Every year, powerful Noriker stallions vie for dominance and the role of “lead stallion” at Alpengasthof Bodenhaus during the legendary Stallion Drive, before all of them are drive up into the mountains to spend the summer months grazing at the Grieswiesalm.
Tons of unbridled raw strength and energy. Between 10 and 18 Noriker stallions – but only one of them can take on the role as lead stallion. What for us, as spectators, seems to be very rough behavior indeed, is actually very necessary in order for the animals to spend a peaceful summer in the hills. And so, during the Stallion Drive at the Bodenhaus, under the watchful eye of breeders and thousands of spectators, the horses determine their own “pecking order”. Biting, kicking and even boxing – it appears that practically everything is allowed in this demonstration of power. Once the lead stallion has been determined, the others peacefully assume their subordinate roles and fights out on the alpine pastures simply aren’t necessary anymore.
In summer 2016 stallion "Taxa Vulkan XVIII" took on the role as lead stallion (breeder Robert Gruber, Karlbauer, Köstendorf) for the first group of stallions, in the second group "Heiko Schaunitz XVII" (breeder Markus Rainer, Schlettern, Rauris) is the leader. The stallions were accepted as "the bosses" at the Grieswiesalm for the upcoming alpine summer.
Their “summer holidays”, which last for about one hundred days, are spent by the stallions at the Grieswiesalm, an area that rises to as high as over 2,000 m above sea level. And they are not there alone: around 100 mares, foals and juvenile horses, 70 cows not producing milk, 290 calves and 150 sheep and goats are also driven up to the high grazing areas. The Grieswiesalm lies at the foot of the Hoher Sonnblick in Kolm Saigurn and covers an area of about 866 hectares.