UNESCO award for Austrian ambassadors
The century-old breeding of white horses at a Spanish stud farm in Austria has been acknowledged with a UNESCO cultural heritage award. The Lipizzaner Stud Farm of Piber received the award for its orally transmitted traditions and local knowledge – which in Austria is regarded as more important than historic buildings.
The Austrian minister of agriculture and environment Andrä Rupprechter was the first to congratulate the stud farm and the Spanish Riding School: “The thorough knowledge about breeding, rearing and training of the oldest cultural horse breed in Europe forms the basis of the Lipizzaner’s and the Spanish Riding School’s worldwide success. The UNESCO award is not only an honour, but it is also our duty to preserve this heritage for generations to come. Today the Lipizzaner horses are Austria’s living landmark and their role as noble ambassadors serves as a splendid example of the ‘Best of Austria’.”
Governor of Styra Hermann Schutzehofer added: “The Lipizzaner horses are the most important ambassadors of Austrian tradition and therefore also establish identity in the region. Piber is of the highest importance for Styria, too, since as a popular destination it significantly contributes to our success of the Green Heart of Austria.”
The Lipizzaner horse is the oldest cultural horse breed in Europe and the only representative horse breed, which since the Renaissance has been bred continuously according to traditional manner. The basis is a thorough knowledge about horse breeding, rearing and training which for more than 400 years has been preserved and transmitted in an oral tradition from generation to generation.
The Lipizzaner horses are regarded as the most important ambassadors of Austrian tradition.