IDMG 2013 in Aegidienberg

The first weekend in September 2013 saw the 19th International German Gaited Horse Championship (IDMG) on the beautiful grounds of Walter Feldmann in Aegidienberg, east of Bonn, an annual highlight for the gaited horse owner’s calendar.

Participating in an IDMG is always a lot of fun. You see various gaited horse breeds and meet many new and old friends. It is just relaxing. It was also relaxing for the Fino enclave on one of the more distant winter pastures of the farm. If offered the perfect accommodation for the small team made up by Policarpa and Ensueno with Doris and Reini Sperber, Diosa with Yvi Tschischka, Jacinto with Christine Griebel and La Florencia with Babs Moorhouse. Far away from the show events, lots of space and an idyllic few of the winter pasture, it couldn’t be better. More Paso Finos were housed directly on the farm: Brujula owned by Britta and Gerd Mülle, and Dama Serena, a horse for sale brought by Stan Paul. She mastered her first show expertly, being a very beautiful mare that instantly caught my eye. Christin Bachmann joined us with El Dorado and one Icelandic horse. Knowing that in Aegidienberg the weather could be great one day and totally opposite the next, Christine Farkas even brought a bright pink tent as rain protection for Mina.

Many Fino friends (unfortunately without horses this time) showed up and supported us. The PFAE booth, expertly manned by Meike and Florian Wolf, served as a meeting place. The Paso Shop was also on site with Nadine and Doris displaying many tempting offers. On Thursday we examined the ample and impressive grounds owned by the Feldmann family, surrounded by large pastures with countless Icelandic and Aegiedienberg horses and Saddlebreds. Somewhat higher up is the covered riding arena with the small oval track as the center of the farm and the huge open stables. And by huge I mean really huge. Approximately 50 to 80 Icelandic and Aegiedienberg horses have their home in the ingeniously constructed open stables. They are surrounded by many individual stalls with paddocks, which housed most of the show participants during the weekend. Below the stables are the large oval track and the pace track where most of the show events took place.

Friday was a sunny day again and our horses appeared at their best. We did not only participate in the traditional Fino classes (Pleasure, Performance, Country Pleasure and Pleasure Schooling), but also in various other classes as well. There lies the special appeal of the events hosted by the International Gaited Horse Association (IGV), having the possibility to choose from a variety of classes and try something new. Thus Paso Finos not only participated in the five Fino classes but also in nine non breed specific ones. There were a trail class, easy and intermediate rideability classes and the new Horsemanship class, created by Walter Feldmann himself, in three levels. The specific challenge is the combined evaluation of the presentation at hand, equipment, standing still, mounting, rideability and obedience. All horses had to walk across a seesaw and load into a trailer. One Paso Fino participated in each level, all of them did a great job and attracted positive attention. Many spectators were wondering: aren’t those the ones with the very rapid footfall? Yes they are, but they also know different.

The colorful Western Pleasure class presented a quite spectacular gallopp after the award ceremony. Flo and Babs took off and Mina and Diosa had to speed to keep up - a rather untypical lap of honor. The audience was really excited and even Walter was taken with the women showing speed. The following day, typical for Aegiedienberg, the weather changed drastically, first fog and then rain. The participants shrugged it off. In the morning the fog was so dense that the audience was challenged to observe the riders on the large oval track. Riders, appearing out of nowhere, an unusual sight during a show.

Saturday evening offered the traditional breed show in the covered arena. While more classes took place on the oval track, winners of IGV individual classes were honoured, Stefanie Stöcker and her Icelanding gelding Björn as well as fire jugglers offered a show. It was a good time to meet and greet, check out the booths, sample things and have a drink. Each breed was asked to present something special. For the Paso Finos, more improvised than traditional for the breed, we offered sparkling wine, tropical juices, rum, ham and melon, nachos with dips and fresh fruit. It didn’t take long for our supply to be exhausted. Was that due to the rum? Anyway, the atmosphere was great that evening.

On Sunday, the day of the finals, the weather improved. It was the opportunity to compare the best from the qualifying classes, including some Paso Finos. Britta and Brujula proved during the spectacular sports toelt class, that Paso Finos do not only gait slow but can also speed up. Christin and El Dorado participated in the three gait class and demonstrated that Paso Finos can also trot and canter nicely. And in the leisure toelt class Christine cut a good figure with Jacinto ridden just in Bosal.

Once again it was great to present the versatility of our horses during the IDMG. We could keep up with all gaited breeds. Our Paso Finos are unique but yet so versatile. With ten horses we weren’t represented adequately. However we hope that next year, for the 20th anniversary of the IDMG on the stud farm in Kreiswald more Paso Finos will come. We will be there for sure and have lots of fun.

Report written by Babs Moorhouse, Photographs taken by Yvi Tschischka
Translation by Barbelin van der Smissen