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World’s oldest Lipizzaner stallion

Neapolitano Nima has impressed people from all over the world with his performances at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Now the white Lipizzan stallion has turned 40. It’s a special birthday because it’s an old age for a horse. And he’s still healthy. The former Spanish Riding School star was also never ill.



‘This horse has the genes you’d want for Lipizzans. Robustness, endurance, longevity, and intelligence, “says Rudolf Kuzmicki. He has edited a book to mark the birthday, because Neapolitano Nima is considered a century stallion. “Skill and nobility shape the Lipizzans, and in Neapoliano Nima they have found a world-famous figurehead.”


Neapolitano Nima spent most of his life at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, the oldest riding school in the world. Here, classical equitation has continued to be cultivated for more than 400 years, which is why the Riding School and the knowledge of the Lipizzan breeding are Unesco’s World Heritage Site. In the past, the Riding School was intended only for the nobility, hence the name. It is called the Spanish Riding School because the horses are of spanish origin. The noble, teachable horses came from Spain to the court in Vienna in the 16th century.


©HS_ASAblanca.com_René van Bakel


The white lipizzans of the Riding School are known worldwide. Because they can do something few horses can. Because of their compact and strong physique, they are particularly well suited for the exercises of classical equitation art with the highest degree of difficulty. You can visit the presentations in Vienna as a tourist.

©Spanisch Riding School, Herbert Graf

The figures of the high school come from the natural behaviour of the horses. Previously, they were also used in the war. In the capriole, the horse jumps into the air with all fours and kicks out backwards. So it could target attackers approaching the horse from behind.



©Spanisch Riding School, Herbert Graf

At the Courbette, the upright horse jumps several jumps on the hind legs. The figure comes from the basic gaits gallop.

The Grand Master of the Levade

“Neapolitano Nima is one of those famous white Lipizzan stallions. Especially with its levades, where the horse stands only on his bent hind legs and pulls the front legs to the chest. That was his specialty. ” There is no horse in the world that has been able to make better levades in the past hundred years, “says Rudolf Kuzmicki. The levade is the most difficult exercise in classical equestrian art that exists and needs enormous muscle strength. Many young stallions rise against each other in the pasture and demonstrate their courage. Under the rider, however, this is high art. “When you saw Neapolitano at the levade, you caught your breath,” Kuzmicki says, “you believed there’s a statue standing there.”

He is no longer performing. But apparently he has loved the auditions in front of an audience. ‘ There are few horses that know when applauded that it applies to them. Neapolitano knew this perfectly well and presented himself especially at the screenings in front of an audience. “



Neapolitano Nima in the Levade with Rider Rudolf Rostek (©SRS/René van Bakel)

40 years and still fresh and awake

Today Neapolitano Nima is retired and again at Piber Stud in Styria, Austria, where the Lipizzans are bred-where he, too, was born forty years ago on 11 April 1979.

Neapolitano with stud master Erwin Movia, march 2019 (©Sabrina_Mallick)

Neapolitano still has his own head. “Just as geniuses have,” Kuzmicki recounts. ‘ He’s got a very strong will. And if he doesn’t like someone, he shows that, too. If I go to visit him at stud, then I wait at the box door. I have respect for him, I wait until he comes to me. “



Foto ©Sabrina_Mallick

At 40, Neapolitano Nima is the oldest Lipizzan stallion registered with the LIF (Lipizzan International Federation).