Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi gifted rare stallion by Austrian riding school

The school performed the White Ballet, a classical dressage show dating back to the 18th century, at Emirates Palace

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi has received a prized Lipizzan stallion at a performance by Vienna’s renowned Spanish Riding School.

The school gave Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the 10-year-old stallion to celebrate its first display in the Middle East at Emirates Palace.

Sheikh Mohamed watched the White Ballet, a classical dressage show that dates back to the 18th century, alongside Sebastian Kurz, the Chancellor of Austria.

Mr Kurz, Europe's youngest leader, held talks with the Crown Prince on Saturday and was present when an agreement was signed to expand a petrochemical deal with Adnoc.

The Spanish Riding School frequently performs overseas.

Although originating from the region of Lipica in Slovenia, the Lipizzan breed also has both Spanish and Arab blood.

Sheikh Mohamed said he was honoured to accept the stallion, which will always be treasured as a symbol of the UAE and Austria’s “unique relationship”.

"Horsemanship and equestrian practices are deeply rooted within Middle Eastern and Arab culture and have formed key part of our identity throughout the decades, where they have always been closely associated with our heritage and civilization,” Sheikh Mohamed said.

"I would also like to express my pride of the strong relationship that both the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Austria hold. For so long, the two countries and their people have been sharing trust and faith in one another, and we look forward to seeing this relationship prosper further and reach even higher standards as time goes on.”

Mr Kurz, who arrived in the UAE at the weekend for a trip that is hoped will deepen bilateral economic and cultural relations between the countries, said the gift was a simple expression of gratitude towards the strength of those ties.

The Spanish Riding School will perform public performances at Emirates Palace on Sunday and Monday.

Updated: March 24, 2019 01:54 PM


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