Spanish Riding School celebrates its 450th anniversary. Presentation of Anniversary Mint and numerous activities

  February 18, 2015

In September 1565 a “Thumblplatz” was built in the garden at the Purgkh alhie , laying the foundation of the Spanish Riding School. 450 years later, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna has not only become famous around the world, but it is also the only riding academy in the world where the High School of Classical Horsemanship has been cherished and maintained.

This long tradition is being celebrated in the year of 2015 with numerous exciting activities. To celebrate the anniversary year opening, General Director Elisabeth Gürtler and the team of the Spanish Riding School invited, among others, the Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter for whom the Spanish Riding School is a first-rate institution : “The Spanish Riding School is a significant part of the Austrian cultural heritage, both a center of attraction for tourists from all over the world and an important ambassador of our country. I give my warmest congratulations on the anniversary and I am looking forward to an unforgettable anniversary year.”

Anniversary Mint
By producing a silver mint for “450 years Spanish Riding School” the first company expressing their congratulations was the Austrian Mint, PLC. Managing Director Gerhard Starsich presented the 20 euro silver mint, which is available as of now in an edition of 50, 000 pieces. Starsich also welcomed numerous famous guests from Economy, Finance and Art. “ For the anniversary celebration of one of the oldest Austrian institutions, the Austrian Mint has to be among the congratulators”, says Starsich, who also mentioned that he was planning to visit the anniversary performance in June including the Fête Impériale.
Two Lipizzaner horses showing the Pas de Deux decorate the Anniversary silver Mint. Actually, at the opening event two riders presented a spectacular Pas de Deux with their stallions Neapolitano Biserka II and Favory Dagmar II. After the show, the riders Marcus
Nowotny and Helmut Oberhauser explained that the Pas de Deux requires a high level of
concentration and is one of the traditional highlight of the performances.

Numerous anniversary events
Chief Executive Officer Elisabeth Gürtler, who has been managing the Spanish Riding School
for 8 years already, was very proud to present a comprehensive and exciting anniversary
programme. “ We trained and prepared intensely for this very important year and we are
planning a range of top-class performances in June. In honor of this special occasion, we will also welcome the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art from Jerez.”
The highlight of our celebration will be the anniversary performance on Friday, June 26,
2015 at 7.00 pm in the Heldenplatz Square in front of the office of the Federal President.
Afterwards, the sixth Fête Impériale, fully dedicated to the anniversary, will take place in the
Spanish Riding School. The general rehearsal will take place already on Thursday, June 26
and on Saturday, June 27, the gala performance in the Heldenplatz Square can be visited.

Anniversary painting by Christian Ludwig Attersee
Christian Ludwig Attersee expressed his congratulations by creating an anniversary painting
dedicated to this special occasion carrying the motto “lived tradition where values of the past
merge with passion of the present”. “ In the foreground of the painting we see a Lipizzaner
showing a Capriole, in the background you can find Fête Impériale-related quotations.
According to the maestro, who has visited the Fête several times already, the white horse is
wearing a bow tie on its chest. Furthermore, the Lipizzaner horse and the Austrian flag form
a unity of tradition. The “birthday painting” by Christian Ludwig Attersee is supposed to
become the symbol of this huge anniversary of the Spanish Riding School, which is being
celebrated in the framework of numerous events.
“ We are pleased about such a huge and passionate number of congratulators”, says Chief
Executive Officer Elisabeth Gürtler, who has already been offered support by companies such
as Audi.
Sitting beneath the riding portrait of Emperor Charles VI – who had the Winter Riding School
built between 1729 and 1735 in the Imperial Palace of Vienna – around 200 guests watched
the first anniversary performance of the Spanish Riding School on Ash Wednesday.

Among the guests:

Vera Russwurm; Elisabeth Vitouch; Martina & Werner Fasslabend; Ingried Brugger; Gery
Keszler; Kurt Pribil; Andreas Großbauer, Franz Witt-Dörring; Gregor Woschnagg
Overview of the Anniversary Performance dates
Friday, June 26, 2015, 7.00 pm: Anniversary performance, Heldenplatz Square
Friday, June 26, 2015, 9.00 pm: Fête Impériale, Spanish Riding School
Thursday, June 25, 2015, 7.00 pm: General rehearsal, Heldenplatz Square
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 7.00 pm: Gala performance, Heldenplatz Square
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Daniela Haertel
Press Spokeswoman
Phone: +43 / 1 533 90 32 – 26