It’s a wrap!

Fantastic horses and horsemanship at WC2023

After waiting four years for new World Championships it was clear that everyone – visitors, volunteers, exhibitors, press, sponsors, officials and the organisation itself – were really looking forward to the 2023 World Championships for Icelandic horses in Oirschot.

We welcomed 17 teams from different countries to Oirschot, who brought more than 200 horses to the WC2023 grounds. Of these teams, 18 riders and their horses from Iceland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Austria were named the new World Champions in Icelandic horse riding and 1 team received a team trophy.

Tölt T1 Jóhanna Margrét Snorradóttir with Bárður frá Melabergi (Iceland)
Tölt T1Y Herdís Björk Jóhannsdóttir with Kvarði frá Pulu (Iceland)
Tölt T2 Máni Hilmarsson with Gljátoppur frá Miðhrauni (Sweden)
Tölt T2Y Lena Becker with Bikar frá Ytra-Vallholti (Germany)
V1 Four-gait Frauke Schenzel with Jódís vom Kronshof (Germany)
V1Y Four-gait Jón Ársæll Bergmann with Frár frá Sandhól (Iceland)
F1 Five-gait Sara Sigurbjörnsdóttir with Flóki frá Oddhóli (Iceland)
F1Y Five-gait Glódís Rún Sigurðardóttir with Salka frá Efri-Brú (Iceland)
P1 Pace race 250 Elvar Þormarsson with Fjalladís frá Fornusöndum (Iceland)
P1Y Pace race 250 Freja Løvgreen Gandrup with Fjölvi fra Hedegaard (Denmark)
P2 Speedpass Helga Hochstöger with Nóri von Oed (Austria)
P2Y Speedpass Alicia Palm with Ljúfa från Ekeholm (Sweden)
PP1 Pace Test Elvar Þormarsson with Fjalladís frá Fornusöndum (Iceland)
PP1Y Pace Test Benedikt Ólafsson with Leira-Björk frá Naustum III (Iceland)
C4 Combination Four-gait Jóhanna Margrét Snorradóttir with Bárður frá Melabergi (Iceland)
C4Y Combination Four-gait Jón Ársæll Bergmann with Frár frá Sandhól (Iceland)
C4 Combination Five-gait Caspar Hegardt with Oddi från Skeppargården (Sweden)
C4Y Combination Five-gait Benedikt Ólafsson with Leira-Björk frá Naustum III (Iceland)
Team Trophy Denmark
Feather prize Susanne Birgisson

Congratulations to all the new world champions, and of course thank you to every team for showing us amazing horsemanship here in Oirschot.

Denmark won the Team trophy with the highest total scores for all tests, and Susanne Birgisson (DE) was awarded the feather prize for good horsemanship and feather light riding. Congratulations!

A special shoutout goes to Hungary, a country that competed for the very first time at the World Championships. Rider Veronika Kremmer with Ísbjörn vom Vindstaðir became 5th in the T1 A-Final, a very good result for a first time. We hope to see Hungary again at the next World Championships!

The World Championships in Oirschot were also host to the House of Education, where a variety of guests who specialize in horsemanship, horse healthcare and Icelandic horse gaits gave interesting lectures. More insights were given by riders competing this year, who were invited to the Live Talkshow and Live Interviews, hosted by Hulda Gústafsdóttir and Reynir Örn Pálmason, to answer questions voted for on our Instagram stories.

On Wednesday two horses and riders, representing Berlin and Oirschot, officially opened the World Championships by delivering the FEIF baton on . This was the final stretch for the ceremonial baton, as it had already travelled with the relay riders who travelled over 1000km on horseback from the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin to the town square in Oirschot.

At the Markaður shopping area over 60 shops had set up to offer a variety of riding equipment for both rider and horse, arts and jewellery, sweets and snacks (and some stronger drinks) from Iceland, and so much more! You really could shop till you dropped.

Markaður Square was the place to be for food trucks and festive evenings. Besides the large indoor restaurant, a variety of food trucks offered all manner of snacks, drinks and other foods that could be enjoyed on the spot or near the cozy fireplace in the middle of the square. On Thursday and Saturday this was also the scene for the prize giving ceremonies for PP1, P2, Combination and Team trophies.

The evenings were filled with bands like Alice Springs, HOTSHOT!, Bridget et le Types Typiques and many more artists! Even Iceland took to the stage and treated their audience to a variety of songs. There was lots of dancing, laughing and enjoying the live festivities.

The organisation of WC2023 was amazed and grateful to see how full the grandstands were from the start of this event till Sunday. It was clear to see you were all excited to visit the World Championships! Riders and horses were cheered and applauded for, spontaneous waves were organised by the audience in between competitions, flags of all manner of nations were waved and anthems were sung.

All of this was made possible by an entire organisation of volunteers, from the board of organizers to the cleaning team. Over 450 volunteers of 30 different nationalities helped make this event possible. With passion, dedication and kindness this event was made a success, and we’ve heard nothing but compliments for our volunteers. We’re very proud of our team!