Joint project: Spanish Riding School Vienna, Zumtobel Group and zactrack
Spanish Riding School Vienna presents unique dynamic lighting system

  • Special technology from Austria to stage the Lipizzaner horses
  • Precise localisation of horse and rider with the aid of radio-tracking
  • Twenty movable spotlights align automatically focusing on the horses to ensure that the animals are not distressed by their own shadow
  • Viennese start-up company zactrack supplies software solution – Zumtobel Group supports the project

Dornbirn/Vienna – The Spanish Riding School Vienna presented its unique lighting system for the first time in a world premiere last Saturday, 26 November 2016. Thanks to a special tracking system, the dynamic lights were angled in a way that ensured that the horses were always at the centre of the light, regardless of where they were in the arena. The system was developed by the Viennese start-up company zactrack and its realisation was supported by the Austrian lighting company Zumtobel Group.

Tradition meets innovation
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna had been looking for a lighting system to precisely stage its shows. The new lighting solution created for the world’s oldest riding school employs small radio transmitters that are attached to the front and the back of each saddle. Ten aerials that are mounted on the hall wall receive the transmitted radio signals and hence make it possible to accurately locate each horse. The positions of the horses are then transmitted to the lighting system via a network. After that, a specially developed software automatically controls the twenty LED-Movingheads (movable spotlights) installed on the upper gallery. An essential part of this process is that the software needs to calculate the direction in which the animal will be moving in advance so that the horse does not have to walk into the dark.

“We are out to ensure that our precision performances are displayed to even better effect through this stage lighting system,” says Elisabeth Gürtler, Managing Director of the Spanish Riding School.

Georg Ebner, Head of Sales Austria, Zumtobel Group: “As the future lighting partner of the Spanish Riding School, we are proud to have been asked to support the installation of this unique lighting system. We maintain an open technology partnership with zactrack and are developing new fields of application in the area of dynamic lighting within the scope of this cooperation. As a lighting company, we are focusing extensively on the possibilities in the area of smart and connected lighting. Solutions that allow the customer to adapt the lighting flexibly to different requirements will clearly shape the future.”

“Since 2009, zactrack has supplied automatic tracking systems for participants at sports events, shows and on theatre stages. This radio-controlled tracking technology is unique and particularly suitable for the current occasion. Horses are extremely sensitive and easily distressed by external influences. They do not notice the zactrack system, however, its mathematic calculation provides just enough light in front of them to ensure that they don’t have to walk into the dark,” says Werner Petricek, zactrack’s CEO.

At a pre-premiere, 300 guests were able to see how well suited the new lighting system for the show of the “White Ballet” is. The first public show including the new lighting system will take place on New Year’s Eve. For more information please visit:

Press Contact
Simone Deitmer
Head of Corporate Communications
Phone +43 (0)5572 509-575

Spanish Riding School Press Contact
Andrea Kerssenbrock
Head of Communications
Phone +43 (0)1 533 9031-26

About the Spanish Riding School
The world-famous Lipizzaner horse shows – the “Ballet of the White Stallions” – take place in the unique baroque Winter Riding School of the Hofburg, constructed during the reign of Charles VI. The shows are the result of many years of training and intensive work on part of the Lipizzaner horses and their riders. The audience loves the antics of the young stallions as much as the displays by the school’s already fully trained stallions that show off their incredible moves during the school quadrille, on and above the ground, during the Pas de Deux and on the long rein. Lipizzaners are an intelligent and lively breed of horses. Due to their build and grace, they perform particularly well in the high school dressage at the Spanish Riding School. They were the first breed to be stud-bred in Europe. The Spanish Riding School is primarily dedicated to performing and preserving the haute école of classical dressage, which is also on UNESCO’s international intangible cultural heritage list.

About the Zumtobel Group:
The Zumtobel Group is an international lighting group and a leading player in the field of innovative lighting solutions and components. With its internationally established brands, Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel, and its brands acdc and Reiss, the Group offers its customers around the world a comprehensive range of products and services. In the lighting business the Group with its Thorn, Zumtobel and acdc brands is the European market leader. The Reiss brand supplies OEMs with luminaires with a higher degree of protection. Through its lighting components brand, Tridonic, the Group plays a leading role worldwide in the manufacture of hardware and software for lighting systems (LED light sources and LED drivers, sensors and lighting management). The Group is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (ATX) and on the balance sheet date (April 30, 2016) employed a workforce of 6,761 employees. In the 2015/16 financial year, the Group posted revenues of EUR 1,356.5 million. The Zumtobel Group is based in Dornbirn in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. For further information, please visit

About zactrack
Zactrack® is an automatic “follow-spot-system” for open air events, theatre stages and studios. Performers of any number are located via radio signals and recorded in a 3D computer model. zactrack is responsible for the precise alignment and automatic control of all spotlights and special effect devices. The system relies on ultra wide band technology to locate the performers. zactrack also develops software for dynamic lighting and media controls for theatre, TV and industrial use. The company’s most important international customers include the Zumtobel Group, Red Bull, BMW, Audi, PRG (USA), Holiday on Ice (Netherlands), Cinelux (Spain) and many others. In 2015, zactrack won a national price for multimedia and eBusiness in the “Entertainment and Gaming” category for its product “zactrack – Interactive Ice-Hockey Entertainment”.