The University

350 years of riding at Uppsala University

30 July 2013

John Arsenius and other riders at Uppsala Castle in the 19th century. John Arsenius was Academy Equerry 1877–1888.

Uppsala University is home to the second oldest riding institution in the world after the Spannish Riding School in Vienna. The 12 September the 350th anniversary will be celebrated with a full day of educational and fun activities with the horse as the centre of attention.

“It will be a celebration to remember, with riders, lectures and playful riding competitions”, says Marianne Andersson, Inspector Equitandi for the riding activities at the University.

There will also be a jubilee book published in time for the festivities the 12 September, with chapters written by University Library Director Lars Burman and Margareta Nisser-Dalman, Director of the Swedish Royal Collections. Uppsala University will mark the occasion by adding four new riding scholarships to the previous six.

“It is pleasing and means that we can give more students the possibility of free riding”, says Karin Agenäs, Academy Equerry.



10.00–11.30 Museum Gustavianum (Entrance from the University Park starting at 9.30)

  • The Royal Academic Orchestra
  • Presentation of the jubilee book

Speakers: Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson, Inspector equitandi Marianne Andersson, Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor Britt-Inger Johansson, lecturers Carina Burman, Margareta Nisser-Dalman and Christer Åsberg, moderator Johan Sjöberg.

13.30 Bus from the University Main Building (klockporten) to Akademistallet in Kvarnbo

14.00–16.30 Akademistallet in Kvarnbo

  • Quadrille
  • Riding lesson anno 2013 and 1963
  • Jumping competition with teachers and students
  • Dressage show
  • Lecture by Carolus Linnaeus
  • The knights of Celeres Nordica

Bus from Akademistallet to the University Main Building (klockporten)



In 1663 the riding activities at Uppsala University were founded as one of the exercitia. Even before becoming university chancellor in 1646, Axel Oxenstierna wanted the students to be offered practical subjects, so-called exercitia. But it was chancellor Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie who made it happen. The exercitia consisted of modern languages, fencing, dancing, music, drawing and riding.

“The students were nobility and for future diplomatic or military tasks they needed to know languages and also riding, dancing and fencing”, says Marianne Andersson.

The first Academy Equerry, Henrik Scherer, was employed in 1665 and was given 22 horses by De la Gardie. Since then there has always been riding at the University. In documents from the period you can read about complaints from the professors about students riding instead of studying.

The stable stood where the University Main Building stands today, above what used to be the university building, now the Museum Gustavianum. The stable was moved to Österplan, on to Husargatan by the Biomedical Centre and finally to the current location, Kvarnbo. Since 1978 the riding school is run by Upplands-Västmanlands fältrittklubb. The academic Department of Riding consists of the Inspector Equitandi, the Academy Equerry and the University employees and students who practice riding.