Author Topic: The Spanish Riding School  (Read 8490 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline James_Davidov

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
The Spanish Riding School
« on: January 03, 2007, 11:43:03 PM »
The Spanish Riding School was established by the Austrian Empire in the late 1500’s.  Since this time it has evolved (although there has been barely any change within the actual riding school) to become a world famous Viennese tourist attraction, and the epitome of equestrianism as a form of art.  They use specially bred, white ‘Lipizzan’ horses, which were not only officially used by the Austrian crown, but were an object of patronage and obsession by many of Austria’s Emperors.  Their arena (once located in the imperial palace) is the Winter Riding School commissioned by Charles VI and completed in 1735.  It is a magnificent stage, lighted by chandeliers in which the horses preform in gold and red saddle cloths.


If anyone could contribute pre WWI photos or information regarding the Hapsburgs and the Lipizzan horses, that would be great. . . . I’m sure Sisi would have had an opinion on the school.


- James
You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.
Queen Mary

Offline Silja

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 600
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 07:46:50 AM »
The Lipizzan horse will be the motif on Slovenia's new 20 cent (Euro) coins.

Offline James_Davidov

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 11:04:51 PM »
Despite no one appearing to be interested, I'm never one to let a thread die!





Official website of this century old institution: http://www.spanishridingschool.co.uk/

The Spanish Riding School of Vienna is the only riding academy in the world where the Renaissance tradition of classical horsemanship is preserved and cultivated to this day. The unique harmony of man and beast achieved here is famous all over the world.

The history of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna dates back 430 years to the revival of the "Haute École d'Équitation" at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries, as the Renaissance was sweeping through the royal courts of Europe. Horses of Spanish origin were chosen over other breeds for characteristics they possessed which made them especially suitable for classical training. Archduke Maximilian started to breed Spanish horses in Austria in about the year 1562.

The date of the foundation of the Riding School in Vienna is taken from documents written in the year 1572, but the wars against Turkey in the 17th century took their toll on a part of the Riding School, and reconstruction work began in 1685. Years passed, however, without mention in any documents of the work being completed.

Charles VI began afresh with the building work in 1729, and in 1735, the building we know today, designed by Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach, was completed. Since that year, only horses from the Karst Stud in Lipica, founded in 1580 by Archduke Charles of Inner Austria, have been used at the Spanish Riding School. A portrait of Charles VI still hangs in the royal box of the Winter Riding School at the Spanish Riding School. After the death of Charles in 1740, Maria Theresia became regent. She was the first person to hold 'knights' games' and 'carousels'(playful riding tournaments) in the new Winter Riding School.

Magnificent parties and lavish masked balls were also held at this time. The next major influence on the Spanish Riding School was the Wiener Kongress in 1814 and 1815, when festive riding performances were given to an international audience of the most important politicians.

After some years of turbulence (including the revolution of 1848) there followed the "Gründerzeit" of the late 19th century, a period which saw great architectural change in Vienna. The Spanish Riding School, however, remained untouched and continued to be at the private disposal of the Emperor and his illustrious guests. The very last carousel took place on 28 April 1894.

After the end of the First World War, the Spanish Riding School was placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Austrian Republic. The first public performance took place a year and a half after the end of the war.

In the course of the Second World War, the Lipizzaner horses had to be evacuated to St. Martin in Upper Austria at the beginning of 1945. In February 1946, the school's stallions were transferred to Wels, where they remained until 26 October 1955. It was only on this day that Colonel Podhajsky, the director of the school at that time, was able to announce to the Austrian federal president that the stallions of the Spanish Riding School

were returning to their home in Vienna.

Podhajsky retired in 1964, and the directorship was taken up by Colonel Hans Handler, under whose leadership the 400th anniversary celebrations took place in 1972. On 2 October 1974, Handler fell dead from his stallion Siglavy Beja during the performance. His deputy of many years, Kurt Albrecht, took over direction of the school, continuing to give performances. He also achieved improvements in the social standing of the riding staff. In 1985, he retired, to be succeeded by Dr. Jaromir Oulehla.

At the beginning of 2001, the Spanish Riding School was privatised, and since 1 February 2001, Dr. Werner Pohl, a highly trained equestrian vet and horse breeding specialist, has been the company director.

source:http://www.imgartists.com/?page=artist&id=287&c=2
You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.
Queen Mary

Offline ashdean

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1176
  • Formerly Lancashireladandre & Morecambrian
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 04:26:54 PM »
I saw a performance of the riding school when i was 12 &  have never forgot the beauty & grace..

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 05:26:45 PM »
Do you know that the Lipizzaners have a "cousin"...the Kladruber??  The Old Kladrubian Horse (to use its full title) has a common origin with the Lipizzaner, insofar as they both have Spanish – Italian ancestors, and both were bred for the Habsburg court in Vienna.

     The Old Kladrubian horse was (and is) bred in the former Bohemian (Czech Republic today) court stud at Kladruby on the river Elbe. Rudolf II, the son of Maximilian II, established this stud farm in the year 1579 in the Pardubice domain that was purchased  by his grandfather, Ferdinand I.

     Rudolf II was a “horse lover” who especially favored Spanish horses with which he was very familiar, due to being raised at the Spanish court during the time when the Spanish horse was at its peak. From the establishment perspective, the Kladruby and Lipizza/Lipica stud farms are the oldest horse farms in Europe that are still active today.


Offline Lucien

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7346
  • Courtier
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 02:54:09 PM »
Je Maintiendrai

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2007, 06:20:55 PM »
Are there no horse 'fans out there??? I second James Davidov's plea, namely: "If anyone could contribute pre WWI photos or information regarding the Hapsburgs and the Lipizzan horses, that would be great. . . ."

Info and photos about the Kladruber horses would also be most welcome!

Heres hoping!!

Cheers Greenowl

Offline aor

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2007, 12:36:21 PM »
No pictures here, but as a young child I visited the Spanish Riding School and because of this have throughout my life tried to master the art of dressage. Still can't believe how they keep the riding arena and its surroundings so neat.........One look at my barn after a week reveals about 3 inches of dust everywhere. The chandeliers are just amazing.
 
On a side note, Greenowl mentioning the Kladruber horse in his previous post; in the second chapter of the Sissi trilogy where she rides out into the Prater instead of learning the rules of the Spanish Etiquette, she , if I am not mistaken, rides a Kladruber horse....

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2007, 05:16:43 PM »
I have never had the pleasure of seeing a performance of the Spanish Riding School live in Vienna. Any time I wanted to go they were either booked out or on tour. I too am still trying to master the art of dressage…. With regard to their stables etc, I have heard that there are staff on duty 24 hours a day, and that the horses are mucked out once an hour every hour!

I had no idea that Empress Elisabeth rode a Kladruber. I thought that a Kladruber would have been too sedate for her. The imperial stables always contained 32 Kladrubers, 16 greys and 16 blacks. The blacks were used for solemn occasions such as funerals (although Crown Prince Rudolf’s hearse is said to have been pulled by Lippizaners….I don’t know why they broke with tradition on that occasion) while the greys were used for festive events such as weddings. With the establishment of the Czechoslovak state in 1918 and the advent of the motor car the Kladruber population was allowed to dwindle and many of the black herd were slaughtered in the 1930s as it was deemed that a modern state had no use for horses. The breed almost became extinct in the 1940s and it was only thanks to the efforts of Prof. Dr. F. Bílek that it survived at all. Today there are an estimated 1,800 Kladruber horses worldwide (half of which are in the Czech Republic). The Danish and Swedish courts purchased teams of Kladrubers in recent years and these horses are now used on all ceremonial occasions in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Offline aor

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2007, 09:08:47 AM »
I have never had the pleasure of seeing a performance of the Spanish Riding School live in Vienna. Any time I wanted to go they were either booked out or on tour. I too am still trying to master the art of dressage…. With regard to their stables etc, I have heard that there are staff on duty 24 hours a day, and that the horses are mucked out once an hour every hour!

I had no idea that Empress Elisabeth rode a Kladruber. I thought that a Kladruber would have been too sedate for her. The imperial stables always contained 32 Kladrubers, 16 greys and 16 blacks. The blacks were used for solemn occasions such as funerals (although Crown Prince Rudolf’s hearse is said to have been pulled by Lippizaners….I don’t know why they broke with tradition on that occasion) while the greys were used for festive events such as weddings. With the establishment of the Czechoslovak state in 1918 and the advent of the motor car the Kladruber population was allowed to dwindle and many of the black herd were slaughtered in the 1930s as it was deemed that a modern state had no use for horses. The breed almost became extinct in the 1940s and it was only thanks to the efforts of Prof. Dr. F. Bílek that it survived at all. Today there are an estimated 1,800 Kladruber horses worldwide (half of which are in the Czech Republic). The Danish and Swedish courts purchased teams of Kladrubers in recent years and these horses are now used on all ceremonial occasions in Stockholm and Copenhagen.


I'm pretty certain that the Empress was not too interested in a Kladruber, too laid back, not enough 'fire'.......however, I think the riding skills of Romy Schneider did not compare to the Empress she portrayed. Besides that, even if she was a good rider, riding in a side saddle is a different 'bowl of cherries' and a Kladruber would have been my first choice. That or a Haflinger...:)

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2007, 12:44:40 PM »
AGREED! And a Kladruber is a great deal more elegant than a Haflinger, apart from which they seem to enjoy attention and posing for photos etc

RomanovsFan4Ever

  • Guest
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 10:52:49 AM »
I have seen a very interesting documentary about the Spanish riding school of Vienna exactly a week ago, actually it is a program dedicated all about Vienna that we have here in Italy on a channel called Marcopolo, but that episode was entirely about the Spanish riding school, so fascinating.

Some beautiful videos of the Spanish riding school of Vienna: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RzdwAhwgBI

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2912
    • View Profile
Re: The Spanish Riding School
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2009, 08:37:19 AM »
I do have a 'coffee table' book with various pre-1914 pictures of the Spanish Riding School, but it is at my parents' house and I can't remember the details of it.

I'm there in a couple of weeks and will try to remember to look the book up then.

I've been to two performances in Britain and also visited the Spanish Riding School when in Vienna. It is wonderful, and the horses are superbly looked after (when they are on tour, the grooms take turns to sleep on a camp bed in the stables!)

Ann