Thursday, March 17, 2011

Director of the Spanish Riding School joins LANA Board of Directors

Mrs. Elisabeth Guertler, the Managing Director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, has joined the LANA Board of Directors.

It is an understatement to say that Mrs. Guertler is a remarkable and accomplished woman. She is an experienced equestrienne and was a member of the Austrian Dressage Team before retiring from riding. For many years she was Chair of the Vienna Opera Ball. Mrs. Guertler and her family own and manage the Hotel Sacher in Vienna and Hotel Sacher in Salzburg. She continues to enlarge and expand the family holdings of this prestigious and elegant hotel business.

LANA has always maintained a strong international profile. We continue our close relationship with the Spanish Riding School and the Piber Stud Farm, as well as with the Lipizzan International Federation (LIF). LANA, through its original organization, the Lipizzan Association of America, was the first American Lipizzan organization recognized by the Lipizzan International Federation. LANA's studbook is the only USA or North American book recognized by the LIF.

The current LANA Board now has three Directors who are tied closely to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna:

  • former Director Jaromir Oulehla (who served as Director from 1983 to 2001),
  • current Director Elisabeth Guertler (who assumed management of the School in 2007),
  • former First Chief Rider Johann Riegler.

We are all very excited that Mrs. Guertler has chosen to join LANA in supporting and perpetuating the Lipizzan breed across North America. We will all benefit from her valuable advice and guidance.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year Greeting from LANA

Dear Fellow LANA Members:

A new year is beginning and we are again looking forward to spring, with rebirth and, for a fortunate few, foals on the way. Again we are grateful to have had these magnificent horses touch our lives, and again we are reminded of our responsibility to insure the perpetuation of this historic breed and of their critical pedigree records.

This new year will bring some excitement to the LANA community:

  • Gary Lashinsky, a member of LANA's Board of Directors and President /Producer of Lipizzaner Stallions, hopes to bring the Spanish Riding School of Vienna back to North America soon for another series of performances. We will keep you informed of when and where the SRS will appear and what associated events LANA will plan. Gary just returned from Bahrain where his horses were invited to perform for the King. We are so pleased that one our Directors continues to bring Lipizzan performances to appreciative audiences around the world.
  • LANA has been working toward having the pedigree records available online, through a secure website, so that members may log in to review current pedigree information for breeding purposes or for researching bloodlines. LANA has available, not just currently registered purebred and partbred horses, but all known horses born in or imported into North America, Get of Sire, Produce of Dam, DNA data, and an AKA list for horses whose names were changed from their European form.
  • LANA has interesting new historical articles planned for its Haute Ecole newsletter.
  • In addition to the website and blog, LANA has added a Facebook page, designed and managed by Samantha Martel.
  • LANA has expanded its online store with new Lipizzan-related merchandise, including several newly available classic books. Please revisit the store:
  • LANA continues to represent Lipizzan competitors through its involvement as an Affiliate Member of the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation).
  • The LFA (the Lipizzan Federation of America) will continue in its present form, as an organization of three organizations (LANA, ALBA, USLR) which represents North America to the LIF (the Lipizzan International Federation). Though an attempt to change the LFA into a member organization has failed, there is no change in our interaction with the international community, nor is there any change in the international recognition of our pedigrees. LANA is a member of the Lipizzan International Federation. LANA’s studbook is recognized by the LIF and remains part of the LIF records. All LANA registered Lipizzans are recognized by the LIF.

Any LANA member who would like to become more involved in the organization's activities, or business operation, or in the governance of LANA, please just speak up. Your involvement is welcome and appreciated. Let us know what you would like to do.

LANA wants to continue to meet the needs of our members. Our primary focus as a breed registry has always been the horses, and the maintenance of accurate, verifiable pedigree data in order to preserve and promote the Lipizzan breed in North America and abroad.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from LANA's Board of Directors

Dr. Delphi Toth:

Gary Lashinsky:

John Nicholas Iannuzzi, Esq.:

Melody Hull:

Sandra Heaberlin:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LANA has been forced to withdraw from negotiations

From the outset of negotiations to form the LFA, LANA has found itself continually fighting an up-hill battle on disadvantageous terrain. This difficulty stems partly from the fact that while there are three divisions equally casting votes in decision making (USLR, LANA, and ALBA) , there are, in actuality only two membership organizations (USLR and LANA), while ALBA, an evaluation-dedicated organization representing little, if any, membership base, casts its voting power in lock-step with USLR.

This unequal playing field exhibits itself in almost every position taken by the Interim Board. The most recent example is the attempt to select a database program to be utilized for the registration of horses. The process has dragged on for months, mainly because no matter what suggestions are made by any Board Member, the USLR faction - inclusive of members of ALBA - insists on carrying the day, insists that its suggestions are superior. When solutions to questions are finally in sight, more questions are posed, more resistance is thrown into the balance. At one point, cost became the sole issue, with questions posed directed solely to cost or purchase, cost of upkeep. When LANA advised that it's program - already owned by LANA, accessible by any number of authorized persons without the need to purchase additional licenses or copies and demonstrably more economic than the USLR program - USLR voiced the objection "we don't believe" the numbers, and another log-jam was formed, a continuation of the search for a solution.

When a number of questions were posed by the Interim Board in a hope to resolve the difficulties, before answers can even be interposed to the specific questions, USLR members unilaterally pose new, additional, unauthorized-by-the-Board questions - supported by USLR Board members as an attempt to move the process along.

How can a process move along when any step forward is followed by extending the road. The only moving of the process along results when LANA slogs its way through the continually new impediments, always winding up with the insistence of the USLR faction to do it the USLR way or no way.

It has been, and continues to be, a losing battle of trying to keep LANA’s voice heard, trying to equitably resolve issues on a rational basis, whichever side is favored by the result, while other Board Members insist on their way, their methods, their systems, regardless of the factual reality of the circumstances - the latest example, significant costs (USLR) versus no costs (LANA) in the registration programs; despite the objectively-real price distinction, USLR continues to battle for its program on the school-yard basis of "we don't believe" the facts. Even this evening, in the hours before an Interim LFA Board Meeting, the assault on LANA's honesty continues, with emails from Muffin Smith indicating that she conducted a personal pseudo-investigation of the Alpha Five Program, and she again insists that she does not believe LANA's report that the cost of LANA's database program to the LFA is $0. This is at least the fifth time that Muffin has directly accused LANA of lying; this accusatory behavior is unprofessional, intolerable, inappropriate and unacceptable.

Unfortunately for Unification, there have been months and months of bickering without progress, bogged down in obstructionist tactics apparently intended to obtain one result or to sabotage the process.

Well, in a manner of speaking, these tactics have achieved their purpose. There is no progress, the Board cannot control members of the organizations, cannot organize or achieve its goals, cannot direct sub-committees, without obstructionists vociferously insisting on continuing their refusal to agree on anything but the USLR way or the highway.

In November 2008 there was a resolution of the LFA Interim Board citing 23 steps toward consolidation, all to be completed by June 2009. Yet here we are, in late December 2010, 18 months past that "final" date, and work has not progressed beyond step #10 of the 23 steps. Remaining and incomplete, or not even begun, are a Transition and Election Plan, a Financial Plan, Asset Conveyance, a Database Plan, and a Plan to Run the LFA Office. All that has been accomplished is a Resolution to Commit, a Resolution concerning the 23 Steps, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Rules, all largely completed in 2008. The pace has been glacial but has now ground to a halt over use of a computer program. Continuing in this manner is pointless.

Thus, LANA wishes to withdraw from this vortex of confusion, derision, and obstruction in favor of continuing to function independently on its own, regardless of whether others agree or disagree. Everyone is entitled to their own view, their own comfort level.

We thank you for the opportunity of participating in the attempt at Unification and regret that more result and less clangor was not possible to achieve.

The LANA members of the Interim LFA Board:
John Nicholas Iannuzzi
Gary Lashinsky
Delphi Toth

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Death of LANA Director, John Gliege

John G. Gliege, Esq.
Founding Member of the Lipizzan Association of North America
Founding Member of the Lipizzan Pedigree Trust
August 3, 1948 – February 21, 2010

After a short battle with pancreatic cancer, John G. Gliege, 61, passed away with his family by his side at his home near Flagstaff, Arizona.  

John was a loved and trusted leader in the Lipizzan community, sharing with all of us his deep historical and cultural knowledge of the Lipizzan and of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He appreciated the Lipizzans and the traditions surrounding their breeding, training and performance.
He worked tirelessly in the pedigree and registry organizations that help preserve the purebred Lipizzan, serving on the Boards of Directors and providing wise counsel.            
The world is a little less sparkling today, without the joyfulness of John's presence.  We miss him.  
A memorial service will be held at St. Pius Church (San Francisco Di Asis Parish) in Flagstaff, AZ on Saturday, February 27 at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in John’s name to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network ( or in support of the family to “RLR” at Chase Bank (account #: 122100024-643458011).  
On a personal note, I have copied below my letter to John's children.  John was a good friend with wonderful personal qualities and quirks:   
"Dear Gerhardt, Stephanie, and Kristine, 

"How sad that your Father did not live into his 90s as your grandfather did, living longer so he could spend more time with each of you, and enjoy seeing you all find continuing personal and professional satisfaction as your lives unfolded. He was so delighted that you each became strong and independent people, happy in your pursuits, and happy in your chosen lives.  

"He called me as he was leaving the hospital after stopping all treatment, so happy to be going home, and enjoying the spectacle to come of the paramedics carrying him, like an ancient potentate, up the stairs at his home to his room. It is nice that he was able to depart with you all there, on his terms.  

"I will miss his almost daily late night calls while he was driving home from Phoenix. He was always so happy I was still awake at midnight or 2:30 Eastern time, never thinking that I was awake only because the phone was ringing. He was so filled with enthusiasm after an evening of ballroom dancing lessons, planning what exuberant clothing he would wear in the next competition, and enjoying the companionship of his dancing friends. He was especially delighted by his bright red formal suit and the effect its appearance had on his admirers. Talking about his evening's dancing seemed to prolong his terpsichorean enjoyment throughout his drive home; I was only a cooperative listener.
"The world is a little less sparkling today, without the joyfulness of your father. I am glad I was able to know him. My heart goes out to you----you had a great Dad.  

Delphi "

Friday, February 5, 2010

LANA Selected by US Equestrian Federation

We are pleased to be able to announce that the Executive Committee of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has chosen our organization, the Lipizzan Association of North America, to be an Affiliated Association.

We at LANA are proud to have been chosen to represent the Lipizzan breed. The USEF has more than 90,000 members and recognizes 120 Affiliated Associations.

This recognition as an Affiliated Association is the first step toward being able to promote the Lipizzan horse through USEF national shows and competitions.

Our next step is to compile and submit competition rules for the Lipizzan Breed to the USEF for inclusion in the USEF Rule Book. Anyone interested in helping to put these rules together is welcome to contact any members of LANA's Board of Directors to become part of the Show/Competition Committee.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Loss of LANA Board Member, Tom Hull

Tom Hull, LANA Board Member and Registrar of Pedigrees  
March 29, 1948 - Nov. 26, 2008

Tom was an absolute treasure
for those of us in the Lipizzan horse community.
He gave of himself and of his time with good spirits, integrity,
and a sense of fun and adventure.
He was devoted to compiling accurate pedigrees, with endless patience in investigating the confusing and sometimes contradictory international records, and he created a comprehensive data base to share with all Lipizzan owners.
We will miss his booming laugh, his sweet smile, and his warmth.
Months ago, Tom and Mel told his fellow Lipizzan Board members that he was ill, but he continued his activities with his usual good spirits,
even participating in our annual meeting less than 2 weeks ago.
No one can replace him in our small community; he was unique.
Our thoughts are with Mel
as we mourn the loss of Tom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lipizzans Perform for President Bush at EU Meeting in Slovenia

AP photo by Filip Horvat

White House photo by Shealah Craighead

On June 10, 2008, Lipizzans from the Lipica Stud Farm Riding School performed the eight horse musical Quadrille for President George W. Bush, the first American President to watch a Lipizzaner performance in more than 20 years.
President Bush was in Kranj, Slovenia for the United States-European Union Meeting at the Grad Brdo near Ljubljana. The Renaissance style Grad (Castle) Brdo was first built in 1510 by a Carniolan aristocrat who was General Administrator of Habsburg private estates in the Duchy of Carniola, long a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Grad Brdo is now an international diplomatic conference center in democratic Slovenia.
President Bush joins President Ronald Reagan as the only two recent Presidents who have been horse enthusiasts and appreciative of the remarkable Lipizzaners.
Kudos to President Bush for respecting the Lipizzaners and their riders enough to demure when urged to ride one of the stallions.

White House photo by Eric Draper

AP photo by Filip Horvat

White House photo by Shealah Craighead

White House photo by Chris Greenberg

AP photo by Filip Horvat

for a brief video of this event, go to:  
President Bush & Slovenian Lipizzaners