Saturday, August 31, 2013

What a World Class Tolt Looks Like

The 2013 World Championship of the Icelandic horse was held in Berlin this month. The Icelandic horse world is abuzz about the ride of Johann R. Skulason on Hnokki fra Fellskoti in the T1 (fast and slow tolt) preliminary rounds. The judges awarded Skulason a 9.2 which was almost 1 full point more than the next highest rider at 8.3. Note earning a score in the 9s in Icelandic competitions is just as rare as a dressage rider earning a 90+ percent at international levels--almost never happens.

You'll see fast tolt around minute 3:37. Note the combined weight of the shoe and any protective hoof boot must weigh about what a normal keg shoe weighs.

Skulason and Hnokki went on to win the 2013 World Championship in T1.  In an interview with RUV, Jóhann Rúnar Skúlason  talked about the demands of the T1 competition on Hnokki:  “'The horse has turned ten years now. The tölt final is the toughest final ever. Actually, you need to have a bodybuilder, sprinter and road runner all in one, and it takes a long time to bring out these qualities,' he explained.  It will not be possible to continue demanding such efforts from a ten-year-old horse, Jóhann went on. "


Here is a short video of a V1 test in which Hnokki and rider demonstrate slow tolt, fast tolt, trot, canter, and walk. Hnokki's canter is just a shade less good than his trot and tolt.

Hnokki is 10 years old. He was bred in Iceland but exported to Denmark. He is considered a first prize stallion and has around 250 offspring. He is 5-gaited meaning he has a flying pace but it was not evaluated very high (7.5 for flying pace, 9 for tolt, and 9 for trot). He has also competed quite a bit in sports competitions. His conformation is considered as being very good but his leg quality is evaluated as being just average. I looked him up in the Icelandic Horse Registry Worldfengur.

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