The Lipizzan horse has a long history. It is said that in ancient times the Romans bred their ancestors for chariot races and that during the Middle Ages the knights favoured them as warrior horses. Where does the name Lipizzan come from? In 1580 the archduke Carl II of Austria founded the stud farm in the town of Lipizza (Lipica). At that time Lipica belonged to the Habsburg empire (Austria) and today it is located in Slovenia. Nowadays Lipizzan horses are bred all over the world, even in South Africa. This is no surprise because the Lipizzan is a virtuous, patient, noble, faithful and beautiful horse and therefore beloved by everyone.
They are versatile horses and are used for horse and carriage as well as for horseback riding. They are good for classical dressage or as pleasure horses and have proven themselves on off-road trails. Because the Lipizzan horses originated from mountainous regions, they prosper in a continental climate and tolerate large temperature and weather fluctuations. In extreme weather conditions they are sometimes sheltered in stables.
The Lipizzan is a Baroque-type horse and became famous through the Spanish Riding school in Vienna. They have the Genes of original Iberian horse breeds, the ancestors of PRE of the Andalusian
In Romania the State stud of Simbata de Jos near Fagaras contributed greatly to the proliferation of this breed. This stud was originally Hungarian and founded by the noble von Bruckenthal family in the 18th century. The Lipizzanhorses that were bred here had a similar appearance to their Hungarian relatives. In the Romania breeding you not only find the traditional white and grey versions of the Lipizzan, but also black, dun, chestnut and roan colours. By the way all Lipizzan foals are born dark and become white only after seven to eight years when they receive their definite colour. Some of them remain black or one of the other colours. The stallion up front in the Spanish Riding School is mostly black like our Neapolitano 26-2. Their height measures at about 1.58 m’s (15.2 hands). There is a tendency to breed larger horses to which the Merlelor stud has devoted itself as well.
Every Lipizzan in Romania is named after the lineage of the father and every foal receives two brands (father and mother) for identification and proof of its line of descent from a pure race. Branding is obligatory in Romania and not a painful procedure. Nowadays horses are also chipped.
The Lipizzan has six classical dynasties: Conversano, Favory, Maestoso, Neapolitano, Pluto and Siglavy. In Romania there are two additional stallion lines, the Tulipan and Incitato. The latter have almost become extinct, but happily Merlelor has acquired a beautiful Incitato breeding mare, called Diorissimo.