From PBS - At the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Lipizzaners and their riders have been keeping audiences in thrall for centuries. The school is a unique and elite university, where horses train for years to successfully execute supremely difficult maneuvers. Only a very few will master the artistic and athletic skills required to perform in this ancient court of kings. Those that do earn the right to sire the next generation of stars. The legendary breed can be traced back to the remarkable war horses the Moors of North Africa brought with them when they conquered Spain in 711. A successful fusion of Moorish and Iberian cultures led to a stunning new breed of horse - the Spanish horse - which became a highly-coveted showpiece in the stables of the aristocracy. From these bloodlines, the Austrian Hapsburg Archduke Charles created his own noble breed of horses - the Lipizzaners. Spend backstage time with the riders and their horses, the mares and their foals, learn the secrets...
Did You Know?
It is stated by the narration that in 711 AD the Moors conquered Spain. This is obviously meant to be understood as the Iberian Peninsula, whose historical name going back to the Romans was "Spain" (from Latin Hispania), and not the modern country of Spain. This convention is still used in English historiography today, when talking about the Iberian Peninsula prior to about 1500 AD. See more