Special technology from Austria to stage the Lipizzaner horses.
The Spanish Riding School Vienna presented its unique lighting system for the first time at a world premiere on Saturday, 26th November 2016. Thanks to a special tracking system, the dynamic lights were angled in a way that ensured that the horses were always in the centre of the light, regardless of where they were in the arena. The system was developed by the Viennese start-up company zactrack and its realisation was supported by the Austrian lighting company Zumtobel Group.
Tradition meets innovation
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna had been looking for a lighting system to stage its shows precisely. The new lighting solution created for the world’s oldest riding school employs small radio transmitters that are attached to the front and the back of each saddle. Ten aerials that are mounted on the hall wall receive the transmitted radio signals and hence make it possible to accurately locate each horse. The positions of the horses are then transmitted to the lighting system via a network. After that, a specially developed software automatically controls the twenty LED-moving-heads (spotlights) installed on the upper gallery. An essential part of this process is that the software needs to calculate the direction in which the animal will be moving in advance, so that the horse does not have to walk into the dark.
“We are here to ensure that our precise performances are displayed to even better effect through this stage lighting system,” says Elisabeth Gürtler, Managing Director of the Spanish Riding School.
Georg Ebner, Head of Sales Austria, Zumtobel Group: “As the future lighting partner of the Spanish Riding School, we are proud to have been asked to support the installation of this unique lighting system. We maintain an open technology partnership with zactrack and are developing new fields of application in the area of dynamic lighting within the scope of this cooperation. As a lighting company, we are focusing extensively on the possibilities in the area of smart and connected lighting. Solutions that allow the customer to adapt the lighting flexibly, for different requirements, will clearly shape the future.”
“Since 2009, zactrack has supplied automatic tracking systems for participants at sports events, shows and on theatre stages. This radio-controlled tracking technology is unique and particularly suitable for the current occasion. Horses are extremely sensitive and easily distressed by external influences. However, they do not notice the zactrack system, its mathematic calculation provides just enough light in front of them to ensure that they don’t have to walk into the dark,” says Werner Petricek, zactrack’s CEO. At a pre-premiere, 300 guests were able to see how well suited the new lighting system is for the show of the “White Ballet”. The first public show including the new lighting system will take place on New Year’s Eve.