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Fascinating facts about the Spanish Riding School of Vienna

Posted on Friday, June 27, 2014 by Heather Dodd

Spanish Riding School on Tour - Birmingham
To celebrate the forthcoming Spanish Riding School of Vienna UK tour we asked the School’s Chief Rider Andreas Hausberg to give us some interesting facts about the world famous school.

The Spanish Riding School was founded in Vienna 1572 and is the oldest riding academy in the world.

Horses stabled at the SRS

Horses stabled at the SRS

Lipizzaner foals are usually born Dark Grey, Bay or Black and become grey/white lighter as they get older. Whilst most of the performing stallions are white they do use the bay stallions in some of the performances as they are considered to be lucky.

reward_c Spanish Riding School_Michael Rzepa - Kopie

The stallions are always rewarded for good work

The classical equitation taught and performed by the Spanish Riding School has remained unchanged for over 430 years.

Morning Exercise in SRS Vienna

Morning exercise at the Spanish Riding School

Lipizzaner stallions were chosen by the Spanish Riding School to perform classical equitation because of their good nature and intelligence, as well as physical grace and beauty.

The Lipizzaner foals are bred at the Piber Stud and spend their youth high up in the alpine pastures, where the air is pure. This is believed to cultivate stamina and healthy lungs and heart with many of the Lipizzaners working and performing into their late 20’s.

The School holds 72 stallions and 19 members of the equestrian team.

New cadets at the school are called ‘Eleves’. It takes eight to twelve years of training and only after this time are they given the title of Rider and allowed to perform to the public.

Spanish Riding School on Tour - Birmingham
The School’s signature moves are known as ‘airs above the ground’ and include the Capriole, the Courbette and the Levade.

When the School goes on tour there are usually 28 horses, nine riders and nine grooms that tour the world.

The riders fly in two groups on separate flights to avoid the Schools heritage being lost completely in a disaster. The horses are also separated into three groups to avoid their lineage, which can be traced back to the 18th century, being destroyed in an accident. Needless to say these precious stallions travel in state of the art horse boxes with personal grooms and handlers with them at all times.

UK Tour

The Spanish Riding School is delighted that the 2014 UK tour features three Olympic riders to open the shows.

Carl Hester and Lee Pearson have both ridden with the School on the past two UK tours and they will open the performances in Sheffield. This is the first time that the SRS will have performed in Sheffield at the Motorpoint Arena, giving people in the North of the UK the opportunity to see these fabulous dancing white horses.

London’s newly named SSE Arena at Wembley, will play host to the SRS with Carl Hester and Natasha Baker opening the shows. This is the first time that Natasha will have performed alongside the Spanish Riding School and she and Carl are delighted to show how the modern Paralympic and Olympic dressage sport has parallels with the most famous school of equitation. Lee, Natasha and Carl will be performing a specially choreographed routine prior to the Spanish Riding School’s main event and also talking to the audience about how they train their horses, all hosted by Nicki Chapman.

The Spanish Riding School of Vienna at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena featuring Carl Hester and Lee Pearson

Friday 31st October 2014 – 7.30pm

Saturday 1st November 2014 – 7.30pm

Sunday 2nd November 2014 – 3.00pm

The Spanish Riding School of Vienna at the SSE Arena, Wembley featuring Carl Hester and Natasha Baker

Friday 14th November 2014 – 7.30pm

Saturday 15th November 2014 – 7.30pm

Sunday 16th November 2014 – 3pm.

Tickets on sale now, prices from £22.75 – £71.50 available from

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