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Two Women Make History at the Spanish Riding School Vienna

The 436-year-old equestrian institution, home of the famous white Lipizzan stallions, passes two female riders for the first time.

8-Sep-08

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Two female riders passed the entrance exam at the Spanish Riding SchoolReuters news service is reporting that for the first time in the history of the 436-year-old Spanish Riding School in Vienna, two female riders have passed the entrance exam there that may allow them to proceed up the ranks at the prestigious institution.

The Spanish Riding School is the world's oldest and only riding school that cultivates classical equitation. It owes its name to the Spanish horses that formed the foundation of the riding school in its early days; nowadays the school is known for its one-of-a-kind setting for training and presenting the famous white Lipizzan stallions that are so recognized around the world.

The two female riders, identified as an 18-year-old Briton and a 21-year-old Austrian, must now pass a one-month trial to train at the school, according to the Reuters report. If they pass, the new recruits will train for five years before they can ride in public on the Lipizzan stallions.

"There has never been a ban for women," Erwin Klissenbauer, the school's manager, told Reuters. The school has, however, had a masculine image because of its military background, he said.

The Spanish Riding School Vienna saw its first female management appointment in November 2007 when Elisabeth Gürtler took over to head the institution. It was the first time in the school’s history that it had ever been led by a woman.

 

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deb    somerset, AB

12/27/2010 1:25:04 AM

maria theresa, daughter of the king of the Habsburg Empire (&founder of the spaish riding school?) did some training at the spanish riding school in vienna austria before she became queen in the early 1700s

Annette    Hay6ward, CA

10/30/2008 1:27:57 PM

Great! It's about time!

Anna    Maple Grove, MN

9/10/2008 4:11:14 PM

Very cool!

d    d, ID

9/8/2008 11:25:50 PM

Wow, that is amazing. And they're so young too. I can't wait to see them riding the stallions in a few years. I hope they make it.

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