Lipizzaners are elegant horses that are born dark in color, but grow increasingly white as they get older until they are almost pure white as adults.
1. Scientific & Common Names
6. Present Status
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Name - Lipizzaner, Lipizzan
Lipizzaners have an elegant and noble bearing with well-defined muscle tone. They have long heads with convex profiles, and sturdy necks with a pronounced arch. Though they are white in color as adults, they are officially known as "gray" horses, since they are not born with white fur. Instead, they are born dark, and each year their coat lightens in a process called "graying".
All Lipizzaners can trace their lineage back to eight original stallions. Breeding is very selective, and only horses who are rigorously tested to meet high standards are chosen for breeding stock. This practice dates back to the 1920s.
This is a long-lived breed that matures very slowly. They often compete well into their 20s. Lipizzans are known to be stubborn, and require patience and expertise in their training.
Lipizzaners were developed in the 16th century for the Habsburg nobles, who were Austrian royalty. The breed was designed to be both elegant and fashionable, but also useful for military operations. Lipizzaners were in danger of disappearing several times throughout history due to war. To save them from becoming extinct, the horses were relocated several times over the years during wartime.
Lipizzaners are very popular and prized riding horses, but are quite rare which makes them even more desirable. These horses are utilized by the prestigious Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria.