The South African Lipizzaners



In 1944 a select few Lipizzaners were rescued from war-torn Europe and brought to South Africa by Count Jankovich-Besan. The stallions at Kyalami are direct descendants of those horses and their predecessors.

In 1951, Major George Iwanowski, a Cavalry Officer, left his native Poland to come to South Africa. He met Count Jankovich-Besan at the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg, visited his stud and was offered a Lipizzaner to train, and thus ‘Maestoso Erdem’ became the first Lipizzaner to be seen demonstrating High School Dressage movements.

It was then that the idea was born to have a team of Lipizzaner Stallions give performances similar to those of The Spanish Riding School in Vienna. So the training of the stallions began.

In 1960 Major George Iwanowski began developing his equestrian centre in Kyalami : he gradually built up a team of eight stallions, which travelled countrywide giving performances and in 1969 he built the first indoor hall in South Africa especially for their training, still our home today.

In 1971 Colonel Handler, then Chief of the Spanish Riding School, opened our first regular Sunday performance here. Major George Iwanowski was closely associated with the team from then onwards.

He eventually returned home to his native Poland and was awarded full military Honours as ‘Colonel’ on his 100th birthday in 2007. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 101. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for establishing the Lipizzaners here in South Africa.

The South African Lipizzaners is an NPC dedicated to the advancement of this proud cultural heritage and the preservation of this most ancient breed of horse.

Over the years, the South African Lipizzaners have become an integral part of South Africa's cultural heritage and often appear on film and television, at various public performances, as well as their regular Sunday morning shows.


from 280 reviews
"The seats can be cleaned or painted. We struggle to get tickets. The message said, "Sold Out". I had to sent a message to Quicket and they gave me another link to follow. Friends also tried to buy tickets and they got the same message, "sold out", they missed the performance. There were lots of empty seats. I am sure a lot of people get the wrong message when they want to book."
- Anonymous
"Even though it was pouring with rain, the show went on in a very professional manner. It was quite exquisite to see the Lipizzaners doing all sorts of movements. We enjoyed every moment even though it was the second time we have seen them. A real treat every time."
- Sheila
"Lipizzaners were wonderful! Hope they come every year. Ticket purchase was easy and my query to adjust my tickets was solved quickly and effectively. "
- Brenda Carstens
"A brilliant experience. Enjoyed every moment. "
- Heinrich
"Great show!! thank you!!"
- Dominique

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