At least everyone stayed reasonably dry. But at the moment, petrus is probably just busy preparing the right weather for the opening of the state horticultural show on thursday and can’t be bothered with bright sunshine everywhere. Thus the approximately 50 horses, which pulled with their riders and numerous spectators to the georgiritt on the senftenberg, had it "only" dealing with a lot of cold wind.
Christina and harald graser from oberaurach didn’t let the weather stop them either. They had traveled with their two mares anke and mira especially from the parish of priesendorf – already on saturday with their own carriage. After spending the night in the tent, they joined the pilgrims with the two festively decorated animals half an hour before the beginning of the service. "We are participating for the first time", revealed the two riders from the "aurach ranch".
The traditional horse procession is an integral part of the gunzendorf festival calendar. It has been held again for more than 60 years and is based on a tradition that was interrupted for more than 100 years after 1848. In addition to political celebrities, spectators from near and far had come to take part in the pilgrimage in honor of saint georg, the patron saint of horses and riders. The local associations also joined the procession, especially since the singing community of gunzendorf provided musical accompaniment for the service.
No freedom without responsibility
curate alexander berberich, who as every year rode ahead on a horse, reminded in his sermon of the responsibility of freedom: "free is the one who dares to live and takes responsibility, unfree is the one who lets himself be determined and lets others think for him". He described st. George as a man of conscience and put him in the same class as names such as thomas more, martin luther king, joachim gauck and gunter grass – the latter was surely referring to the statement that freedom also means saying unpleasant things and bearing the consequences. A sermon that certainly made many in the packed senftenberg chapel and on the well-filled plateau think about what they were saying.
During the service, horses and riders listened to the words and songs broadcast over loudspeakers outside and waited patiently for the blessing of the horses by curate berberich after the mass. The members of the stackendorf volunteer fire department ensured a certain respectful distance between the many people and the animals during the test. Mira and anke were also willing to be blessed, their two riders made happy faces. Whether they will be back next year? "Of course, we enjoyed it very much", says christina graser, and her husband harald promises: "and next year we will bring even more people from our ranch".