With quick steps, the Candrim Star moves forward, sometimes looking to the left, sometimes to the right. The belt rests on his muscular body, two leather bridles hold it on his back, owner and trainer Andreas Gendre holds it in his hand. He gives up a bit and Candream Star starts a live trot. Flying dust envelops the driver and horse in a cloud, and a cap and goggles keep dust out as much as possible. Round after round they run their circles in the morning sun on the jogging track in Pfarkirchen. Because Geineder is currently training for the upcoming Whitsun meeting, which this year will take place again on White Monday and Tuesday, June 6 and 7 after a two-year break with Corona.
The love of horses runs in the family
Andreas Gayender was born with a love of horses, especially trotters. Harness runners have been in his family for generations. His father still owns equine horses and the horse trade on the family farm in Arnstorf. After graduating from school, Jindir initially began training in agriculture. “But I’ve always wanted to do something with horses,” says the 25-year-old. So he began his training as a groom in the field of trotting. He is currently doing his master’s job in equine management.
But he started trotting much earlier. At the age of 16 he started in amateur racing. Since 2018, the owner of the horse hotel has been working and training his horses as well as horses from other companies from all over Germany. Ten, including the Candrim Star, of the 25 local Arnstorfer jogs were family owned. Because his older sister and brother also had trotting fever. Jindir regularly goes to races. “He goes to Berlin, France and Austria.” Only recently he finished second in a race in Wales with Candream Star. “But perhaps the luck of the race at the Whitsun meeting at Pfarrkirchen is on the Candrim Stars side.”
Candream Star is now four years old and grew up in Germany. Its bright chestnut color, dark mason, and dark mane are characteristic of trotting. From the way the four-legged friend moves across the path, you can tell that he’s clearly enjoying himself, as he keeps putting his head down and snoring. But that’s not the case with every trot, the expert knows. “It takes a lot of time and training to get horses to this point. Whether a horse really has what it takes to be a racehorse can be seen relatively quickly during training.” It’s actually in their blood, but it takes motivation, will, and practice. The trot is a fast two-legged gait in which the tilted pair of legs swing forward together, and there is a short hovering stage in between touching the ground. Keeping walking is important in harness racing, or else there is a risk of disqualification. “It takes a while before they find the rhythm and can trot very quickly. Especially at first it can happen that they can’t run.”
The trot begins its training at about a year and a half. “You start to get used to everything. When you’re two you run in front of the car and when you’re three you drive your first race.” The occupation can then continue until the age of twelve to fourteen, depending on the situation. “On average, a jogger runs between 140 and 160 races in his career.”
Geineder already has over 1,000 races to complete. “It’s my job,” he explains. Many races make a good driver. “It’s the experience.” Every day he comes from Eggenfelden to Pfarrkirchen early in the morning. “Here in the racetrack the little horses.” They are fed, put into the ring, and then the training begins. one after another. “First we go a few laps, just to warm up. Then we start with a slow trot before we increase the speed,” Jindir says. “For endurance, the horse remains at its sprinting speed for several laps. This trains your endurance and your core.” An alternative is interval training: “You let the horse run at a faster pace for a while, then give it a short rest before you start again.” The unit lasts just over an hour to 90 minutes.
Oats, hay and water replenish energy stores
How well trained Geineders trot can be seen from their slender and muscular bodies. “Candream Star is really beautiful,” he says with an appreciative look. Later in the morning the guys standing on the racetrack finished. “Then I drive to Arnstorf. There are about 15 other horses who want to train.” Including the most experienced semester. Jindir has no trotting path there, they are trained on the ground. “Reckless ones quickly figure it out. They’re not afraid of noisy equipment or tractors or other things anyway, they really know everything.” So nothing stands in the way of training on field and lawn trails.
After every successful gym session, fast-paced friends get food. “It’s like competing athletes, they need something after that.” There may be more oats here and there, as well as hay and water. Once the horses are trained and cared for at Arnstorf, Geineder returns to Pfarrkirchen to feed the other horses. Only then can he go home. And the next day, about seven in the morning, he began training again on the Farkirchner’s canter course—also for the Whitsun encounter.