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What is the history of the Lippizaner Stallion shows?

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Quick Answer

The history of the Lippizaner Stallion begin as far back as the Hapsburg Monarchy in Europe where the Lipizzan horse was considered a "horse of royalty." These horses were bred selectively for 400 years and appeared in many different horse shows throughout the year in driving, competition dressage and classical horsemanship.

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Full Answer

The Hapsburg monarchy loved this breed of horse so much that it refused to allow anyone else to posses one. Until 1916, the monarchy was the only one with Lipizzan horses. At the start of World War I, the breeding horses were moved to a town nearer Vienna. After World War I, the Austrian-Hungarian empire was split into several different places and the breeding stock was divided by three new countries - some went to Italy, the republic of Austria and the Czechoslovakian state. States such as Yugoslavia and Rumania also joined in breeding.

The Lipizzan horses nearly faced extinction during World War II when all the horses from each country were transferred to Czechoslovakia by the Germans. However, the American army saw to it that the horses were confiscated and then returned back to their respective countries. In the 1930s and 1940s, the horse was imported to America and began breeding there as well. There are only 3,000 purebred Lipizzan horses left in the world, and those who breed the Lipizzan recognize its rarity, extraordinary beauty, romantic history and high intelligence. While rare, the horses compete in many shows and in many disciplines throughout the horse competition world.

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