Lipizzan Horses

History

Lipizzans represent over 400 years of select breeding with superior horses gathered from all over the world. They possess beauty and nobility, with a rare combination of courage, strength, ability, temperament, and intelligence.

The Lipizzan breed had its beginning in 1580 when Archduke Charles II of Austria established the stud farm in Lipizza (Lipica), using the finest Spanish horses ( Andalusians, Barbs and Berbers) bred to the local Karst horses. Tim with one of his Lipizzan mares.The Karst horses were white in color, small, slow to mature, extremely strong and sturdy. The Karst horse gave the Lipizzan its high-stepping gait.

In the late 1700s the horses moved three times during the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon gained possession of the horses for awhile and bred his Arab stallion, VESIR, to the Lipizzaners. Seven Arab stallions were used to develop the breed during the period from 1807 to 1856. By 1880 there were 341 Lipizzan horses at the Lipizza stud farm. Of all the sires used in the 18th and 19th centuries, only six founded the original stallion lines of the Lipizzan breed: SIGLAVY, NEAPOLITANO, MAESTOSO, FAVORY, PLUTO, and CONVERSANO. Later, in Croatia and Hungary, the TULIPAN and INCITATO lines were developed.

Until 1916, the Lipizzan stud farm was owned by the Hapsburg monarchy and the expansion of the breed had been affected over the centuries by military conflicts. When warfare threatened the Lipizza stud, the horses were moved away. During these moves, individual horses would occasionally be given or sold to other studs. From these horses came other small Lipizzan studs, usually within the boundaries of the Austrian empire.

During World War I, the breeding stock was relocated near Vienna. Quicksilver StablesThe foals were kept in the other Imperial stud farm at Kladrub. After World War I, the Austrian-Hungarian empire was divided into several new republics. Every new state inherited the possessions of the former monarchy. The breeding stock of the Imperial stud farm of Lipizza (1580-1916) itself was divided among three different countries. Only 208 Lipizzans were known to be left in existence. The largest herd (109 horses) went to Italy, to which the village of Lipizza and its surroundings had been awarded. The 1913-1915 foals remained at Kladrub, which was Czechoslovakian. In 1919, Austria became the owner of the remaining breeding stock and the stallions of the Spanish Riding School. Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia also began breeding Lipizzans.

In 1943, the Lipizzan breed was again threatened with extinction when the mares and foals from Austria, Italy, and Yugoslavia were transferred to Czechoslovakia by the German High Command. Through the heroic efforts of the Spanish Riding School’s director, Alois Podhajsky, the school was saved though the performance stallions were not returned to the school until 1955. In 1945, the American army, under the command of General Patton, retrieved the mares and returned them to Austrian soil.

Today Lipizzans are found worldwide. With less than 4,000 purebred Lipizzans in the world,Quicksilver Lipizzan Mare the breed is considered rare, and the number of foals born each year is correspondingly small. Extreme care is taken by those involved in the production of Lipizzan horses to insure that the purity of the breed is preserved. Much effort has been expended to develop educational programs to foster voluntary adherence to the traditional breed goals and objectives.

The Lipizzan is a successful competitor at all levels of competition dressage and driving, as well as the ultimate mount for classical horsemanship. The breed has also proven ideal for other equestrian disciplines including pleasure riding. Owners and breeders are dedicated to the Lipizzan breed because they appreciate its rarity, cultural importance, and romantic history. With its intelligence, classical beauty, and harmonious, athletic movement, a Lipizzan is something truly special.

Come to Quicksilver Farm and see our beautiful Lipizzan mares, a rare and beautiful sight.