At the National Gallop, each rider represents a city or town. The winning city or town takes home the Gallop Sword, the emblematic weapon of Hungary’s 19th-century hussar heroes.
The blade, the soul of the saber, comes from a weapon made in 1836, to symbolize Hungary’s modernization. The hilt comes from an officer’s sword from 1845, of a type used in the 1848 Revolution, and the scabbard matches that used by officers in 1869, after Hungary was elevated to equal Austria in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Just as the word “hussar” encompasses Hungary’s equestrian excellence, such a sword is synonymous with the bravery and honor the hussars represent. The hussars who drew their swords in 1848 in the name of a new constitu- tion for the Hungarian people, were true to the motto: “never draw it without reason, always return it with respect.”
Every competitor in the National Gallop receives a bronze horseshoe, with silver versions for the semi- finalists and a gold one for the finalists. The Gallop Champion, the overall winner, receives a golden spur.