Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Slovenia gives Britain's queen a Lipizzaner horse

"Slovenia gave Britain's queen a prized Lipizzaner stallion during her visit to this Alpine nation Wednesday — but she won't be taking the horse home to meet the rest of the royal menagerie.

The 16-year-old horse, 085 Favory Canissa XXII, is so precious to the identity of this tiny nation of 2 million that Queen Elizabeth II decided to leave him in the care of the Lipica stud farm in western Slovenia. The meticulously trained horses are known for being able to perform highly stylized prancing, jumps and other moves.

'He's a real stallion: Sometimes, he cannot concentrate on training because he thinks about mares all the time,' said the horse's chief trainer, Igor Maver.

The symbolic gift becomes another addition to a tradition of feathered, furry or four-legged presents. In the past, the royals have been given sloths, tortoises, pygmy hippopotami — among other creatures.

Most end up in zoos and sanctuaries — so it seems fitting the latest addition will remain back at the stud farm for horses so ingrained in the national culture their image is stamped on coins."

Source: Associated Press

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