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 »  Home  »  Human Rights  »  Petition for unconditional return of Croatian Lipizzaners from Serbia
Petition for unconditional return of Croatian Lipizzaners from Serbia
By Prof.Dr. Darko Zubrinic | Published  08/20/2007 | Human Rights | Unrated
Stolen Croatian Lipizzaners starving in Serbia

Petition for unconditional

 return of stolen Croatian horses

Mr Antun Haramija, Mayor of the town of Lipik (on the right) signing the Petition. We invite you to do the same at the following web address:


Text of the Petition:


Civilian association 'Lijepa naša' - Lipik branch, in coordination with the main office in Zagreb, is organizing a petition of citizens and friends of Croatia under the motto "Let us end the agony of the CROATIAN LIPIZZANERS, the last of the wartime homeless, taken to Serbia in 1991. Let us bring them back home, with their offspring, to their home stable in Lipik!" 

Why exactly at this time? 

Because the negotiations on the return of the horses to Croatia, started "way back" in 1999., are still going on, and the final date of their return is still not in sight. The only evident fact is that the horses are starving and generally in bad condition. 

Considering the fact that the horses are our pride and national treasure, not making ones voice heard at such an important moment, and not stating ones opinion publicly would be a moral and national shame.

There are great moments in the history of a nation, but there are also great mistakes, mostly based upon political oversights or general lack of interest. 

We, signed upon this petition, are sending a message that we refuse to participate in this mistake!

We are therefore appealing to all the citizens of the Republic of Croatia, members of associations and societies for the protection and preservation of animals, state officials, politicians and church authorities who share our opinion, to make it publicly known by signing this petition. 


(original text of the Petition in Croatian)

Udruga "Lijepa naša" - grana Lipik u dogovoru sa središnjicom u Zagrebu organizira PETICIJU građana Republike Hrvatske i prijatelja pod motom "Prekinimo agoniju HRVATSKIH LIPICANACA, posljednjih ratnih beskućnika otuđenih u Srbiju 1991. godine. Vratimo ih  bezuvjetno kući zajedno s njihovim potomcima u matičnu ergelu u Lipiku!"

Zašto baš sada?

Zato što pregovori o povratku konja u Republiku Hrvatsku, započeti negdje "davne" 1999. godine još uvijek traju, a konačan datum njihova povratka još se uvijek ne nazire. Jedina izvjesna činjenica je ta da su konji izgladnjeli i u lošem općem stanju.

S obzirom da su konji naš ponos i nacionalno blago, ne oglasiti se u ovako važnom povijesnom trenutku i ne izreći javno svoj stav, bilo bi jednako moralnoj i nacionalnoj sramoti. Postoje veliki dani u povijesti naroda, ali isto tako i velike pogreške i to uglavnom bazirane na političkim propustima ili općoj nezainteresiranosti.

Mi danas ovom peticijom poručujemo da u ovoj pogrešci nećemo sudjelovati!

Pozivamo sve građanke i građane Republike Hrvatske, članove udruga, društva za zaštitu životinja, državne dužnosnike, političare i crkvene autoritete koji misle jednako da to i javno pokažu potpisivanjem ove peticije!



Croatia has the largest population of Lipizzaner horses in the world, about 15-16%. In 2007 Croatia had more than a thousand Lipizzaners, out of 6000-7000 in the world. Croatia has more than 200 years of tradition of organized breeding of Lipizzaners.

The Republic of Croatia is a member of the Lipizzan International Federation (LIF) since 1997.

The Lipik Lipizzaner stable before 1991...

...and after the Serbian aggression on Croatia in 1991.

Our e-mail sent in 22nd August 2007 to The Lipizzan International Federation (LIF), :

Dear Sir,

I send this message to

The Lipizzan International Federation

that you represent. These days a Petition has been organized, conceived in the town of Lipik, Croatia, for unconditional return of stolen Croatian Lipizzaners from Serbia. Namely,  88 Lipizzaners have been stolen from the town of Lipik in 1991 (besides 27 killed). Counting the offspring there are now about 300 Croatian Lipizzaners in this state. More about this can be read on the web page

provided by the Croatian World Network - CROWN, New York, .

I think it is our duty to inform The Lipizzan International Federation about this problem which belongs to the domain of human rights and the protection of animals (Lipizzaners in this case). From reliable sources we know that these Croatian horses are starving in Serbia.

I do hope that it will be possible for The Lipizzan International Federation (LIF) to provide an  impetus for unconditional return of stolen Lipizzaners back to Croatia. We believe this can be done in reasonable time, until the end of the current year 2007. Otherwise, we expect that a request for exclusion of Serbia from membership in LIF should be sent from appropriate Croatian institutions.

As you know, Croatia has the largest population of Lipizzaners in the world, about 15-16%. In 2007 it had more than a thousand Lipizzaners, out of 6000-7000 in the world. Croatia has more than 200 years of tradition of organized breeding of Lipizzaners.

The Republic of Croatia is a member of the Lipizzan International Federation (LIF).

Related to the mentioned Petition, we also want to inform you about an important scholarly monograph - "Registry of Lipizzaners in The Republic of Croatia until 2005", published in 2007:
Mato Čačić, Domagoj Tadić: Matična knjiga lipicanaca zemaljskog uzgoja Republike Hrvatske 2005., Lipizzan Stud Book of Territorial Breeding Republic of Croatia 2005. (bilingual Croatian - English edition), Hrvatski savez udruga uzgajivača lipicanske pasmine konja i Hrvatski stočarski centar, 2007., ISBN 953-6526-43-3

I was free to include this e-mail into the above mentioned CROWN web page, believing you will not mind that your answer be also exhibited on the same web page for the numerous readers of .

Yours sincerely,

prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
editor of Croatian World Network - CROWN
professor at the University of Zagreb, Croatia

1. Mr Antun Haramija, Mayor of the town of Lipik, Croatia,
2. Mr Nenad Bach, New York,  Croatian World Network  - CROWN,
3. Mr Dejan Iličić, (webmaster of
4. Mr Ivan Pušćenik, Children's Home, Lipik,

Answer from the LIF, 23rd August 2007

Dear professor Zubrinic,

Please be informed that our federation shares your concerns about the horses which are originating from Ergela Lipik and their progeny, which are now on Serbian territory near Novi Sad.

Since Croatia became member of the Lipizzan International Federation in 1997, the issue of the disappeared horses from Lipik was continuously a topic within our organization. Several stages of negotiations between Serbia and Croatia related to these horses took place during the years. The LIF tried to intervene and to mediate in this matter several times. After constructive negotiations in 2003 in Beograd, in which the LIF was also involved, the definite solution appeared to be very close. Unfortunately the result failed to appear at the last moment, due to minor details.

During the latest General Assembly of our federation (June 16th 2007, in Ergela Kelebija, Serbia), the subject of the Lipizzaner horses, originating from Ergela Lipik and their progeny, was discussed again. Ing. Mato Cacic- Msc of the Croatian Lifestock Center (HSSC) , and representative for Croatia in the LIF,  initiated to reconfirm the international statement that those horses are -due to their present illegal status- are not equal to purebred Lipizzaner horses according to international regulations, and therefore can not be accepted in any studbook in the world. All this to increase the international pressure towards the Serbian Government to re-open negotiations concerning these horses.

The General Assembly of the LIF, (in which all 9 traditional Lipizzaner state studs and 18 national Lipizzaner studbook organizations  worldwide)  are represented, confirmed this statement on June 16th 2007 unanimously. This means, including the representatives of the Serbian national Lipizzaner studbook.

On August 15th 2007, the Lipizzan International Federation sent an official letter to the Minister of Agriculture in Belgrade, Mr Slobodan Milosavljevic, in order to inform the Serbian Government about the status and situation of the Lipik-horses and their progeny. The LIF urgently requested the Serbian authorities to re-open the negotiations with the Croatian government, in order to find the definite solution for this situation. A copy of this letter was sent to the Minister of Agriculture in Zagreb Petar Cobankovic as well.

Beside this, the LIF expressed that the welfare of the horses of that complete herd must get the highest priority within short term, attended by the Serbian authorities, as feeding, vaccination and hoof care appear to be below any acceptable level, according to recent inspections.

In the meantime, Kobilarna Lipica of Slovenia offered to send several tons of oath to the horses in Novi Sad in short term. The practical problem is, that the horses remain on private property, and can not be reached easily. Next weekend I will visit Lipica, and this item will be discussed.

For further details about the activities of the LIF and the cooperation with the Croatian authorities, you could contact Ing. Mato Cacic of the Croatian Lifestock Center (HSSC) in Zagreb.  (

I assume, that the above makes clear that the LIF is fully aware of the situation around the horses from Lipik and their progeny, from diverse perspectives.  The welfare of the horses is our main issue in short term. The definite solution of this matter is the other item to accomplish.


Atjan Hop
Secretary General

The Lipik Lipizzaner stable in 2007:

(photos by D.Ž.)

The Lipik Lipizzaner stable has been founded in 1843.

The reconstruction of the building has been finished in 2007. Very important is the new roof of the stable.

Joza Vrljičak, Buenos Aires, 23 August 2007

Sobre los caballos Lipizzaner robados de Croacia

En 1991 los serbios se apropiaron de unos 80 caballos blancos Lipizzaner de la localidad de Lipik, en Croacia, luego de bombardearlos con bombas Napalm. No los quieren devolver, más aún, los quieren vender a Croacia, créase o no. Sobre qué son los Lipizzaner y su historia se pueden leer numerosos artículos en inglés y otros idiomas, poniendo en Google "Lipizzaners". 
Sobre los Lipizzaners de Lipik, puede leerse -en inglés- en
Ahora se ha lanzado una petición para que Serbia devuelva de forma incondicional los caballos a Croacia. Pueden leer sobre esto -y adherir- siguiendo el link:


Se pide ingresar el nombre, apellido, lugar de residencia y número de documento croata o su dirección email.

The surrounding for horses is exceptionally pleasant. There is a nearby restorant.

The stable is still empty. The stolen Lipizzaners are expected to be unconditionaly returned from Serbia.

Entrance to the alley leading to the Lipik Lipizzaner Stable

Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
Distributed by . This message is intended for Croatian Associations/Institutions and their Friends in Croatia and in the World. The opinions/articles expressed on this list do not reflect personal opinions of the moderator. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please delete or destroy all copies of this communication and please, let us know!

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  • Comment #1 (Posted by Josip Krezic)

    Ocu da vratiju sto su ucrali
  • Comment #2 (Posted by Lenka Galzina Simunovic)

    Srvi moraju donest nasi conji u HR.
  • Comment #3 (Posted by Rasic Tomas)

    For unconditional return of Croatian Lipizzaners from Serbia
  • Comment #4 (Posted by Serdarevich Jorge)

  • Comment #5 (Posted by Mirta B. Erceg Radovancich)

    Por derecho legítimo es, irrefutable la pronta devolución y pedir disculpas por sus irracionales pretensiones de vender esta bella e histórica raza de caballos Lipizzaners croatas...Traerlos nuevamente a casa. Que bueno!
  • Comment #6 (Posted by zvonimir springer)

    It's a shame that the international public still does not realize the plunder of Serbian robbers of Croatian property in 1991. Wonder when the rights on Croatian national property would recognized worldwide by those prominent NGOs?
    Wish you all the luck to get all the horses back to their orginal stud. All the best wishes!
  • Comment #7 (Posted by Cameron Price)

    A good cause to support.
  • Comment #8 (Posted by dejan007)

    Bilo je i vrijeme da nam vrate na¹e konje
    To je na¹ logo Lipika na¹e blago koje su nam oteli
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