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Horses, counts and queens Lipizzaner, a history spanning 500 years


With the arrival of the Acquaviva d'Aragona family in Conversano, and specifically Giulio Antonio I in 1456, a prestigious race of horses, called the Conversano breed, developed. 
The hilly lands of these noblemen were suitable for raising and breeding horses. The horses were most likely raised near Alberobello, Noci and on the border with Martina Franca, and not near Conversano. 
Toward the end of the 1400s, the Conversano counts suddenly became not only the most famous breeders in the kingdom, but also the best trainers of both war horses and transport horses. 
At this time, all the regents of the Kingdom of Naples depended on the Conversano counts to defend the kingdom's lands, not only because they were horse experts, but also because they had a large number of horses at their disposal. In 1580, the Archduke of Austria Carlo II founded the famous stud farm at Lipizza, near Trieste, where he moved his horses, in particular those coming from the Kingdom of Naples. In the mid- 1700s, Maria Teresa d'Austria officially named these horses Lipizzani. Their progenitor has been identified as the dark-coated Conversano horse.