It was pleasant to see how many people came to attend the VÍS Masters League tournament and actually the arena was packed last night in spite of an enlargement of the stands there. It should be mentioned that great improvements have been done on the riding arena at Ingólfshvoll and consequently the entire house is a lot more attractive than before. This transformation will undoubtedly encourage people to watch the League. The floor of the riding arena has been improved by covering it with a layer of shell sand and it was quite evident that the horses liked this change. They were not cutting short their steps on the shorter part of the track as they obviously were doing before.
There was great diversity in the four gaited shows and the horses were not all equally good. The riders are not all equally experienced which becomes evident in some performances. Certainly, it is not an easy task to participate in a row of tournaments of this quality, because it requires an access to a great variety of horses which some of the riders naturally do not have. Therefore, many riders have to borrow horses, which surely has an affect on their performances.
There were many new horses on the tournament this time and fun to see that a certain renewal has taken place in our four gaited field. Hopefully, some of these new or most recent horses will develop in such a way that we perhaps can hope for many strong four gaited nominees for the WC in the near future.
In many respects, the judges were doing a fine job at this tournament, although they were not all equally precise. Certain flaws in some of the presentations seem to flow through unnoticed. Therefore the variety in the presentations is not manifested as such through the score ratings. It seems that the judges are having difficulties passing judgment on canter and the main emphasis being on how high the horse raises its hind legs but the softness and the raising of front legs is on the other hand recessive. Although the undersigned felt that the trot was being judged rather well. Slow tölt is always a problem and the judges should spend some time contemplating that task for a while. The development on the work of the judges is an endless task and hopefully it will turn out successfully.
It was fun in the Ölfus arena last Thursday evening. People were attentive and in some parts of the finals it could be said that the atmosphere resembled finals in a handball game. The spectators were motivating their people and great atmosphere was amongst the spectators having a positive effect on the competitors. So now we wait with anticipation for the next tournament in the VÍS Masters League.
Here is a short video clip from the A-finals but RÚV television station will do a better justice to the tournaments in the television shows which are presented at that station.
Trausti Þór Guðmundsson