About 400 Icelandic horses came riding the Straße des 17. Juni down to Brandenburg Gate this morning at 11 o’clock. Countless spectators had gathered at the famous gate to watch the ceremony. The riders group was formed by relay riders who were on their way to Berlin from all parts of Europe to bring the FEIF-baton to the World Championship venue as a symbol for international togetherness of Icelandic horse riders.
Iceland was represented by Dorrit Mousaieff, wife of President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Haraldur Þórarinsson, chairman of the LH, Sigurborg Daðadóttir, chief veterinarian of the Icelandic Veterinary Authority MAST, and Auður Edda Jökulsdóttir from the Icelandic Embassy in Berlin. The governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, was also present.
In his President Ólafur spoke about how the Icelandic horse has through centuries helped people not only in their daily lives and to survive hardship, but also to keep in contact with each other, from valley to valley, farm to farm, and at the annual parliamentary session at Þingvellir. Still today, the Icelandic horse connects people, across national borders, the president said.
Participants in the long-distance ride preceding the championships presented their golden baton to the public and delivered the following message: “Let the horses fly! And let’s send out good pictures!”
Dagmar Trodler reports for Iceland Review from Berlin.