Today we are proud to present a farm and a family with a very long history of breeding. Let's learn more about:
Saurbær is located about 5 km from Varmahlíð, in the heart of Skagafjörður in Northwest of Iceland. The farm has been in the same family for more than 100 years and horses have always played a very important role in the family. For 2,5 years ago Heiðrún Eymundsdóttir and Pétur Örn Sveinsson bougth the farm from Heiðrún’s father, Eymundur Þórarinsson. Heiðrún’s brother Þórarinn Eymundsson (Tóti) and his wife Sigríður Gunnarsdóttir, have there breeding mares here at Saurbær, and breed horses from here. Tóti’s stable is in Sauðárkrókur, were he and his family live. He trains the breeding horses and many breeding horses from other breeders from all over Iceland, also from foreign breeders. The stable in Sauðárkrókur was built in 2009, but the family has been living in Sauðárkrókur from 2006, when Tóti and his wife Sigríður Gunnarsdóttir moved from Hólar.
“At Saurbær we get approximately 4-6 foals a year. Our breeding goal is to breed horses that have good temperament, horses that are cooperative and easy to handle. Horses with good and clear gaits, with a lot of expression, charm and smoothness in their movements. We want to breed horses with good and beautiful conformation, but we put our main focus on a conformation that make it easy for the horse to carry the rider in good balance and move with grace.
We are trying to make sure that the mare and the stallion fit well together. Both horses must impress us, with their temperament, charm and how they carry themselves in good balance. But we also look into their pedigree, breeding judgment as well as their marks in competitions.
Our greatest breeding achievement is the stallion Hlekkur frá Saurbær, bred by Heiðrúns father, Eymundur Þórarinsson. Hlekkur has 8,71 for ridden abilities, 8,13 for conformation and 8,48 in total.”
About his breeding in Saurbær, Tóti says:
“I have breed a few first prize horses but I highest judged horse is a stallion called Nói from Saurbæ. But maybe my best breeding achievement is my three children! My two daughters are promising riders and maybe they will carry on breeding and training on the Icelandic horse.
But back to the horses, our breeding is on a small-scale and we get 3 - 4 foals each year. We are focusing on breeding horses that are fun and easy to ride. Fun horses are those who have good gates, forward and positive character and a conformation that makes it easier for them to perform. But first of all I focus on the mares. My goal is to own and breed with at least one mare that only gives good or super good offsprings - that is one of the most important key for success in breeding.
The stallions must have something that will bring the breeding and my breeding goals further. There are 5 different things that I use as a selection guide.
1. I like to use stallions that I know personally from riding because that gives me so much more information than a breeding judgment.
2. I like to use stallions that have proven themselves as breeding stallions through their offspring.
3. I want to use stallions that have done well in a sport or gæðingakeppni competition or at least that I see a good potential for competition.
4. I choose stallions with a conformation that helps them to perform as a riding/competition horse.
5. I prefer to know the breeding mares really well; how they were trained in the start and how they developed during the training. With this knowledge I have a better chance to select a stallion that will fit well.”
Regarding the Horse Expo, Heiðrún says:
“We will welcome the Horse Expo visitors with a good traditional Icelandic kjötsúpa and we’ll spend a good time together. Our great stallion Hlekkur will be in the stable as well as other horses that represent our breeding. We are excited to meet new people interested in the Icelandic horse and to show them what we are doing her at Saurbær!”
And Toti adds:
“I am looking forward to meet interested people. People that love the Icelandic horse and share the same passion for breeding and the Icelandic horse in general. Get to know them a little and that they get to know me, my work and my thoughts better. I can promise that the Horse Expo guests will be seeing some interesting horses here – and maybe I’ll make a short demonstration.”
Learn more at http://saurbaer.is