2014 LIF General Assembly and SRS Autumn Academy

Note:  to see a summary and photos of each of these events go to www.lipizzan-online.com/

There is an exciting opportunity for USLF members to meet the larger Lipizzan world and see a beautiful part of Europe. The Lipizzan International Federation (LIF) is the umbrella organization for all Lipizzaner state studs and private breed organizations worldwide, including the USLF.  The LIF is planning two wonderful events this October! After reading the information below, you may want to combine them into an unforgettable experience.

LIF General Assembly

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On October 1st, the LIF held its General Assembly (GA) in Český Šternberk, Czech Republic about 25 miles SE of Prague along the E50 highway. The GA was held at the Parkhotel Český Šternberk facility. The Parkhotel has only 18 rooms so you can also stay in Prague. Accommodations in Prague are available at the Hotel U Prince which includes a restaurant. The Petřínské Terasy restaurant has been suggested as another place to eat.

SRS Autumn Academy

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The Spanish Riding School, the Training Center Heldenberg and Federal Stud Piber in cooperation with the Lipizzan International Federation are hosting an Autumn Academy 2014 from October 13 - 17, 2014.  All Lipizzan breeders, riders, owners and enthusiasts are invited to participate. You can find details of the program as well as links to hotels and attractions near all three sites here.  All presentations will be in both the English and German languages. The first two days will be at Training Center Heldenberg where Chief Rider Hausberger will present two topics: "The Correct Seat of the Rider" and "The Training of the Young Horse". Then, participants will move on to Federal Stud Piber where Dr. Dobretsberger will discuss Breeding and Dr. Druml will discuss the Bridge Project on the third day and Mr. Movia will teach the basics of carriage driving on the fourth day. The fifth day will be spent at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna where Rider Rostek will present the "Classical Art of Riding" which will include the School’s morning training session (non-public and public) as well as a visit the 70 “boys” in the stables of the Stallburg which was originally a nobleman’s palace. Participants must register by August 31, 2014 by emailing office@lipizzan-online.com. For information on this and other theoretical courses offered by the SRS, visit the SRS website.

Combining the LIF General Assembly and Autumn Academy

It is also possible to make a tour by combining the two events with side trips to see some other historic sites. Since it is generally cheaper to fly round trip to one location than to book a multi-destination flight, the best strategy might be to fly to Vienna and drive to the LIF meeting in the Czech Republic. Perhaps, arrive a few days early and enjoy Vienna first. Depending on the number of people you are travelling with, one can rent a car or mini bus (which will hold up to 9 people).

From Vienna, one can drive to Schlosshof in less than an hour as it is only 31 miles east of Vienna.  Originally built by Prince Eugene of Savoy (one of the most successful generals in Austrian history), today Schlosshof belongs to the Austrian government. During Emperor Franz Josef’s reign, Schlosshof housed the Austrian cavalry school’s training program for officers when Podhajsky was a student. Now, it presents the way of life on a manor during the Baroque era. In addition to the palace, formal gardens, Lipizzaner horses and exotic animals, one can see native Austrian breeds of horses and farm animals including riding horses and farm horse breeds such as the Noriker.

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Since Schlosshof is near the border with the Czech Republic’s city of Bratislava, it is easy to continue into the Czech Republic. You can drive on directly to Prague or Český Šternberk. If you have the time, you can make a detour NW to the village of Hostouň (better known to us by the German name Hostau) in Pilsen province. Hostau was the site where the Lipizzan herds were kept by the German army during World War II.

If you would like to combine the visit to Piber with seeing the summer home of the young Piber Lipizzaner in the Stubalpe region, it is a short drive from the city of Köflach, the nearest city to Piber. Some USLF members have stayed at Sportgasthof Lipp on Gaberl Mountain which is directly across the road from the summer pastures and driven to Piber from there rather than staying at a hotel in Köflach. The family that runs the inn does riding programs in summer and ski schools in winter so it may be possible to ride there too in October. Sportgasthof Lipp does not take credit cards so bring enough Euros in cash.

If you find that you need road maps to plan your routes after you arrive in Europe, that is no problem. There is a Freytag & Berndt store in downtown Vienna which has excellent maps and travel books. Just ask the reception desk at your hotel for directions to the store.

Other interesting options to include on a tour are a joint performance of the SRS and Vienna Boys’ Choir "A Tribute to Vienna" on October 9th and the famous Velká pardubická steeplechase race (first run in 1874) which is run in Pardubice, Czech Republic on the second Sunday of October which happens to be October 12th this year. Pardubice is 96 KM (60 miles) east of Prague. The LIF information says one can order tickets for the steeplechase race when you register for the GA. Another attraction in the Pardubice district is the Kladruber National Stud Farm in the village of Kladruby nad Labem which is 22 KM (14 miles) West of the city of Pardubice.

Additional relevant links:
http://www.parkhotelceskysternberk.cz/
http://www.petrinsketerasy.cz/
https://www.hoteluprince.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velk%C3%A1_pardubick%C3%A1
http://www.derheldenberg.at/