The second special gait of the Icelandic horse is flying pace. This two beated gait is ridden only for short distances at high speed. True pace horses are a class of their own: they have great temperament and a lot of will to go forward and often show rather unspectacular tölt without much forehand action.
The start of a pace race. Photo: Rosl Rössner.
In flying pace it’s all about speed. In the two disciplines over 150 and 250 meters the horses reach enormous speed. The world record times are currently at 6.96 seconds in speed pace, 13.47 seconds at 150 meters and 19.86 seconds for 250 meters.
The horses start from special starting gates..
In the third discipline, the pace test, focus is on riding. Judges evaluate the transition into pace, the pace quality itself, the transition from the pass (downwards transition’) and the speed.
In the pace test specialists show how these hot horses can change gaits by invisible riding aids. The newly-crowned World Champion is Icelandic rider Sigurður Marínusson on Atli frá Norður-Hvammi.
Here you can watch a video of the last world champion in 250 m pace Bergþór Eggertsson on Lótus von Aldenghoor in the preliminary round, with 21.97 seconds on their way for a medal. Bergþór lives in Berlin and is Europe’s uncrowned king of flying pace.
Dagmar Trodler reports for Iceland Review from Berlin.