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Spanish Riding School to Open for Training, Seminars for 1st Time in 400-year history

Lipizzaners at the Spanish Riding School's summer base in Heldenberg, Austria.

The Spanish Ridng School is opening its doors to professional trainers, riders and others involved in equestrian sport to learn from the world famous institute that has cultivated classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition for more than 400 years.

The Lipizzaner Training Center in Heldenberg where the stallions of the Spanish Riding School spend their summer vacation after performing in Vienna will accept trainers with their horses, judges, grooms and others for a range of symposiums and training session for the first time beginning in the spring of 2013, Andreas Hausberger, the Chief Rider, said.

“The idea was to open the school for foreign riders, horses and grooms to share our century old knowledge,” he told dressage-news.com. “Beside that we’ll have theory seminars of one, three or five days, professional dressage trainer seminars of one, three or five days, seminars for dressage judges and seminars with international experts in fields like classical dressage, dressage in general, veterinary, hoof care, breeding.”

For the theory seminars/trainer seminars/dressage judge seminars the cost will be €90 (US$116).

Training of either a horse or horse and rider will be €250 ($320) for an individual lesson or €450 ($580) for a group lesson with a maximum of three horses.

Grooms training is free but participants must have their own health insurance.

The Spanish Riding School–which takes the “Spanish” from the gray Lipizzaner horses that originated in the Iberian peninsula–is the oldest riding academy in the world. The magnificent Winter Riding School in the Hofburg Palace where the riders train and display their skils to an international audience was completed in 1735.

The Heldenberg facility was opened in 2005 as the new summer home and includes 81 horse stalls, an indoor riding hall and outdoor arena as well as turnout paddocks.

The young horses of the Spanish Riding School spend their first training years at Heldenberg while the fully trained stallions go there for summer vacation of six to eight weeks in July and August.

In modern history, the rescue of the Lipizzans by Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army of the United States in World War II ahead of advancing forces of the Soviet Union was made famous by the Disney movie, Miracle of the White Stallions. American soldiers rode, trucked and herded the horses from what was then Czechsolovakia across the border into Germany and were eventually returned to the Spanish Riding School in 1955.

For information on programs, dates and registration, email training@srs.at or go to http://www.srs.at/en/heldenberg/.

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