ZAGREB, 22 Sept (Hina) – Times are hard and breeding Lipizzaner horses is becoming increasingly difficult, so we have decided to form a national federation in order to protect our own interests and those of the Lipizzaner breed, leaders of the Croatian federation of Lipizzaner breeders said at a press conference on Thursday.
The press conference was held on the occasion of the founding assembly held last week, and the 54 members of the founding assembly included representatives of 16 associations and private breeders.
“There is a clear interest and need for the federation among the breeders, and we expect that more associations and breeders will join us”, said Antun Medvidović, Lipizzaner breeder from Sikirevci.
According to the annual report of the Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food, a total of 2,243 heads of Lipizzaner horses were registered in Croatia last year.
Small and large Croatian private breeders and owners of Lipizzaner horses account for 89% of domestic breeding. The majority of Croatia’s Lipizzaner breeding takes place in four Slavonian counties – Brod-Posavina (546), Osijek-Baranja (580, of which 167 are owned by the State Stud Farm Đakovo), Vukovar-Srijem (519) and Poћega-Slavonia (169, of which 80 are owned by the State Stud Farm Lipik).
The tradition of Lipizzaner horse breeding in Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem was inscribed in the Register of Croatian Cultural Heritage in 2017. The register includes Slavonski Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Vukovar-Srijem and Poћega-Slavonia counties as locations of cultural heritage.
At the session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage on 1 December 2022, the tradition of Lipizzaner horse breeding was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The inclusion of Lipizzan horse breeding traditions on the list of intangible cultural heritage covers Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Lipizzaner horse breed was bred in the Lipica stud farm (now the Republic of Slovenia), after which the breed was named. The stud farm was founded by the Austrian Archduke Charles II in 1580 for the purpose of breeding carriage and riding horses for the needs of the Vienna Court.
The establishment of the stud farm launched the formation of the Lipizzan breed, one of the oldest horse breeds in Europe, whose characteristics have been perfected through careful selection.