The Spanish Riding School in Vienna will tour the UK next autumn, as the world’s oldest equestrian academy celebrates its 450th anniversary.
The institution will perform at six exclusive new shows in London and Birmingham, hosted by TV presenter and British Dressage ambassador Nicki Chapman in November.
The shows will feature the famous white Lipizzaner stallions performing their in-hand work and movements above the ground, such as the “capriole” — an upward leap with a kick — and the “courbette” — a neat rear with the horse hopping forward.
Host Nicki said that the Spanish Riding School tours are “rare and exceptional”.
“I’m lucky enough to have been involved in the UK tours and the experience will stay with me for the rest of my life,” she said.
“I’ve witnessed these graceful horses thrilling crowds with their astonishing combination of elegance and power. This is an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these most celebrated horses performing in the UK during their momentous 450th anniversary.”
The Spanish Riding School has double reason to celebrate this landmark, as its art and horsemanship has been admitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) world heritage list for cultural heritage (4 December).
The tradition of the classical art of riding and the High School of Horsemanship of the Spanish Riding School was proposed alongside 34 other artistic forms and traditions for this year’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. It was admitted, alongside 23 other customs, by the intergovernmental committee after an intensive evaluation process.
Tour dates: at the SEE Arena, Wembley — Friday, 11 November 2016, 7.30pm; Saturday, 12 November, 7.30pm; Sunday, 13 November, 3pm; at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham — Friday, 18 November, 7.30pm; Saturday, 19 November, 7.30pm; Sunday, 20 November, 3pm.
Tickets are now on sale at a cost of £27.50-£67.50. Visit: www.spanishridingschoollive.com/tours