DAY 5 - HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH

The last day of the Icelandic Horse Expo offered two more interesting farm visits, open stable at Daniel Jonsson’s and a visit to the riding club Fákur. And then the Expo ended with a ‘grande finale’ - the stallion show Stóðhestaveislan 2017.

We started the day at Austurás, where Haukur told us about the interesting thoughts behind their 10 year old stable - regarding the interior design and the amount of space, light and air. Afterwards he showed us the king of the stable, Draupnir frá Stuðlum, followed by a demonstration of their work with the young horses and some presentations of young, promising mares. Every Expo guest got a nice hat as a farewell present when leaving Austaurás after a great visit.  

The last farm visit of this Expo was at Sunnuhvoll, a farm that is also characterized with new facilities, designed with a lot of passion. Arnar Bjarki presented the family, the stable and their horses. He also demonstrated a training session with the horse Glæsir and explained his philosophy of training young horses. At Sunnuhvoll we also got a very delicious soup for lunch. The visit ended at the oval track, where some very beautiful horses was presented. 

The next point of the Expo agenda was a visit to a well-known horseman: Daniel Jónsson. Daniel welcomed us with the smell of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. What a treat! Subsequently we had the opportunity to walk around in the stable and experience some of the best horses in Iceland right now. 

Next up was a reception at Fákur, a riding club with a long history and great facilities. We were introduced to the thoughts behind Landsmót 2018 and the reception ended with a highlight: A game, where the happy winner got a ticket for Landsmót! 

The Expo ended with a phenomenal show, Stóðhestaveislan 2017, where an impressive amount of spectacular stallions were presented. A perfect closure to a great week, packed with passionate talks about and demonstrations of our amazing Icelandic horses - by the welcoming Icelandic people. 

saabend-4.jpg

See you at the Icelandic Horse Expo in the Northern part of Iceland from September 29 to October 1, 2017!

Photos by Daniela Greis. Words by ALTHING.

DAY 4 - HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH

On the fourth day of The Icelandic Horse Expo we got to see some really great horses - both when visiting Árbakki, Árbæjarhjáleiga and Kirkjubær. But also at the evening event where we experienced the intense and exciting atmosphere at the grand finale in this years Meistaradeildn - a big indoor competition held during the winter in the Southern part of Iceland. 

We started the day at Árbakki where Hinni and Hulda showed us their wonderful place and great facilities. They showed us some of their up coming competition horses - and Hinni also showed this competition horse Pistill fro Litlu-Brekku, a son of Moli frá Skriðu.

Hulda showed us Valur frá Árbakka, a son of Hnokki frá Fellskoti, and she also showed us and explained how the horses on Árbakki are trained and educated and what is important for them in the training.

Hinni welcomes and explains about the breeding at Árbakki. 

Hinni welcomes and explains about the breeding at Árbakki. 

The bus took us a bit further and we stopped at Árbæjarhjáleiga. The family met us on the gravel road with a group of ridden horses - among others the king of the stable Jarl frá Árbæjarhjáleigu, and his 5-year old son Snorri who is very similar to him. We got very delicious grilled lamb from their own breeding for lunch and afterwards a presentation of the horses. 

And then we got a surprise - or everyone did: The first lamb this year was born on the farm during our visit - he might get the name „Expo”!

As the last farm this day we stopped by Kirkjubær. During the wintertime the horses are kept in a stable nearby the riding hall in Hvolsvölllur - but they just arrived back to Kirkjubær again three days ago. And as they explained: “In spring and summer Kirkjubær is the most wonderful place on the earth and that´s why we move the horses again in the end of the winter.” 

As many might know - at Kirkjubær they aimed for a long time only to breed chestnut colored horses with a blue eye and white mane. They not do that anymore - but the breeding is based on 4 black mares. 

There are still chestnut colored horses at Kirkjubær! 

There are still chestnut colored horses at Kirkjubær! 

Even though we didn’t visit more farms this day the program wasn’t over! In the evening we went to the popular Champions League - Meistaradeildn. We got to see the best tölt horses in Iceland! The atmosphere in the riding hall was great and the goosebumps took over your body. 

All in all a great day packed with impressive presentations, good food and great people! 

Photos by Daniela Greis. Words by ALTHING.

DAY 3 - HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH

Day 3 of The Icelandic Horse Expo was filled with interesting talks about breeding and impressive presentations of beautiful mares and powerful stallions. Join us in visiting Kjarr, Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga, Vesturkot and Þóroddstaðir - followed by Breeders' Night. We might also have a small surprise for you the end of the article! 

We started the day visiting Helga and Helgi at Kjarr - combined with a visit from Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga. Here Trausti, the owner of Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga and a very well-known trainer and riding instructor, explained about the breeding on his farm - especially related to the concept of "Tölt in harmony“. Related to that we got a very interesting demonstration of "Tölt in harmony" in the riding hall. We also got to see six of the impressive horses from Kjarr being ridden outside - including the stallions Máfur frá Kjarri and Stúfur frá Kjarri (se photo below). 

Next up was Vesturkot, home of the famous stallion Spuni frá Vesturkoti, who is of course outstanding to meet. The horses in the stables were presented during a stroll along the boxes. After that we enjoyed a well prepared lunch including a very delicious dessert. We are really being spoiled at the farms! The visit ended with a great ridden presentation of three beautiful Spuni-daugthers. 

Last farm of day 3 was Þóroddstaðir, an old farm with a long tradition of breeding. Bjarni told us the story of the farm, explained their breeding goals and mentioned some of the exceptional horses from the breed. At Þóroddstaðir they also presented four young, very special and very talented horses. One of them, a young mare, was shown in the riding hall. And as Bjarni said, “This is a horse that we are going to hear more about in the future!”

A day of amazing horses and great stories ended with “Breeders Night”, where we got the opportunity to get even more insight and to participate in nice discussions about the breeding of the horses we love. 

Pssssst… We are now accompanied by a Swedish television crew! And it’s very exciting what they will come up with afterwards. One thing is for sure: They’ll learn a lot about the Icelandic horse breed on this trip! 

Photos by Daniela Greis. Words by ALTHING.

DAY 2 - HORSE EXPO SOUTH-SPRING 2017

The Icelandic Horse Expo IS really something special! On the first real day of this expo we visited some of Iceland‘s top breeding farms, got first-hand knowledge about the breeding at each place, talked to the breeders and saw the up coming stars of the future – a unique opportunity to gain insight into the day to day activities of Iceland‘s top level breeders.

We started the day at Austurkot: Here we got a presentation of a free-running stallion with a nice story behind. He was supposed to be sold but ended up injured for a long time. They promised him that would never sell him if only he'd recover. He started getting better from that point and he is healthy nowadays. It’s still winter wonderland in Iceland these days - and we saw several beautiful horses ridden on the snowy oval track.

One of the beautiful horses at the snowy oval track at Austurkot.

One of the beautiful horses at the snowy oval track at Austurkot.

Afterwards we drove to Fet where we were told about the breeding on this farm that probably all of us have heard about in connection to the breeding of the Icelandic Horses. The team on Fet also showed us how they train their young horses - this was a very interesting demonstration.
 

A demonstration of training the young horses at Fet.

A demonstration of training the young horses at Fet.

Lunch of the day was served at Kvistir - and here we got to see and talk a lot about the conformation of the horses. Several stallions were lined up in the stable and presented with their strengths and special character. And the highlight of this visit was to see the famous Ómur frá Kvistum presented under rider.

The famous Ómur frá Kvistum at Kvistir.

The famous Ómur frá Kvistum at Kvistir.

During the day we got a lot of new knowledge and the last visit of the day was no exception. At Strandarhöfuð we were told about their breeding and after seeing a lot of impressive horses there was a lottery. The winner of the lottery - a covering from one of the stallions on the farm - was very happy. She has never won anything before! This was a perfect ending of a great day in Iceland.

Some of the lovely horses of Strandarhöfuð

Some of the lovely horses of Strandarhöfuð

We ended a great day of horsing around the Southern Iceland with a very nice reception at the riding shop Baldvin og Þorvaldur in Selfoss!

Photos by Daniela Greis. Words by ALTHING.

THE ICELANDIC HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH IS IN THE AIR!

All guests arrived yesterday and together we drove towards Selfoss. This event take the participants through the Southern part of Iceland. 

The group met for welcoming dinner at the restaurant Tryggvaskáli, where they had a wonderful lobster soup and went over the program for the next days. As the organizers can't guarantee good weather (only good time), everyone got a gift from Hrímnir, a beanie to keep them warm. 

The next couple of days we visit some of the most succesful and well-known breeding farms in the country. During the day we will be seeing beautiful horses and nature - and get to talk with breeders who really know something about this fantastic horse breed. 

We spend the evenings at great events where the Icelandic horses are shown in shows and demonstrations. 

Follow the entire event here on the website and on Facebook and Instagram

And as usual you can enjoy the daily videos from Henning Drath. 

Let’s share our passion - here is the first video:

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Kjarr

The main focus at The Icelandic Horse Expo is the breeding of this horse breed that we all love so much. You will get to meet some of the most famous horses - both mares and stallions - when visiting the farms. And when visiting Kjarr there is no exception. 

KJARR

The farm Kjarr is located between Hveragerði and Selfoss, about a 45 minute drive from Reykjavík. The owners - Helga and Helgi - have three children that all have an interest in horses, and the youngest son Eggert Helgason is now in his second year in Hólar.

“It has been 36 years since we moved to Kjarr and started our horse breeding. Since then 250 foals have been born at Kjarr - we used to get 5-6 foals each year but now it’s about 8-11.

Our main breeding goal is to breed five gaited horses with great tölt, willing and cooperative spirit and an excellent temperament. We want our horses to be fun and enjoyable for everyone. The horses should be light built with a fine neck and a strong back and croup.

When we are choosing stallions for our mares we try to use stallions that come close to fulfilling our breeding goal. We usually use stallions in their mid-age that we have seen with our own eyes, whose offsprings we have also examined. We think it is more important to use a stallion with proven breeding results as opposed to young, untested stallions. Our mares are also invaluable to our breeding program, and though it is desirable to use mares with high breeding score, we place higher value on mares that are cooperative and fun to work with.

 

Our greatest breeding achievements must be Stáli and Stjarna frá Kjarri. In 2006 Stáli (m. Jónína frá Hala and f. Galsi frá Sauðárkróki) received 8.26 for conformation, 9,09 for ridden abilities and a total score of 8,76. In 2011 he was awarded first prize for offspring, and in 2014 he received honor price for his offspring. Stjarna (m. Þruma frá Selfossi and f. Gustur frá Hóli) received a judgment of 8.39 for conformation, 8,21 for ridden abilities and a total score of 8,28. In 2015 she too received an honor prize for her offspring.

We are looking forward to welcome the Horse Expo at Kjarr. We will enjoy meeting other people with passion for the Icelandic Horse, in order to show them our farm and discuss our breeding. Come enjoy a cup of coffee with us as we show you our wonderful riding, brood mares and foals.”

Read more about Kjarr on: www.kjarr.is 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga


The Icelandic Horse Expo takes you to some of the best breeding farms in Iceland. We get to talk with both the owners and horse trainers on the farms - and many of them teach on a regular basis and all of them enjoy to share their passion.

KIRKJUFERJUHJÁLEIGA

Trausti Þór Guðmundsson is a well known trainer, riding instructor and breeder. He has dedicated his life to the Icelandic horse and been very active as a instructor and a teacher.

In 1999, Trausti and his family moved to Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga in Ölfus where they found the right home for their horse-breeding. The breeding started earlier with only one mare - Perla frá Ey - who was carefully chosen by Trausti because of her bloodlines, the way she looks, and her character and temperament. Perla is still alive in Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga and will this year celebrate her 34th birthday.  

“Perla has had 14 offspring, and some really outstanding: Kjuði frá Kirkjuferjuhjáleigu is a Perla-son. He came into the a-finals in fourgait at the WC in 2011 with Hulda Gústavsdóttir. Ómur frá Kirkjuferjuhjáleigu is a first class stallion, son of Perla and Óttar frá Hvítárholti. Ómur is in Sweden. Hraunar frá Kirkjuferjuhjáleigu is a highly evaluated 1st price stallion, son of Hylling frá Hvítárholti and Óður frá Brún. Hraunar is in Sweden. Bassi was a 1st price stallion, son of Perla and Hrannar frá Höskuldsstöðum. Bassi was sold to Germany.

Our breeding is rather small - we get two to four foals each year. 

Even though Perla is our main breeding-line, we have also tried two other mares: Hylling frá Hvítárholti who is a first price for offspring and the other one is Hrefna frá Búlandi, a inbred Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum, meaning she is the daughter of two Kolfinnur offsprings.

We are now working with the third generation of our Perla-line. Both Hylling and Hrefna are away now. We only have one daughter of Hylling, and actually, that mare is a working-horse in our stable, has never had a child. We are in the moment working with two Hrefna offsprings and one mare of the third generation, a daughter of Hrönn frá Kirkjuferjuhjáleigu and Óliver frá Kvistum.

We choose stallions carefully and often we use stallions we know personally. We look for stallions that have and therefore could give good slow tölt, and good basic-gaits. We have used for example:

  • Rökkvi frá Hárlaugsstöðum
  • Geisli frá Sælukoti
  • Sveinn-Hervar frá Þúfu
  • Stáli frá Kjarri
  • Spói frá Kjarri
  • Bláskjár frá Kjarri
  • Tinni frá Kjarri
  • Ómur frá Kvistum
  • Óliver frá Kvistum

At Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga, we only sell horses from our own breeding, and normally we don’t like to sell a horse until it is at least 7-8 years old and well educated by us. We also do not like to sell horses through a „dealer“or the internet. We like to have personal contact with owners of our horses.

There are good horses that have the family-name „frá Kirkjuferjuhjáleigu“ in many countries. Our horses are of course by different owners in Iceland, in the USA, Faroe islands, Finland, Germany, Austria, Schwitzerland and Sweden.

We are looking forward to welcome the Horse Expo guests to enjoy a good day with us at Kirkjuferjuhjáleiga.”

Learn more on: www.icelandhorses.is

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Þóroddsstaðir

Which stallion in Iceland is your favorite? The breeding farms will show us offsprings from many of the most well known and spectacular stallions. 

Þóroddsstaðir

Þóroddsstaðir – Laugarvatn is á well-known breeding farm. Horses have been bred there for more than half a century. The farm has been owned by the family since 1953. Horses from Þóroddsstaðir – Laugarvatn have been prominent all the time, and every now and then they have been among the best. 

“At Landsmót 2016 we had three horses of highest qualification: Hera, the world champion in 250 m pace (21,41 sec.), the five years old stallion Trausti (8,30 – 8,86 = 8,64; 9,5 for tölt, 9 for pace and three more 9s)  and the four years old filly Fjöður frá Þóroddsstöðum (8,04 – 8,56 = 8, 35; 9 for tölt and 9 for pace.) Many might also know the famous Þóroddur frá Þóroddsstöðum (8,28 – 9,04 = 8,74). And also many mares have been highly judged, some of them very young. Several stallions and breeding mares have got honorary prize for offspring.

Our breeding goal is to fulfill our dreams about well–shaped horses with great riding abilities. A special emphasis is on tölt and pace, healthy and right shaped feet, great mane and tale, willingness and good temperament. We like our horses to be easy to break in and easy to ride: Our children had their first and only riding experience on these horses. As grown-ups they have become outstanding riders and trainers. That is also a breeding goal, by the way! One could say that the breeding will soon be taken over by our son Bjarni, and many of the horses are already owned by him.

We are looking forward to welcome the Horse Expo guests, and first of all we would like our guests to have a pleasant and educating visit. We also hope it will help us marketing our breeding: The horses of course, and hopefully also our emphasis, mentality andideals in horse breeding.

We hope the Expo guests will enjoy the visit. They will see an ordinary family farm, which has been built up in a long time by its own money. The facilities may be better on many horse farms - on the other hand, we believe the horses are extraordinary and likely to be as good as it gets: You might expect to see the stallions Trausti, Ófeigur, Gikkur, Neisti, the young fillies Góa, Hviða, Stjarna, Fiðla (all four years old), Nös, Elding and Dagsbrún, the five-gait champion prospect Hnokki, the very promising pacehorses Randver and Þröm – and several other horses. Some of them will definitely be ridden for you! The fathers of these horses are: Þóroddur, Þröstur frá Hvammi, Sær frá Bakkakoti, Arion frá Eystra-Fróðholti, Nói frá Stórahofi, Stormur frá Herríðarhóli, Lord frá Vatnsleysu, Báskeggur frá Kjarnholtum, Hrókur frá Efstadal, Kvistur frá Skagaströnd and Illingur frá Tóftum.” 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Kirkjubær

What is the process of taking a young promising horse and creating a fully developed „gæðingur“? The breeding farms show us their young horses, ridning horses and future stars! 

Kirkjubær

Sigurður Haraldsson and his family came to Kirkjubær in the year of 1967. Ágúst his son took over in1993 and he is the breeder and owner and his son Hjörvar and daughter in-law Hanna Rún live in Kirkjubær and take care of the farm and train the horses.

About the breeding at Kirkjubær Hjörvar tells: 

“We aim for horses with excellent gaits and character, simply horses that we like to ride and enjoy ourselves. 

We are extremely careful when it comes to choosing stallions for our mares. That is the most important moment in our breeding work. Only the best is good enough! The same is true when we are selecting new breeding mares – we need to know them well and like them a lot if they are to become part of our breeding stock.

These 5 horses are the highest judged breeding horses from Kirkjubær.

  1. Rauðhetta frá Kirkjubæ 
  2. Sjóður frá Kirkjubæ
  3. Fjóla frá Kirkjubæ
  4. Veröld frá Kirkjubæ
  5. Þyrnirós frá Kirkjubæ

The best horses we have breed the most recent years must be Sjóður who won among the 4 year old stallions in Landsmót 2011, Fjóla which was the second highest 6 years old mare at Landsmót in 2008 and Valgarð who came second among the 4 years old stallions at Landsmót in 2016. 

We are looking forward to welcome the Horse Expo guests - to meet interesting people and introduce them to our breeding farm.

The guests can be looking forward to see a selection of our horses from the youngest ones to the oldest. Both the ones in training which we aim to show and compete on next summer and the ones we hope will be future stars.”

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Fet

Between 3500-5000 foals are born in Iceland every year. Some of the breeding farms only get a few foals every year and some get quite a lot. On your way around Iceland you'll find out that no matter the number of breeding mares, quality comes before quantity. 

FET

Fet is located in south of Iceland, an hour away from Reykjavik. Just before you enter the town Hella you see farm next to highway no. 1. Fet has great facilities for both breeding and training of the horses. 

About the breeding on Fet, Ólafur Andri Guðmundsson tells: 

“We have been breeding horses for over 25 years. Every year there are born around 25 foals. From Fet has been showed 125 first price horses and 5 horses have received honor price for offsprings, which is the highest award you can get. Fet has been nominated 17 times as breeding farm of the year and won it 3 times, 1998, 2004 and 2007. We have also been nominated 2 times for competition farm of the year.

Fet breeding is built on a strong background, coming from bloodlines like Orri frá Þúfa and Krafla frá Miðsitju. Our breeding goal is to bread horses with beautiful building, focusing on a nice neck and shoulder. Good quality gaits and nice character.

When matching the mares with stallions we want them to complement each other, but we always want great tölt and strong bloodline.

We are looking forward to show you everything from young promising horses up to high quality and well educated horses.”

Read more about Fet on: www.fet.is 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Austurkot

The Icelandic Horse Expo is neither a sales show nor an exhibition. It is rather an opportunity for horse lovers from outside Iceland to come and experience the Icelandic horse in its natural surroundings, to build bridges and friendships across countries. 

On our way around South Iceland we will also get to know Hugrún and Páll at Austurkot better. 

AUSTURKOT 

Austurkot is a horse farm situated in the south of Iceland, only 55 km from the city of Reykjavik and 3 km from the town of Selfoss. Austurkot is owned by Hugrún Jóhannsdóttir and Páll Bragi Hólmarsson, who are both certified horse trainers and riding teachers (FT).

“We are breeding horses on a professional level. We are really proud of our many first price mares and are enjoying to have good stables and fields for our horses. We have been living on the farm since 1999. 

One of our best breeding achievements must be the mare Álfadrottning fro Austurkot. At Landsmót in 2012 she came second among the 7 years old mares. From the breeding assessment she has 9 for head and legs, but also for pace, spirit and generel impression. 

We get 10 foals every year and our main goal is to breed beautiful horses that have a great mind and spirit. The horses should be willing to work together with the rider and enjoy working. We also strive to breed horses with long legs, a well-set neck and muscled back. 

We are looking forward to welcome the Horse Expo guests - and we are sure that everybody will be enjoying the great horses and good coffee here at Austurkot.”

Learn more about Austurkot on: www.austurkot.is 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Árbakki

At the Horse Expo in April we visit some of the most popular and famous breeding farms and training stables. You get to hear from the best of the best about breeding, training and presentation of the Icelandic horse - both when it comes to young horses, starting the youngsters and preparing for the breeding and sports track. Hinrik and Hulda at Árbakki shows a lot of horses in the tracks during the season.  

ÁRBAKKI

Árbakki is located near Hella, at the salmon river Ytri-Rangá. Here is about 200 hektars good grassland, ideal for horses, with small lakes and a lot of grass. 

“We have been living in Árbakki since 2005 and started breeding horses then, on a small scale though, and have been doing so since then. At Árbakki we run our breeding but also our horse exporting company Hestvit ehf, which was the biggest horse exporting company in the year of 2016. In our new stable and riding hall we train our own horses, sales horses and competition horses. We also give clinics all over the world and also teach a lot at home and all around Iceland. 

We are sport riders, both of us riding on the highest level, have participated in World championships several times and therefore we would like to breed sport horses. So that is our goal.  A good sport horse has a good character, great gaits, big movements and steps and are well built and easy for anybody to ride.  We get about 8-10 foals a year, all from first price mares and first price stallions, many of which have been successful in sport and breeding.  We lay our pride in quality, all our foals are DNA tested and we ride most of our young horses before we sell them. 

When we look for a mare or a stallion, we think of how they look - long legs and a well arched neck and topline are important.  Then the clear gaits but first of all is the character, which has to be stable and positive. If the character isn’t good, all the other things do not matter.  

We have been participating in the Horse Expo since it began and are happy to welcome our visitors - some have been here before, some haven’t. We are looking very much forward to seeing you all here and we will certainly have something nice to show you, even some surprises!”

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Árbæjarhjáleiga

Many people in Iceland are growing up with the horses as a natural part of their life. The children goes horse back ridning even before they walk and later on they help with the daily run of the farm - and some might even take over the business.

ÁRBÆJARHJÁLEIGA

Árbæjarhjáleiga is located in the south of Iceland - close to the town Hella. Marjolijn and Kristinn have owned the farm and lived here with their two daughters Hekla Katharína and Rakel Nathalie since 1992.

About the breeding at Árbæjarhjáleiga Hekla Katharína tells: 

“We have had good luck with some truly great horses from our farm. The highest judged is Jarl frá Árbæjarhjáleigu which has a total of 8.78 in the breeding assessment. 8.50 for conformation and 8.96 for ridden abilities. We are also proud to say that his first offspring was shown in the year 2015. Þökk frá Árbæjarhjáleigu was the highest judged four-year-old mare at the breeding assessment that year in Iceland with a total of 8.27 - 8.24 for conformation and 8.29 for ridden abilities. She actually got a higher score in the year 2016 - a total of 8.41 and now she is one of our new breeding mares and pregnant with Organisti frá Horni. In total we get about 15 – 20 foals each year.

Our breeding line is strongly connected to the great Ófeigur frá Flugumýri. Five of our breeding mares are his daughters. The qualities that we like so much from Ófeigur are the strong characters with a lot of movement and a great willingness. We would say that we breed our horses with the goal of having horses with a good character, charismatic looks, big movements and five good gaits with a big emphasis on good and clear beated tölt. We focus a lot on certain qualities in our breeding - I would say we go a lot by feeling. What feeling does the stallion or mare give you when you see it or ride it. We try to use our instinct.

The whole family are looking forward to welcome this year’s Horse Expo guests. We are really excited. Jarl will be showed as well some of his off springs. We have a lot of new talents in the stable which will hopefully show their best. Also, we will have some traditional food ready.

We are really looking forward to welcome Horse Expo at Árbæjarhjáleiga and show the fruit of our breeding.”

Learn more about the training and breeding at Árbæjarhjáleiga on: www.heklakatharina.is 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Austurás

The Icelandic horse is spectacular. It’s known for its great character, the power and willingness to work, the supple tölt and fast pace - and not the least: It comes in many beautiful colors. Today we present:

AUSTURÁS

Austurás is a farm located about 1.5 km from Selfoss, around 45 minuts from Reykjavík. The owners -  Haukur and Ragga - build the farm in 2007 so it is rather young breeding farm.

“We own the Toyota retailer in Selfoss so we are training horses after work. Therefore we also have a horse trainer working together with us at Austurás. Ásta Björnsdóttir, riding teacher from Hólar is helping us training the horses and running the farm. The stable have space for 23 horses. 

We get 4-7 foals each year. At the moment we are training some very exiting and promising horses born 2013 after Álfur from Selfoss. Our main goal is to breed good sport horses with good and easy temperament, clear gaits and good willing. 

When choosing the right stallion for the mare we are looking at many things - it’s important to match temperament, movements, the clear gaits, confirmation, the bloodline and so on. It is really important for us to know the temperament of the stallions we are using very well. And during our breeding we have also learned that it is extremely important to have the “right” breeding mare.  If you are so lucky to find the “right” mare then you can be on the right way to breed really good horses.  

When joining the Horse Expo we are looking forward to meet and know more people who has the same passion, when we present our farm and the horses from Austurás.

We are looking forward to let the guests see promising young mares and stallions - and we hope they like palomino and pinto colors!” 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Kvistir

The bus drives the Horse Expo guests around the beautiful landscape - and one of the days we stop by the impressive Kvistir: 

KVISTIR

Kvistir is a horse breeding farm located in the South of Iceland, less then 100 km from Reykjavik and 4 km from Hella. Kvistir is owned by Günther Weber and run by riding instructor and trainer Sigvaldi L. Gudmundsson, who lives there with his wife Marta Gunnarsdóttir and their two children Elísabet Líf and Helgi Hrafn. Sigvaldi started working at Kvistir in January 2016 after working as a riding instructor at Hólar University and later at the Agricultural University of Iceland. 

"Kvistir is known to have bred great horses that have been successful in competition. Horses such as Oliver and Muni frá Kvistum, which we have seen on the oval track at the World Championships, achieving great success. Also, we should mention the mare, Skíma frá Kvistum who has been attracting a lot of attention with her rider Árni Björn Pálsson.

One of our greatest breeding achievements is Ómur frá Kvistum. A stallion that has shown his excellence both in the breeding evaluation, where he reached the outstanding score of 9.5 both for pace and spirit, and also in competition where he showed his outstanding capabilities winning the A Class at LM 2011 with the rider Hinrik Bragason. He has been popular as a breeding stallion and his offspring are attracting a lot of attention. At the 2014 LM held in Hella, we witnessed his son Konsert frá Hofi winning the 4-year-old stallions class with 8.72 – the highest score in the world in this class that year. There are many other offspring of Ómur that have already proven themselves, and we know that there are many more good results to come!

The goal here at Kvistir is to produce top quality horses. Every year 10-12 foals a year from 1st prize mares and every year has been chosen stallions we believe can give offspring that will attract attention both in beauty and talent. We strive for well built horses with high leg movements, great gaits and outstanding spirit. 

We wish to give the Horse Expo visitors an insight to the Icelandic Horse by welcoming them to our stable and allowing them to have an up-close and personal look at our breeding, showing them our horses of all ages and give them a special opportunity to meet our big star, Ómur. And of course it is our hope that they will enjoy our company and lovely horses and have a pleasant experience at the farm."

Read more about Kvistir on: www.kvistir.is/ 

HORSE EXPO SPRING-SOUTH PRESENTS: Sunnuhvoll

During the week in Iceland we will visit many different farms. Some of them have been run for many years and some are more newly established. Now we get to know a bit more about a place run by the entire family. Let’s welcome:

SUNNUHVOLL

Sunnuhvoll is the small family breeding that grew into being a family business with breeding, training and teaching Icelandic horses. At Sunnuhvoll they are a family of five: The parents Siggi and Anna and the kids Arnar, Glódís and Védís. The family has lived at Sunnuhvoll for a little more than 20 years and just last year they built a new stable with a 20x40 riding hall and 32 boxes. Sunnuhvoll is located about 5 km west from Selfoss.

“You can say that this breeding started about 30 years ago when Anna got the mare Saga frá Litlu-Sandvík. She has had 17 offsprings that are the foundation in the breeding. Especially her daughter Urður frá Sunnuhvoli which gave horses like Tjörvi frá Sunnuhvoli, Nordic champion in tölt and the father of the World Champion Desert frá Litlalandi, and silver medalist Röskur frá Skjød. 

Our breeding goal is to breed soft supple gaits with elegance and a good character. We believe in quality over quantity and for a long time the breeding was only 2 mares but now has increased to 8, so we expect somewhere around 6-8 foals each year the next couple of years.

The bloodlines in our foals come from many directions but we look for a good character, clear gaits and big movements and a supple topline.

We are looking forward to welcome the Horse Expo group and hope to have a good time filled with knowledge about breeding and training.”

Read more about Sunnuhvoll on: www.sunnuhvoll.net