From March 29 to April, people in Reykjavík will have the opportunity to view the Icelandic horse up close during the annual Icelandic Horse Festival 2012.
On Saturday, both horses and jockeys will roam the city streets in downtown Reykjavík, and various activities will take place by the City Hall. City people will get the chance to ride a horse with the assistance of a seasoned jockey, and attend lectures about horses, the history of horses in Iceland and their behavior. Guests are also invited to learn how to do the Lindy Hop, Vísir reports.The Icelandic Horse in action. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
The program at the City Hall concludes on Saturday night with a performance from singer and avid horse lover, Helgi Björnsson.
For the most enthusiastic audience, a “tolt” or running walk competition will be held in the local Ice Skating rink at Laugardalur area, near the city’s largest swimming pool, Laugardalslaug. The top jockeys will also face each other in a “Tolt on Ice” competition.
The highlight of Saturday will most certainly be the parade where 150 horses and their jockeys will ride from Vatnsmýrvegur, up Skólavörðuholt residential area in the center, down Skólavörðustígur to Bankastræti and Austurvöllur, alongside Tjarnargata by the Pond (the man-made lake in the city center) to Hljómskálagarður park, and finally come to a halt at Vatnsmýrarvegur.
Sunday’s activities are dedicated to the youth league. “The Youth and Horse” is an exhibition that has been running for several years now, in which all horse riding clubs operating in the city area come together to showcase their skills.
The exhibition takes place in the Equestrian Center in Víðidalur, commencing at 1 pm and 4 pm. The event is free of charge. The festival is organized by the National Horse Riding Association and member associations based in the metropolitan area, Visit Reykjavík and Promote Iceland.
Click here to view the weekend program.