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Állami Ménesgazdaság Szilvásvárad
History of species
Brood mares
Sport horses
National Stud
Lipizzaner breed history

Lime- also known as linder or basswood, lipa, lipovec or lipica (pron. lipizza) in Slovene. The Slavs consider it a tree of life. The most widely spread in Europeis the beautiful, branchy silver lime (Tilia argentea), which can reach the age of 1,200 years and several meters around its trunk. The lime was worshipped as early a sin pagan tumes. Under its crowns, the Slovenes used to gather also the spiritual regularly, telling stories to each other or dancing.

The central village lime tree was nucleus of the place. A document from the second hald of the 15th century bears evindence that there was awine shop with a small lime tree, i.e. lipica, in front o fit in a little willage near Lokev. This is where the villagers gathered for a glass or two. It is said that the village was named ofter it, and the Stud Farm happens to bear the name of the village.

During the rule of Leopold I (1658-1705) and Joseph I (1707-1711), the emperors who were clearly insipred by the baroque style, Lipica developed into a central stud farm of the Habsurg monarchy.

The Karst horse was enobled by horsebrought from Spain, which were due to their nobleness, fieriness and beauty extremly highly esteemed at those times. Int he very first year three stalllions were brought from Spain. Int he following year. They were joined by another three selected stallions and twenty-four mares. For the needs of the farm, horses were bought in Spain int he ensuing years as well.

In 1735. Empreor Chalres VI built, in Vienna, a new, luxurious Spanish Riding School, whosebeginnings date back to the mid -16th century. From its opening onwards, Lipica horses were used in it, which gradually even totally prevailed there. Only those who proved most successful there were taken back home to Lipica as stallions -  father of new generations.


After the decline of horse breeding in Spain, horses needed at Lipica were brought from the upper Italioan Polesina as well as from other top breeds of the time: Neapolitan, Danish, German and those from Kaldruby, which was also a court stud farm. Back to the second half of the 18th century we track five of the six Lipica classical stallion lines, which have survived till this very day: Pluto, Conversano, Neapolitano, Maestoso, Favory.

The founding sires of these lines were: Original Danish stallion Pluto, grey , born 1765 at the Frederiksborg Royal Stud Farm, Neapolitan stallions Conversano Senior, black, born 1767, and Neapolitano Senior, brown, born 1770, Kladruby stallions Maestoso Senior, grey, born 1773, and Favory Senior, grey, born 1779, Arabian line Siglavy (with its origin from the 19th century) whose founding stallions was Siglavy Senior, grey, born 1810.


The data on the origin of most of the classical mare lines also came from this period:

Karst mares: Sardinia (mares of this family are called Betalka), Spadiglia (Monteaura in Lipica), Argentina (slava in Lipica).

Kladruby mares: Afrika, Almerina (Slavina, Samira at Lipica), Presciana/Bradamante (Bonadea at Lipica), Englanderia (Allegra at Lipica), Europa (Trompeta at Lipica), Capriola (not represented at Lipica), Rava (not represented at Lipica).

Kopcani mare: Stornella/Fistula (Steaka at Lipica), Ivanka/Famosa (Famosa at Lipica).

Danish mares: Deflorata (Capriola, Canissa at Lipica)

Arab mares: Gidrana (Gaeta, Gaetana at Lipica), Djebrin arab half-blooded mare (Dubovina at Lipica), Mercurio arab half-blooded mare (Gratiosa at Lipica), Theodorosta Arab half-blooded mare (Wera at Lipica).


The period of wars with Napoleon was hard and full of ordeals for the Lipica stud farm. From the danger of war, the entire Lipica herd ran from the Karst no less then three times, most often to Hungary, after its third escape, it took six years to return to home. Int he meanwhile, Napoleon donated Lipica to Marshal Marmont, while he in return, hired it out to some unscrupulus leasholders.

In order to freshen the blood, Arab horses began to be used at Lipica. Numerous Arab stallions gave the farm a perfect offspring: the Siglavy line that originated at that time has survived as the last of the classical stallion lines. Excelent descendants were also produced by Arab mares, and at that time the last classical generations of mares were formed.

In the 19th of century, the Lipica horses were well affirmed in the entire empire, not only in the military stud farm in Radautz, Mezőhegyes and Piber , but in numerous smaller stud farms founded by various proprietors in the Danubia area.

On new stud farms, where horses with greater or smaller share of Spanish blood were bred apart from Lipica horses, new lines and breeds were gradually created. The Mezőhegyes Stud Farm became richer for the Incitato line, Count Jankovic’s stud Farm at Terezovac for the Tulipan line. At the stud farms of Dakovo, Mezőhegyes adn Fogaras, numerous new breeds of mares evolved in  the course of time. In spite of it all, the influence of the Lipica Stud Farm prevailed int he breeding of its horses, and its breeding objectives were eventually assumed by all new stud farms.

In 1915, soon after the outbreak of the war, the Lipica Stud Farm was evacuated to Laxenburg near Vienna and its foals moved to Kladruby. After the war, the Karst and Lipica became part of Italy. The Czechoslovak Republic confiscated all Lipica horses kept at Kaldruby and in 1921 transferred thgem to the new Topolcanky Stud Farm in Slovakia. The Italian side demanded all 179 horses kept at Laxenburg. After some lenghty negotiations, the herd was split in half. Italy was given 107 horses, and on July 16th, 1919, they were returned to Lipica. On November 5th the Austrians moved the remaining 97 horses of the Lipica herd to Piber in Austria. From that time on Lipica colts used of the Riding School in Vienna were provided by the stud farm at Piber. The imperial Lipica Court Stud Farm ceased to exist.

After the was Lipica was taken over by the Italian War Ministry. Only a day after Italy’s surrender on September 8th, 1943, the Lipica Stud Farm was occupied by the Germans. On October 16th of the same year they evacuated all 179 horses to Hostau. ImageAt Hostoun, the Lipica horses from Yugoslav stae stud farms of Stancic and Krusedol, court stud farm Demir Kapija (Macedonia), Austrian stud farm Piber, Hungarian Babolna and Slovak Tapolcianky were also kept.

At the end of the war, the Germans evacuated, the Lipica horses from Houston to Schwarzenberg. Part of this herd was then transfarred to Mansbach, and the rest to Ried in Austria. The American oocupational forces passed part of the Lipica herd, together with archives, to Italy, while the other part belonged to the Austrians, who renewed the stud farm Piber. In 1947, the greater part of the Karst, and Lipica with it, was annexed to Yugoslavia. At the end of December 1947, a number of horses returned to Lipica. At the end of 1947, the Lipica Sutd Farm had 23 broodmares, with which a renewal of the Lipica herd could begin.Image

Int he years of 1948 and 1949, numerous Lipica horses, originating from the former stud farms ar Demir Kapija and Vukovar, were assigned to Lipica, as well as a few Arab horses from Vrbik. In 1952 Lipica yet again bought eleven studhorses ar Kutjevo, while later on it decided to purchase, for the need of renewing its herd, several horses from other Yugoslav republics – Dakovo, Karadjordjevo, Vucijak- as well as from Piber in Austria and the italian stud farm at Fara Sabina. By 1980, all classical lines of colts and most of the classical lines of mares were again represented in the Lipica herd. In 1991, Slovenia gained its independence.