The world-famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna are touring the UK.
In 1925 in Belin, the Spanish Riding School of Vienna undertook its first tour, under the tutelage of Rudolf Count van der Straten. Since then, the School has performed across the world, wowing audiences with their exceptional skill and High School of Classical Horsemanship.
And, while the performances themselves are an amazing feat to behold, the work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes is equally impressive. Every single detail regarding transportation, food, storage and animal welfare is carefully structured and planned before each and every tour.
Approximately six tons of equipment, including repair materials, uniforms, feed, saddles, grooming equipment and supplies, are stored in 90 huge touring boxes and safely transported to each venue ahead of the horses’ arrival.
The stallions themselves travel in groups of six to make sure breeding lineage is preserved at all times and they only travel in specially tailored horseboxes. These state-of-the-art boxes are kitted out with the latest video surveillance, pneumatic suspension and special footing which ensures that the horses’ joints are not strained and that the animals are comfortable during their journey. The stallions are also accompanied by their grooms and the Senior Stable Master.
“We even take along the stallions’ special muesli, so that we don’t risk upsetting their digestion with a sudden change in feed” says Senior Stable Master Johannes Hamminger. “Every week the stallions feed on approximately 500 kg of muesli. Hay, oats and straw in the order of one to two tons per week and of course apples and carrots are supplied at each venue. All this needs to be arranged well in advance of the horses’ journey.”
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