Prepared from information supplied by the Lipizzaner Association of Australasia
The Lipizzaner is a proud, noble, sensitive and intelligent horse. The breed was developed with the support of the Hapsburg monarchy for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, and as special court mounts, cavalry and carriage horses.
The Lipizzaner has achieved fame through its performances at the Spanish Riding School, which remains the bastion of the most refined classical dressage, and where the Lipizzaner is used exclusively.
Lipizzaners were first imported into three states of Australia in the 1970s. These horses were largely maintained as breeding stock. Lipizzaners continue to be quite rare in Australia with only 130 horses currently registered in the Lipizzaner Association of Australasia Stud Book.
The Lipizzaner is strong and well boned with a classic baroque outline comprising a slightly convex head, a crested, high-set neck and the back curving beautifully into a rounded rump. The movement of the Lipizzaner is somewhat high stepping, rhythmic and elegant with suspension. The preferred colour is pure white although all colours are acceptable. The height varies from 143 to 162 centimetres.
Today there are a small number of Lipizzaners competing in dressage, harness and other equestrian events in Australia. They are also used as leisure riding horses, however many of the mares and stallions are retained for breeding.
The enthusiastic breeders of Lipizzaner horses follow the guidelines set down by the Spanish Riding School and Federal Stud at Piber, Austria, giving a depth and tradition to the breed.
The intriguing quality of the Lipizzaner is their strength of character combined with the strong bond they build with their owners.