On December 1st, during the 17th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Rabat/Morocco, Lipizzan horse breeding traditions were included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Knowledge of Lipizzaner breeding was included in the list in all eight countries that submitted the multinational application: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The entries in the national registers in their national language:
- Austria – Lipizzaner breeding
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Tradicija uzgoja lipicanskog konja
- Croatia – Tradicije uzgoja lipicanaca
- Hungary – A lipicai lótenyésztés Magyarországon
- Italy – La tradizione dell’allevamento del Cavallo Lipizzano
- Romania – Traditia cesterii cailor lipitani
- Slovakia – Chov plemena koni Lipican
- Slovenia – Tradicije reje lipicancev
The intangible heritage includes the knowledge, practices and skills related to the breeding and rearing of Lipizzaners. The breeding is still based on the principles of the former Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the second half of the 18th century. It is a centuries-old development of social practices and cultural expressions that are still part of modern equestrian sports, customs and celebrations. All countries identify with the primary purpose of Lipizzaner breeding: based on carefully documented experience and knowledge of the development of the breed, it serves classical dressage and modern equestrian sports. In some countries, where the Lipizzaner was a working animal in communities of the rural areas, this role was included. Lipizzan horses are included in events, celebrations and festivities and have a strong symbolic role. The horses also play a key role in therapeutic riding and sustainable tourism.
Knowledge about the development of the breed, expertise and practical experience are prerequisites for systematic breeding, daily practices and routines, skills and abilities of horsemen, riders, team drivers and farriers for rearing and training Lipizzaners under the saddle and in front of the carriage.
The community, which preserves the traditions of Lipizzaner breeding, includes the state stud farms and private Lipizzaner breeders. In Slovenia we have the Association of Lipizzaner Breeders of Slovenia, which unites more than 80 members and about 600 Lipizzaners in total.
All Lipizzaner breeders are proud to be part of this cultural heritage!
The inscription on the list is like a “committment” to implement common measures to protect this intangible heritage! It proves the existence and importance of the intangible heritage as a set of knowledge, practices and skills related to breeding and raising Lipizzaners.
The multinational application for the nomination of the Lipizzan horse breeding tradition for inclusion in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO was prepared by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic (Špela Spanžel) in cooperation with representatives of the Lipica Stud Farm (Janez Rus, Mag.) and the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum.