FEIF Virtual Ride: Bring on Birmenstorf

Photo by Selina Vogel

What is the FEIF Virtual Ride?

The Virtual Ride is just that: real riding on your horse along a virtual route from your home to the flagship events of the Icelandic horse calendar: the World Championships and Landsmót. These are held in alternating years in Europe and in Iceland respectively. Over the course of a year, the Virtual Ride invites Icelandic horse riders to make their way gradually (and virtually) to these venues!

This is NOT a competition. The aim is to bring people together both in real life and virtually (mostly on Facebook). Participants may ride solo, or in teams. Every rider progresses in accordance with their own routine and fitness, keeping track of the approximate distance covered each time they ride out. Each month, the distances are tallied up and logged via the FEIF website. Riders and teams can track their own progress — and that of everyone else — on the scoreboard. Every year, a new ride offers a way of getting to know each other, the different landscapes and seasons we ride through, and all the adventures encountered on the way. Why not join in? Shared is double the fun!


To the moon and on the way back again

Over the years the total distance covered by the FEIF Virtual riders have amounted to 391,154 km. This easily outpaces the average distance to the moon, 384,400 km.

The Virtual Rides started in the autumn of 2012 with the Long Ride to Berlin. The aim was, and continues to be, to offer an alternative to the relay rides, which take the FEIF baton from the site of one World Championships to the next one.

Having reached Berlin in 2013,  riders  agreed they had so much fun on the way that they wanted to continue to Landsmót in the following year. What is a little ocean crossing to Iceland, when you are on a virtual adventure?

Join the event, it is a great activity!

What do I have to do?

The idea is simple:

  1. Register for the ride – riders can join at any time over the year.  You may choose a nickname for yourself.  This is how you will be listed.  Otherwise, we will publish your first name on the monthly score board.
  2. Calculate the distance from your home to Switzerland.  You may choose the direct distance – as the crow flies – or a land-based route using real roads leading to real harbours.   This depends on the distance from your home to the destination, your likely progress, and the target that you want to set for yourself, or your team. Members of any one team should use the same principle for calculating the average distance for all team members.
  3. Starting on Friday, 12th July 2024, record every km(!) that you ride out on an Icelandic horse.
  4. Keep a record of all your rides out into the countryside and submit these regularly here.

BONUS: On our closed Facebook group, you will meet an inclusive and welcoming group of Icelandic horse riders from all over the world. Over the years, ‘the virtual ride’ has grown into a strong network of real people and their horses, resulting in real encounters, and real friendship.

Help registering for the Virtual Ride

Any questions? email gundula@feif.org.

Photo by Gundula Sharman

What happens next?

  • We do the numbers – at the beginning of every calendar month your progress will be updated and published by FEIF. Of course, all km ridden out in endurance rides, TREC or similar events count, and your distance does not need to be verified by an outside person, or organisation – every ridden km out in the countryside gets you closer to World Championships 2025.
  • Form a team – depending on where you live, the distance to the destination may be quite daunting. This is why many riders form a team, and we add their ridden distances together to get to the destination. The size of the team is somewhat determined by the total distance you have to achieve. The number of riders per team is not limited but no rider may be a member of more than one group. Every team must have a name and be registered with FEIF before riders can join.




Disclaimer (the small print)

Riders, please note that this is a virtual ride, and FEIF will not be held liable for any incident that may occur to riders, horses or the public whilst you are participating in this initiative.

Privacy: The main flow of communication will be by email between the organiser and the rider directly. Individual and team results are published on the monthly scoreboard, and on the Facebook page. If you want to remain anonymous, please make use of the nickname facility on the registration form.

By act of registration, you agree to have your name (or nickname) published on this and other relevant sites on the internet, and that the data you shared will be kept for the purpose of participating in the FEIF Virtual Ride. FEIF also reserves the right to make occasional use of photographs posted on closed Facebook group associated with the ride.

Any comments to clarify the procedures or to improve the Virtual Ride are welcome. Please mail: gundula@feif.org

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