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Title: Appreciating and evaluating the performances of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna
Author: Hebden, Una
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 779X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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The Spanish Riding School of Vienna has been selectively breeding and training horses for 450 years and is famous today for the presentation of classical equitation in its public performances. This thesis examines the performances of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna (SRS) and addresses the question of how these distinctive equestrian performances might be appreciated and evaluated. This question reveals the existence of two further threads of inquiry; firstly, a thread relating to performance aspects, such as, beauty and its experience, namely aesthetic inquiry, and secondly, one relating to the many ways in which we view and treat animals, and our moral responsibility to them, namely ethical inquiry. Ideals of beauty and our moral responsibilities toward animals are closely related to the political, social, cultural and religious values of a given time and as such are subject to change. Therefore a further line of inquiry is required to assist in our understanding the performances of the SRS and this is closely related to the historical traditions and values that underpin them. Therefore, I begin this investigation by exploring the historical background of classical equitation as practised at the SRS, to shed some light not only on how this type of equitation developed, but also on how the relationship between the horse and human has also developed from the initial use of the horse as a vehicle in battle, to the presentation of the horse in the performances that we see in Vienna today. In so doing, I argue that the historical practices and traditions in this case are both ethically, and aesthetically relevant.
Supervisor: Vassilopoulou, P. ; Kewley Draskau, J. ; Hailwood, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral