Slovenia celebrates UNESCO recognition for renowned Lipizzan horses

Lipica (Slovenia) (AFP) – Individuals watched in awe as the environment-renowned Lipizzan horses place on a dazzling show this thirty day period in the village of Lipica in the modest Alpine condition of Slovenia.

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The household of one particular of the world’s most distinguished horse breeds — and 7 countries in the region that as soon as ended up portion of the Habsburg Empire — have rationale to rejoice.

Their shared tradition of Lipizzan breeding recently created UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage checklist.

The noble Lipizzans, also identified as Lipizzaners, are descendants of very long stallion lines crossing Spanish, Arabic and Berber horses and were being to start with bred by the Habsburg court docket in the 16th century.

They are popular for their “airs above the ground” classical dressage jumps — a series of tough actions requiring energy and precision, in which the horse’s feet go away the ground.

This exceptional breed — that includes white hair but grey skin — is also famed as a carriage horse.

The identify derives from small Lipica, nestled amongst Slovenia’s verdant hills and lush forests.

The picturesque village is dwelling to 1 of the world’s oldest stud farms, which dates again to 1580 and now stables far more than 400 blue-blooded horses.

They are popular for their classical dressage jumps © Jure Makovec / AFP

“This is the Lipizzan’s residence,” said Slovenian tradition minister Asta Vrecko, ahead of the UNESCO ceremony previous weekend.

The party was attended by the eight countries that jointly utilized for recognition of their shared breeding heritage — Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

For a instant, time stood still as horses and riders from the eight nations done their dressage and driving exhibition.

“They are phenomenal animals. The way that they have been qualified and the degree of ability of the riders is outstanding,” claimed 42-year-old horse farm operator Laura Highlander, who travelled all the way from the United States to see the horses.

“I was tremendous thrilled to be able to occur… and see them in their education,” she additional right after visiting the Lipica stud farm.

Equine ballet

Darkish at birth, the Lipizzan horses’ coat turns white by the time they are about 4 decades outdated, which is also when their demanding teaching starts off and the most promising stallions are picked.

“Lipizzans can have a strong temperament. They are commonly serene, in some cases shy. They are form and it is up to us to recognise the top quality of every horse,” Miro Dragic, head of the Lipica stud farm riders’ team, informed AFP.

If overall health permits, these athletic equine stars, can be worthy of up to quite a few hundred thousand euros (dollars) each, and can keep on being active properly into their mid-20s

Amadej Cej and other stablemen spend quality time with these beautiful creatures, attending to their every need 'from birth until their end'
Amadej Cej and other stablemen shell out top quality time with these wonderful creatures, attending to their each and every need to have ‘from beginning until eventually their end’ © Jure Makovec / AFP

Only the very best stallions will be educated in the elitist “haute ecole” of classical dressage to at some point grasp an equine ballet of cantering, caprioles and pirouettes.

The riders, who activity tailcoats and Napoleonic bicorne hats, ought to also be at the major of their activity to get the finest from their delicate associates.

“With horses it is like with folks. There are many external features — weather incorporated — that can have an effect on them,” stableman Amadej Cej told AFP while grooming a person of his elegant stallions.

A mare and a foal outside a stable in Lipica
A mare and a foal outside a stable in Lipica © Jure Makovec / AFP

It is really stablemen like Cej who commit top quality time with these wonderful creatures, attending to their each require “from beginning till their stop”.