The Lipizzana

Another horse breed which penetrated over Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and to which many modern horses are related to, is the Lipizzana.

These horses originally came from Yugoslavia where they are still used extensively for farm work and are prized for their stamina and co-operation.

They are also bred in Austria and Hungary, and have been' well known for centuries for their magnificent ceremonial and parade-ground work, and it is always the grey Lipizzana stallions that perform the controlled and intricate movements of haute ecole at the Spanish riding school in Vienna.

The stallions are all born black, and turn grey and finally white as they grow older, but there are also bay and chestnut horses. The different breed strains vary in type, and in height from 14 to 16 hands, but all make excellent carriage horses as well as riding horses.

Lipizzanas were chosen and specially imported to Iran to draw the Shahanshah's Coronation Coach in 1967, and when all decked out in ceremonial harness were a truly magnificent sight.

After the last war stocks of all the various continental horse breeds were sadly depleted, and to strengthen them and to build up their numbers to meet the growing demand for general purpose horses, judicious cross breeding with Lipizzanas and in particular Britain's Cleveland Bay took place in many countries.