See Iceland’s world famous horses at Landsmót Hestamanna, the National Icelandic Horse Competition! On July 1-8, the largest outdoor sporting event in Iceland will return to Reykjavik.
Since 1950, Landsmót has occurred biennially in rotating locations. The first competition was held at Thingvellir National Park, east of Reykjavík. Since then, it has evolved into a large festival featuring many aspects of Icelandic culture including food, music, and crafts. Fákur, the oldest riding club in Iceland, will host this year’s event.
Landsmót is comprised of two main components. The first, “Gæðingakeppni,” is a riding event where riders compete in a variety of age groups to showcase all five gaits of the Icelandic horse: the tölt, trot, walk, gallop and pace. The second component is a competition of the top breeding horses. Stallions and breeding mares will be showcased and rated based on their tölt and pace gait. These two gaits are unique to the Icelandic horse, and therefore the most valued throughout the event.
The highlight of Landsmót is the tölt competition. Tölt, known for its explosive acceleration and speed, is the most revered gait of the Icelandic horse. In this event, horses and their riders compete for the Landsmót Tölt Champion title.
Aside from the horses, the festival offers many Icelandic cultural experiences. Markets with traditional Icelandic goods, Icelandic music and entertainers, numerous food vendors, and playgrounds for children can all be found on the grounds. While Landsmót is largely focused on displaying the talents of Icelandic horses, the event also serves as a medium to make friendships, build community, and enjoy Icelandic culture.
Thinking of attending Landsmót this summer? Tickets and more information can be found on the official event website. Don’t forget to show us your pictures on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #Landsmót2018! And let us know if you are planning to attend Landsmót on Twitter!