The Austrian Mint (Muenze Osterreich) has released a new silver coin commemorating 450 years since the formation of what is now the world’s oldest riding academy, the Spanish Riding School. Called “Spanish” because its horses originated in the Iberian Peninsula in the 16th century, they now train beautiful Lipizzaner stallions, a cross between Spanish, Arabian and Berber horses.
Legally independent since 2001, but still wholly owned by the Austrian Federation, the school is charged with continuing the breeding of Lipizzaners,, and with preserving the High School of Classical Horsemanship. These magnificent white horses are trained to perform from four years old and have names like Conversano Calcedona, Neapolitano Allegra, and Maestoso Virtuosa. You can read more about this Vienna-based organisation on their website.
The coin itself is a fine design, you certainly couldn’t say the mint has failed to capture the essence of what the Spanish Riding School does on either of its sides. The coin was designed by two of the Austrian Mints top artists, Thomas Pesendorfer and Herbert Wahner, between them responsible for some superb entrants in such series as Prehistoric Life, Federal Provinces, Niobium, and the recent award-winning Klimt and His Women, as well as the iconic Philharmonic bullion coin.
Available to order now from the Austrian Mint website for €45, it will start to ship from 18 February 2015 and comes in the standard little red box that the mint uses for most releases.