The Lipizzaner Horses of Sambata, Transylvania, Romania
> Lipizzaner was the Royal horse of the Austrian Empire
> Sambata is the largest Lipizzaner studs farm in Europe.
> You can enjoy performances or learn how to ride.
> It is located in an amazing mountain are at the foot of the Transylvanian Alps.
The ancestors of the Lipizzan can be traced to approximately A.D. 800. Sambata de Jos is today the largest Lipizzaner studs farm in Europe. You can enjoy the horses performing for their audience for over an hour every day. You can also take a ride with a carriage in the mountain areas of Fagaras. Training sessions for beginners are also available at location while the old Brukenthal castle - part of the complex - is a beautiful landmark visited by the travelers.
The Lipizzaner ("Lipitan" in Romanian) is a breed of horse closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria where the finest representatives demonstrate the haute ecole or "high school" movements of classical dressage, including the highly controlled, stylized jumps and other movements known as the "airs above the ground." The Lipizzan breed dates back to the 16th century, when it was developed with the support of the Austrian Habsburg nobility. The breed takes its name from one of the earliest stud farms established.
The earliest predecessors of the Lipizzan originated in the 7th century when Barb horses were brought into Spain by the Moors and crossed on native Spanish stock. By the 16th century, when the Habsburgs ruled both Spain and Austria, a powerful but agile horse was desired for both military uses and for use in the fashionable and rapidly-growing riding schools for the nobility of central Europe. This breed of horses is known for being very strong and resistent and their performances are well known all around the world. They live for up to 30 years and the environment, food and water are crucial for their health. Lots of studs from Sambata de Jos were awarded at international competitions.
During World War I the horses were evacuated. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up, with Lipica (the home town of the breed) becoming part of Italy. Thus, the animals were divided up between several different studs in countries from the former empire. As Transylvania was for centuries part of the Austrian Empire, lots of animals ended up near Sibiu, in Tara Fagarasului land, at Sambata de Sus where a Lipizzaner studs farm already existed since 1874.
Sambata studs farm
A lipitan from Fagaras Land might cost over 70k euro. The 300 studs cost millions of euro. The horses are fed with natural ingeredients at Bruckenthal stables, built over a century ago. They drink from the pure water of Sambata valley and enjoy wide spaces (over 4 sq km) at over 800m altitude. The temperature is generally cold while in the summer it never goes beyond 28C. Over 40 people are hired to take care of the horses; the horses need to eat nine times per day and have several training sessions daily.