Mad Riot Entertainment, a full service production company, has acquired rights to "Operation Cowboy", which will be soon portrayed in the big screen. “Operation Cowboy” it’s a stunning story. The film will be based on a true story book from Stephan Talty. The story is about the amazing Lipizzaner horses that were rescued during the final days of WWII in Czechoslovakia. Near the end of WWII, the Second Cavalry Group (Mech) found themselves on an unexpected adventure to save an extraordinary culture more than 400 years old. They were the breeding mares for the very elite Spanish Riding School in Vienna whose history dates back to 1572.
“Operation Cowboy" is a brilliant story about achieving something beautiful during our world’s most horrendous hours. It’s always captivating when mortal enemies join forces to accomplish something bigger than themselves. I am confident this will be an astounding film delivered on an epic scale”, said Lawrence Smith, Mad Riot Entertainment producer.
In the final days of World War II, with the ravenous Red Army marching across Czechoslovakia, a band of American soldiers did something unusual. With Gen. Patton’s blessing, they went behind enemy lines and teamed up with a group of Nazi officers to save one of the world's rarest and most beautiful horses captured by Adolf Hitler to create his master race of horses. The breeding mares of the white Lippizaner, whose bloodlines date back centuries, were in imminent danger of extinction.
During World War II, the high command of Nazi Germany transferred most of Europe's Lipizzan breeding stock to Hostau, Czechoslovakia. The breeding stock was taken from Piber in 1942, and additional mares and foals from other European nations arrived in 1943. The stallions of the Spanish Riding School were evacuated to St. Martins, Austria from Vienna in January 1945, when bombing raids neared the city and the head of the Spanish Riding School, Colonel Alois Podhajsky, feared the horses were in danger. By spring of 1945, the horses at Hostau were threatened by the advancing Soviet army, which might have slaughtered the animals for horse meat had it captured the facility.
The rescue of the Lipizzans by the United States Army, made famous by the Disney movie “Miracle of the White Stallions”, occurred in two parts: The United States Third Army under the command of General George S. Patton, was near St. Martins in the spring of 1945 and learned that the Lipizzan stallions were in the area. Patton himself was a horseman, and like Podhajsky, had competed in the Olympic Games. On May 7, 1945, Podhajsky put on an exhibition of the Spanish Riding School stallions for Patton and Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson, and at its conclusion requested that Patton take the horses under his protection.
Meanwhile, the Third Army's United States Second Cavalry, a tank unit under the command of Colonel Charles Reed, had discovered the horses at Hostau, where there were also 400 Allied prisoners of war, and had occupied it on April 28, 1945. As a long time cavalrymen, Reed appreciated the rare breeds of horses and the importance of insuring their protection and survival.
"Operation Cowboy", as the rescue was known, resulted in the recovery of 1,200 horses, including 375 Lipizzans. Patton learned of the raid, and arranged for Podhajsky to fly to Hostau. On May 12, American soldiers began riding, trucking and herding the horses 35 miles across the border into Kotztinz, Germany. The Lipizzans were eventually settled in temporary quarters in Wimsbach, until the breeding stock returned to Piber in 1952, and the stallions returned to the Spanish Riding School in 1955.
After witnessing scenes of death and destruction while fighting across France and Germany, the Americans decided "to do something beautiful" and rescue this fragile piece of world culture, said Stephan Talty.