The Magic 10 – One Moment in Time

International judge Lutz Lesener explains the perfect ride.

Author: Elisa Oxe

For a 10, we want to see a satisfied horse that focusses completely on the rider. Together, they show a high degree of precision. It is not only about the quality of gaits, but also the correct performance of the tasks. Did they ride fine transitions, was it the right tempo?

“When the judge gets goosebumps, then the ride is amazing”, says Lutz Lesener. A ride like that is awarded with a 10. “Perfection is rare”, he says. That is why we don’t see a 10 every day. Moreover, for the very high ratings, the judge guidelines contain comments such as “very subtle”. And these kind of things are a in the eye of the beholder and every judge may see this slightly differently.

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How the WM horses live at the grounds

The Hilton among the horse stables: the new built riding therapy center.

Author: Elisa Oxe

There is this idea that Icelandic horses are easy-to-keep pack animals – but that is not always true. Especially sport horses that show first-class performances at the WM2019, require special feed and care.

In Berlin Karlshorst, the WM2019 grounds, the horses can be accommodated according to their particular needs. Schlosser Holzbau finished spacious and air-conditioned stables just in time for the championships. There are many permanent boxes that are complemented by a range of mobile boxes to stable more than 250 horses.

Only the Icelandic team houses their horses in a place apart, in the so-called old stables, since they come from Iceland directly and have to be kept isolated from the others. The horses are not used to continental viruses and bacteria. Keeping them apart means trying to create Icelandic conditions – to that end, hay and water from Iceland have been brought along, too.

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What is a B-final?

The Last can be the First

Author: Nadine Engel

Anyone who has been involved with Icelandic horse sport could not help but hear terms like A-final and B-final. After all, you see this term again and again in the program, especially on the last day of the competitions.

Unlike in warmbloods’ sport, there are rarely direct placings after a competition. At almost every oval track test, a preliminary decision is made first and then the A-finals follow, where the best 5 riders compete in direct comparison. The winner of the respective discipline or test is determined by this final. You could compare it with a play-off, yet not all competitors had to have the same preliminary result, but must belong to the 5 best of the respective competition. Afterwards, all participants of the final will be placed.

From 30 riders on, there are also B-finals. They give those competitors a second chance, who just narrowly missed making it to the A-finals. Of course, at important championships you can very quickly reach well over 30 competitors, which means we can also look forward to various B-finals here at the World Championship.

Here, all riders who have reached the places 6-10 in the preliminary, once again put their abilities to the test. And the best thing is, the winner of the B-Finals automatically has the right to the much sought-after A-finals and can still compete for the championship title. Interestingly, it is not uncommon for this so-called „Lucky Loser“ to make good use of his second chance and end up in the medals. Because in every final everyone starts again under the same conditions, the marks from the preliminary decision don‘t play a role anymore. And many a horse-rider team is spurred on to new performances to compete at the same time with the other best riders in the ring and to stand their ground in a direct comparison. The grades are read out after each part of the task, not just the final grade after the performance. This way you can calculate your current position or cheer for your favourite. This is exciting for riders, judges and spectators.

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