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The father of all dressage

The Lipizzaner stallions, an aristocratic horse that dates back to the 8th century, are coming to the Nevada County Fairgrounds on Sunday.

More than 25 million people have seen the famous breed of horses since they began touring the world 38 years ago.

“Many horses and riders were brought from Europe to perform in this unique family-oriented arena attraction,” according to the show’s promoters.



The show features 12 to 14 horses in a two-hour performance, with an intermission.

“The modern Lipizzaner was first bred in 1580 by the Hapsburgs – the Royal family of the Austro-Hungarian Empire,” states the Lipizzaner Society of Great Britain.




The horse is named after the village of Lipizza (now spelled Lipica) in Slovenia, and the horse has a long life span of more than 30 years.

Gen. George Patton is credited with helping to rescue the horses in Vienna in April 1945 during World War II.

Lipizzaner stallions are featured in a Walt Disney movie called “The Miracle of the White Stallions.”

Q&A with trainer, David Jay

Q: I understand you have a local connection.

A: Yes, I lived in Grass Valley from 1990-2000, off Garden Bar Rd.

Q: How did you get to be a trainer, especially of these special horses? How long doing it?

A: I originally got a job as a rider in this show in 1970. After many years, I became a trainer.

Q: What is the most important thing for us to keep in mind about Lipizzaners as we watch them perform?

A: That they are stallions first and foremost and very aggressive. They were bred to be this way for 550 years.

Q: Is there a time the public can drop by to see them up close and personal – in their stalls, being groomed?

A: The public is not permitted that close due to the reason stated above….and also, due to insurance reasons.

-Pam Jung


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