Fun Filled Kentucky Show Week

The Kentucky Icelandic Horse Show and the events surrounding it are a huge success

October 6th – 12th

Fun01Photo by Karen Jones of the Bourbon Tölt KYIHS 2014

The week around the Kentucky Icelandic Horse Show is always a busy one for us here in Kentucky but this year was especially filled with exciting and full filled events.

On Sunday October 5th participants for our competition and pace clinic on October 6thand 7th started to arrive.  It was great to reunite with some of our favorite people and horses.  The clinic was taught by Guðmar and Carrie and despite some scary looming clouds and strange weather we were able to give the participants individualized attention and help them prepare systematically for the upcoming show.  Every participant also received the opportunity to try the Icelandic horses fifth gear the flying pace.  We were impressed by the improvements the horse-rider combinations made throughout the clinic and it was exciting to see them hit the competition track at the show.

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Photo above left taken by Charlotte Reilly showing the strange weather during the competition clinic.  Photo above right taken by Karen Jones shows clinic participants Kathy Love and Salka frá Frostastöðum in the show winning their class.

On Wednesday we began the process of moving all of the horses to the competition track at Locust Hill Farm in Prospect KY.  Over 20 horses came from Léttleiki to attend the show including our own competition horses, boarder’s horses/horses in training, and sales horses being leased out.  Many of the attendees that were leasing horses started to arrive and try out the horses they would be using for the show.  This is an option that we hope to continue to offer for many years to come as a part of the Kentucky Show.  This gives people the opportunity to try showing in a show on more experienced horses and also helps people that want to participate but may not be able to bring their own horses.

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Above photos courtesy of Deb Cook.  Photo on left is young rider Gray from PA and leased mare Gulldís owned by KY local Emily Bingham.  Photo on right is young rider Thea from CO on leased mare Leifa owned by KY local Kathy Davis.

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Above photos courtesy of Deb Cook:  Photo on left is young rider Julia from CA on leased gelding Máni owned by Léttleiki Icelandics.  Photo on right is KY show announcer Martin and lease mare Von owned by Léttleiki Icelandics.

Thursday and Friday the 9th and 10th Guðmar Þór Pétursson, Carrie Lyons Brandt, and Laura Benson offered lessons on the track at Locust Hill Farm.  Our goal with these lessons is to help people learn how to best show off their horses strengths and create pre-show training sessions that are positive for both horse and rider.  It is always fun to see the big improvements that little changes can make.

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Left photo courtesy of Deb Cook shows young rider Ellie from KY and Léttleiki riding school mare Vima.  Right photo courtesy of Shaila Ann Sigsgaard shows rider Darlene from CO on leased sales horse Fyrstur owned by Diane Quam.  Both participated in the pre-show lessons.

Thursday evening was our open house at Léttleiki Icelandics.  This evening event started at 7:00pm with a series of demonstrations featuring Léttleiki trainers and horses ending in a special Knights of Iceland show.  The program was as follows:

  • Terral Hill and Sporður frá Bergi demonstrate how to build trust and respect through ground work exercises
  • Guðmar Pétursson and Veigar frá Lækjamót show the principles behind good form and the importance of the “forehead stretching forward”
  • Carrie Lyons Brandt and Svali frá Tjörn demonstrate how impulsion is trained and the importance of developing impulsion in the correct ways in your horse
  • Laura Benson and Stjarni frá Blönduósi show bridle-less riding to demonstrate how the horse mirrors the rider
  • Gino Zoppe, Ermes Zamperla, and Nate Sorrill give a demonstration on the principles of bareback trick riding (jiocke riding) and how those same principles relate to good horsemanship in general such as balance, timing, and feel
  • Special feature Knights of Iceland performance with Carrie & Svali and Laura & Stjarni doing a beautiful drill with sparklers on the horse’s legs showing the dancing movement of the tölt.
  • Knights of Iceland fast pace drill team with Guðmar and Veigar, Terral and 23-year-old Þröstur, Carrie and Svali, and Laura and Stjarni.

This blend of educational demonstrations and performances is what we always wish to provide and emphasize at Léttleiki Icelandics: giving people the opportunity to come together and learn from professional trainers.  The evening was completed in the Léttleiki lounge with delicious refreshments homemade by Léttleiki owner Maggie Brandt and plenty of socializing.

The Kentucky Icelandic Horse was a huge success as it is every year.  This event has become a big tradition in the Icelandic horse community and is definitely the biggest Icelandic horse event of the year.  We were both pleased and proud of all the Léttleiki riders and horses.  There were many beautiful performances (too many to mention them all) by both our professional riders and our students.  Results of the competition can be viewed by clicking here.

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Photos to the left and middle are courtesy of Shaila Ann Sigsgaard.  Photo to the left features Carrie and Salvör competitiors and award winners in TI and V1.  Middle photo is of Carrie and Svali (winners of loose rein tölt) showing the loose rein tölt.  Photo to the right is courtesy of Karen Jones and is of Carrie and Svali (winners of five gait and pace test) in flying pace.

The Saturday night dinner held by Marianne and Jim Welch becomes more spectacular each year.  This year Terral´s friends the Zoppe-Zamperla brothers (7th generation performers) were commissioned to do a trick riding performance after the dinner.  Their performance was packed with breath taking feats while standing on their wonderful horse Rocco such as juggling, backwards handsprings, and back flips.

Click here to see a video from a part of their performance.

Thank – you to all the people that work tirelessly to make this event possible and to all the people that volunteered their timed to help during the show. You know who you are!  Big thank you to all the participants who came from near and far to attend. Sharing this show with so many people and horses across the country is what makes it such a special event. Already looking forward to next year!