Queen leaves horse at home

The Queen has decided the horse she was presented with yesterday (22.10.08) should remain in Slovenia.

The royal equine enthusiast, who is on a state visit in the central European country, was given a rare Lipizzaner horse as she toured a stud farm and riding school in Lipica.

After the queen accepted a plaque acknowledging ownership, she insisted it would be “more humane” for Kanizo to continue being cared for at the centre.

The centre’s director Matjaz Pust proudly said: “The horse is one of our best performers, one of the most beautiful horses we have. The queen took to Kanizo immediately.”

Kanizo – full name 085 Favory Canissa XXII – is one of only 9,000 Lipizzaners in the world.

Despite his superior pedigree, the 16-year-old stallion was spooked by the crowd of photographers who lined up to take pictures of his new owner.

The horse reared up on his hind legs as the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh walked past.

During her visit to the stud farm – which breeds Lipizzaners for the prestigious Spanish Riding School in Vienna – the 82-year-old monarch was treated to an impressive display by eight white Lipizzaners, who paraded around the showground.

The queen later returned to the country’s capital Ljubljana where thousands of Slovenians greeted her.

The royal couple are next scheduled to travel to Slovakia to meet President Ivan Gasparovic.