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March 22nd, 2019
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria visited Abu Dhabi.
The first appearance of the Lipizzaners in the Middle East takes the stallions and their riders to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
On March 23rd, 2019, in the presence of the Royal family, a private performance took place in the park in front of the Royal Palace in an arena specially set up for the occasion. This was followed by two public screenings at 19.00 on the 24th and 25th March 2019 with tickets available.
After long preparations in Vienna and in close coordination with the organizers on site, it was possible to create a luxury hostel for the stallions on the grounds of the Emirates Palace: a princely reception awaited the white horses after their 7.5-hour flight on which they were accompanied by stable master Johannes Hamminger and their trusted grooms. On arrival well-equipped stables and special feed from home ensured perfect conditions. The journey took 36 transport crates and about four tons of equipment, including white deerskin saddles, gold bridles, velvet scallops and the famous birch whips together with the uniforms of the riders together with their bicorn hats.
Eight riders, including one chief rider, as well as 24 horses for six program points presented the performance in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the program items which included "All The Steps and Movements of the Classical School", the performance "Long Rein" and the famous school jumps Levade, Courbette and Capriole, the riders also presented the "Schoolquadrille" with eight stallions, which will demonstrate high dressage in a finely tuned choreography.
A tour to Abu Dhabi is something very special for the experienced team of the Spanish Riding School. For the first time in the more than 450-year history of this Viennese riding institution, the world-famous white stallions and their riders traveled to the Arab world. In a part of the world that is considered to be the cradle of the Arabian horse, it’s appropriate that the same blood also flows in the veins of the famous Lipizzaner.
The tour aims to strengthen visibility and foster relationships in a new and important market for Austria. On the one hand, high-calibre equestrian events - such as the highly-regarded Global Champions Tour - have been taking place in the Arab world for several years and on the other, more and more guests from the Emirates are visiting Austria, an important target audience for the Spanish Riding School.
"For the first time, the Spanish Riding School presents itself in a country with a century-long equestrian tradition that is world-famous for its horses. It makes me proud that in this spectacular setting we can show the unique riding skills of the Lipizzaners and our riders. As a world-class equestrian institution, we can therefore also be ambassadors of European history and Austrian cultural heritage in the Arab world, " says a delighted Sonja Klima, CEO of the Spanish Riding School.
The Spanish Riding School thanked the company Borealis AG for the support of this tour.