41 in the Serbian state stud Karadordevo. In addition to relevant features of its exterior, the Lipizzaner is particularly suitable for the demanding lessons of high school due to its sociability with people, its high learning disposition and quick comprehension. Lipizzaners usually have a high level of physical and mental strength. Especially the mental strength of the breed can be seen as a curse and a blessing at the same time. While an instructor who has experience with this breed can achieve spectacular and quick training successes, indecisive riders may despair of this mental strength. The Lipizzaner's quick perception is also evident in the case of undesirable behaviors that the horse learns unnoticed and, if necessary, eagerly implements. In addition to his good-natured demeanor, the Lipizzaner has a strikingly elegant aura - especially under the saddle. All these interior characteristics result from a systematic performance-oriented (and not just morphological) selection over centuries.


Lipizzaner, Austrian breed
Courbette , painting by Ludwig Koch
Lipizzaner stallion on the way to the presentation in the riding hall of the stud in Lipica (1978)

Lipizzaners are known for their use in classical dressage at the Spanish Riding School . Especially the school jumps and lessons of the high school are particularly easy for this horse breed, also through selection for these same abilities. The main areas of application are dressage and driving, with different breeding goals as a basis, both of which are recognized by the International Lipizzaner Breeding Association. Although disadvantaged in today's dressage tournament riding due to their size and high rate of occurrence , individual Lipizzaners have repeatedly been presented successfully at tournaments.

Breeding history

The Lipizzaner has long been associated with the Spanish Riding School in Vienna , where Lipizzaner horses are trained according to the classical art of riding that arose in the 16th century. They used to be bred for the imperial court - for carousels, as riding and parade horses and as carriage horses.

The name Lipizzaner comes from his parent stud Lipica in Slovenia. Lipica is located near Trieste , the Italian name of the place is Lipizza . In 1580, the Lipica Stud and the “Spanish Karster” breed were founded with horses from the Iberian Peninsula. The Lipizzaner contains genetic components from Spanish, Neapolitan / Italian and Arab horses, but probably not from so-called “down-to-earth Karster” horses. In 1580 three Spanish stallions were acquired (by von Khevenhüller), in 1581 another six and 24 mares. The stock was supplemented with stallions from northern Italy and the Polesina.

Possibly due to the declining quality of Spanish horses, more and more horses from other regions were bought in at the beginning of the 18th century in order to further improve breeding. The origins or at least the names of the verifiable horse purchases show: Cordova, acquired in 1701 (Spaniard); Generals 1710; Amico 1712; Lipp 1717 ( Bückeburg ); Danese 1718 (Dane); Superbo 1722; Montedoro 1739; Toscanello 1749; Sultan, Soliman 1768 (both Arabs); Dublino 1779; Pluto, Sanpareil, Juncker 1772 (all Danes); Conversano, Policastro 1774 (both Neapolitans); Saltadore, 1774 (Holsteiner); Morsu 1783 (Arabs); Favory 1779 (Kladrub), Maestoso 1786; Napoletano 1790 (Neapolitan), Allegro (Spaniard), Danese (Dane) 1795; Confitero (Spaniard) 1796, origins mainly from Italy (especially from southern Italy, the breeding areas of Neapolitanos and today's Murgese ), Arabia and Denmark.

From the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century, Arabs were finally introduced into breeding, again following the current trends in horse breeding. A total of 42 Arabs can be documented between 1770 and 1925.

In total, 457 founder animals form the basis of the Lipizzaner breed. The genetic proportions of their breeds in today's population are estimated as follows:

  • 57% baroque types (Spaniards, Neapolitans, Fredericksborger, ...)
  • 24% Arabs (original Arabs, Arab race)
  • 10% "Lipizzan breed" (proof of pedigree has been lost, but with stud brandy)
  • 4% Kladruber
  • 3% thoroughbreds

(Note: Sum is not 100 percent in the cited source either)

The following founding animals were the most important solitary horses in terms of their current genetic share: Toscanello: 6.66%; Neapolitano: 6.34; Gazlan: 4.88, Siglavy: 3.14; Tadmor: 3.02; Danese: 2.69; Monaghy: 2.69; Lipp I: 2.32; Norwegia (mare): 2.18; Confitero: 1.97; Favory: 1.96; Bellornata (mare): 1.87; Pluto: 1.72; .... Maestoso (20th): 1.49; … .Concersano (24th): 1.18.

The rough, barren, mountainous karst in which Lipica is located has brought longevity, health, strong bones, hard hooves, toughness and resistance to the Lipizzaners. In the Piber Federal Stud , the young Lipizzaners are therefore kept on high alpine meadows with rough, barren and stony surroundings all summer.

During the war-related evacuation of all Lipizzaners from Lipizza in 1915, the herd was divided. The smaller part went to the imperial stud Kladrub on the Elbe , the other part stayed in Laxenburg near Vienna, but 137 young animals moved on to Kladrub. After long negotiations, 109 animals were brought back to Lipizza (now Italy and a winner of the war) after the First World War, 107 of them from Laxenburg. Italy also claimed the horses from Kladrub, but since the Czechs were also on the side of the war winners, they never ceded the horses from Kladrub to Italy. Later this Lipizzan herd came to Topoľčianky . In addition, Austria produced a copy of the stud books for Italy, which had been kept in the Hofburg near Vienna until 1816. In this stock in Lipica all six classical lines and thirteen of the classical lines were represented, only the mares of the lines Gidrane, 1841 and Rava, 1755 were missing.

Towards the end of the Second World War, all stud farms under the influence of the German Wehrmacht were evacuated to Hostau ( Hostouň ) in the Sudetes, including Lipizza. When the Wehrmacht withdrew , the stud was quickly abandoned and the animals left to their own devices were threatened with starvation or even slaughter for the likewise starving local population. Although the area was already occupied by the Soviets, and even after the Yalta Agreement of the Soviet Union awarded the herd in a spectacular and legendary become action under the initiative of Colonel Reed, head of the Intelligence Service was the American cavalry , and the Panzer General Patton , a horse lover, and, contrary to the express instructions of the American high command, robbed in a quick military action on April 28, 1945 and taken to Schwarzenberg in Vienna, which was under the command of the United Nations . This action became world famous through the film The miracle of the White Stallions by Walt Disney (1963). Because of the danger of bombs they were evacuated shortly afterwards to St. Martin in Upper Austria in the American occupation zone .

After the war, in November 1947, the horses from Lipizza were divided between Italy and Austria. The Piber stud in Köflach , Styria , has been supplying the Spanish Riding School in Vienna with the famous school stallions since 1920 . 80 horses and the stud books came to Italy, and were placed in Pinerolo in Piedmont, at the beginning of 1948 in the military stud Montelibretti near Rome. The offspring of the Italian horses have been bred at the state stud in Monterotondo since 1952 . The Lipica stud farm in 1947 was only reimbursed 11 horses. In 1959 the stud farm was taken over by the Jadran-Sežana company, which then concentrated on tourist marketing; in 1963 only 59 horses were found in the newly established Lipica Institute for Horse Breeding . Today there is once again an important breed with its own riding school, and since 2002 the Lipica Stud has been recognized as the breeding institute that kept the original Lipizzaner stud book.

During the various "moves" that the Lipizzaner breed experienced - mostly in the context of wars - animals were regularly left behind, some of which were then further bred by private breeders. Systematic breeding by private breeders, also aimed at riding (and not just driving) purposes, can only be clearly recognized after the Second World War. Breeding associations founded by private breeders, as has long been known from other breeds, are even more recent. Nevertheless, there are now breeding associations in many European countries, in the USA, South Africa and Australia, which joined forces with the major state studs to form an international Lipizzan Federation in 1985 . The gene pool of the breeding herds has meanwhile been consolidated again through international exchange programs.

Lipizzaner stud farms and sites in the area of ​​the former Austria-Hungary (blue: Kladrub )

Therefore, Lipizzaners are bred all over Europe today, but mainly in the state studs of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire in:

Young Lipizzaner - will
mold out later

Large private breeders are u. a .:

  • Temple Farms (Illinois, USA)
  • South African Lipizzaner Center (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Haras des Launes (la Roque d'Anthéron, France)
  • Kobilarna Hosta (Šentjernej, Slovenia)
  • Ergela Kelebija (Serbia)
  • Lipizzanerstutteri Ordrupdal (Denmark)

In addition, there has been the Association of Lipizzaner Breeders in Austria since 1987 and a private Lipizzaner breeding in Carinthia since 2015.

In March 2016, UNESCO included the tradition maintained at the stud in Piber as knowledge about Lipizzaner breeding in the register of intangible cultural heritage in Austria. The purpose of this designation is binding protection as a living cultural tradition . Thus, after the Spanish Riding School itself, the Federal Stud is also recognized by UNESCO, but at the same time its independent cultural maintenance is represented: Not all horses on Piber are school horses, a large part of the work is the maintenance of the Lipizzan breed as such.


The stud brandies of the Austro-Hungarian state studs
Brand Piber

Due to the numerous state studs in different countries and the private breeding associations, there is no uniform branding for Lipizzaner horses, even if certain traditions are handled similarly by at least the larger studs. The most important fires are described below, as far as information is available.

  • Piber: left side of croup: "P" with crown above; left saddle position : line letter of father, right number, below line symbol of mother; right saddle position: foal registration number; left Ganasche : "L"
  • Lipica, Monterotondo: left. Saddle position: life number; left Ganasche: "L"
  • Topoľčianky: left. Croup side “STR” with “T” offset upwards; left Saddle position: line letter of the father, to the right of it number, below it the line symbol of the mother; right saddle position: foal registration number; for mares: left Croup side:
  • Szilvásvárad: left Saddle position: line letter of the father, number (for stallions), line symbol of the mother, including the foal register number; re. Saddle position: "B" between two antler blades, to the right of this year of birth (two digits)
  • Simbata de Jos: left. Saddle position: line letter of the father, diagonally right below line symbol of the mother, diagonally right above number (for stallions); re. Saddle position: foal registration number, "F" (for Fagaras)
  • Dakovo: left Croup side: "D" with a dash through the vertical line;
  • Lipik: left Croup side: "L" with horizontal line, left saddle position:
  • Lipizzaner Breeding Association Germany: currently left. Croup side: baroque "L", foal number
  • Breeding Association Slovenia : left shoulder: linden leaf; left Saddle position: number

The line letters of the father are, depending on the stud, differently executed, ornate forms of the initial letters of the main lines, as "C": Conversano, "F": Favory, "J": Incitato, "M": Maestoso; "N": Neapolitano, "P": Pluto, "S": Siglavy, "T": Tulipan.

The line signs of the lines of descent of the mothers, on the other hand, are graphic symbols: Conversano: a circle or an ellipse with a horizontal line (a simplified version of the stud brandy of the Counts of Conversano); Favory: a rectangle; Incitato: a circle open to the top; Maestoso: a crown or "M"; Neapolitano: various diagonal crosses (symbolizing one or two swords, possibly derived from the fire of the Charterhouse of Padula ); Pluto: wavy line; Siglavy: oblique arrow or triangle; Tulipan: circle open at the top with a vertical line below.

The numbers can be sequential foal numbers that are assigned in ascending order, stallion numbers that show the numbering of the stallion in his line ("the third Siglavy") or foal register numbers that are assigned annually (?).

The L-Brand is a sign of the regular stud. The traditional brandy is only given to Lipizzaners bred in Piber, Monterotondo or Lipica. This L seems to go back to Emperor Leopold I , even if it goes well with "Lipica".

Lipizzaner in the pasture in Lipica


In the 18th and 19th centuries, six stallions were brought to Lipica, which, due to their importance for the breeding of the Lipizzaners, have been named ancestors . Since then, breeding has been carried out taking into account the lines descended from these stallions, with the male offspring being named after the lineage of their respective father. The six lines are named after these stallions (date of birth):

  • PLUTO ( Frederiksborger ), was white, but probably not a gray horse, but a white born tiger piebald , raised purely in Spanish, 1765, acquired in 1771 at an auction to reduce the size of the Fredericksborg stud. The family tree of the Pluto line by no means ends with its founder in 1765, but goes back to the stallion Mignon in the Frederiksborg studbooks. Mignon was probably a pure Spaniard and a gift from the French to the Danish king.
  • CONVERSANO ( Neapolitan black stallion , purely Spanish, 1767; bred by the Acquaviva family , a noble family who moved from Bavaria to Italy in the 10th century )
  • MAESTOSO ( Kladrub , drawn purely in Spanish, 1773)
  • FAVORY (Falbe, Kladrub , purely Spanish, 1779)
  • NEAPOLITANO (brown Neapolitan , purely Spanish, 1790)
  • SIGLAVY (pure Arab mold, Syria, 1810)

Other stallions have only led to other parent lines in certain studs (INCITATO, TULIPAN).

Classic mare families

The classic mare families in the KuKHof stud in Lippiza are mare families established or used.

  • SARDINIA (Lippiza, 1776) Betalka, Beja, Bravissima, Virtuosa, Bionda, Musica
  • SPADIGLIA (Lippiza, 1778) Monteaura, Montenegra, Monterea, Managua, Monterosa, Montedora
  • ARGENTINA (Lippiza, 1767) Slava, Sana, Adria, Adriana, Mimosa, Animosa
  • AFRICA (Kladrub, 1747) Batosta, Basowizza, Brezja, Basilica, Medea, Lipa, Barbana
  • ALMERINA (Kladrub, 1769) Santa, Sistina, Serena, Slavina, Slavonia, Sitnica, Avala
  • PRESCIANA / BRADAMANTA (Kladrub, 1782/1777) Presciana, Bona, Romana, Bonasera, Perletta, Primavera
  • ENGLANDERIA (Kladrub, 1773) Englanderia, Allegra, Aida, Allora, Aurica
  • EUROPE (Kladrub, 1774) Trompeta, Traga, Tiberia, Malina, Toscana, Mantua
  • STORNELLA / FISTULA (Koptschan, 1784/1771) Stornella, Steaka, Saffa, Sessana, Britanica, Sagana
  • IVANKA / FAMOSA (Koptschan, 1754/1773) Soja, Strana, Noblessa, Isabella, Fama, India
  • DEFLORATA (Frederiksborg, 1767) Canissa, Capriola, Manzina, Amabila, Caprina, Kremica
  • CAPRIOLA (Kladrub, 1785) Capriola, Ancona, Bellamira, Calcedona, Alea, Bellornata
  • RAVA (Kladrub, 1755) Ravata, Rigoletta, Risanota, Rosana, Roma, Rimava
  • GIDRANE (Orig. Arabs, 1841) Gaetana, Gaeta, Galanta, Neretva, Jadranka, Narenta
  • GENERAL JUNIOR / DJEBRIN (Babolna, 1824) Dubovina, Darinka, Drava, Kulpa, Distinta, Oriana
  • MERCURIO (Radautz, 1806) Gratia, Gratiosa, Corvina, Fantasca, Pompea, Barbarina
  • THEODOROSTA (Bukovina, before 1870 - Baron Kaprii) Theodorosta, Wera, Watta, Theodora, Wandra, Tosiana

Naming for Lipizzaner

Traditionally, Lipizzaner stallions are given two names at birth. The first denotes the father's lineage, the second is the mother's name.

Maestoso Austria = father: Maestoso Trompeta - mother: Austria

In the case of fillies, one often goes back to the sixth to eighth generation on the mother's side and chooses a name from these three generations. That is why there are typical names for every mare family that keep coming back.

Some studs do not adhere to these conventions.


1960–2001 the Lipizzaner adorned the Austrian 5 schilling coin

The evacuation of the Lipizzaners from the Russian-occupied area after the Second World War has become part of everyday American culture as the "rescue of the Lipizzaners" (US associations were significantly involved in the transport) and contributed to their popularity in the USA. The film The Escape of the White Stallions was shot for this event , in which Robert Taylor played Alois Podhajsky , the head of the Spanish Riding School at the time , and was doubled by him.

In 1944 some Lipizzaner horses were rescued to South Africa by Count Janković-Bésán . Another riding school, the South African Lipizzaners , was founded there based on the classic model.

Two representatives of this breed are depicted on the Slovenian coins at € 0.20 , accompanied by the inscription "LIPICANEC".

See also


  2. Heinz Nürnberger: On the trail of the Lipizzaner . 1998, p. 146.
  3. Heinz Nürnberger: On the trail of the Lipizzaner . 1998, p. 49.
  4. Hans-Heinrich Isenbart & Emil M. Bührer: Lipizzaner - The imperial horse . 1986, pp. 114f.
  5. Nuremberg: The Lipizzaner , s. et al, pp. 16-17
  6. ^ Mauro Aurigi: Murgese in Bianco? , in Cavalli & Cavalieri 3/1991, pp. 78-80
  7. ↑ Indications of origin, as far as known, to Nuremberg: Der Lipizzaner , p. 19
  8. Nuremberg. P. 19
  9. ^ Mauro Aurigi: Murgese in Bianco? , in Cavalli & Cavalieri 3/1991, p. 80, right column
  10. The Lipizzaner in the mirror of science, pp. 165, 171
  11. The Lipizzaner in the Mirror of Science, p. 183, table 11
  12. The Lipizzaner in the mirror of science, p. 183
  13. The Lipizzaner in the mirror of science, p. 182, tab. 10
  14. a b c d e f g h i j History of the stud and Lipizzaner horses: Important historical milestones: 20th century. (accessed April 1, 2016).
  15. a b Homepage of the Lipizzan International Federation , (accessed April 1, 2016).
  16. Knowledge of Lipizzaner breeding. Austrian Commission for UNESCO: List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria. (accessed March 31, 2016).
  17. Il Corsiero Napolitano - Testo di Giuseppe Maria Fraddosio
  18. Il Corsiero Napolitano. (accessed April 15, 2016).
  19. ^ The rise and fall of the Frederiksborg Stud. (accessed April 15, 2016).
  20. Archived copy ( memento of the original dated February 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /


  • Hans-Heinrich Isenbart & Emil M. Bührer: Lipizzaner - The Imperial Horse . Stuttgart 1986, ISBN 3-87203-009-4 .
  • Heinz Nürnberg: In the footsteps of the Lipizzaner . Olms Ag, Hildesheim 1998, ISBN 3-487-08393-0 .
  • Heinz Nürnberg: The Lipizzaner . Westarp Sciences, Magdeburg 1993, ISBN 3-89432-404-X .
  • Martin Haller: Lipizzaner . Cadmos Verlag, Brunsbek 2003, ISBN 3-86127-384-5 .
  • Ilona Kirsch: Lipizzaner - individualists for idealists - a breed portrait apart from glitz and glamor . Fruehtau-Verlag, Kiel 2004, ISBN 3-9808715-1-7 .
  • Georg Kugler, Wolfdieter Bihl : The Lipizzaner of the Spanish Riding School . Pichler Verlag, Vienna 2002, ISBN 978-3-85431-284-0 .
  • Gottfried Brem: The Lipizzaner in the mirror of science . Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-7001-6917-8 .
  • Gertrud Grilz-Seger & Thomas Druml: Lipizzaner: Stallion lines . Vehling Verlag, Graz 2011, ISBN 978-3-85333-199-6 .
  • Frank Westerman : The Fate of the White Horses. Another 20th century story. Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-63088-0 .

Web links

Commons : Lipizzaner  - album with pictures, videos and audio files