DAY 3: IMPRESSIVE YOUNGSTERS AND LEGENDS!

Yet another excellent day at the Horse Expo! After a good nights´ sleep and a solid breakfast at Hótel Varmahlíð and the Hestasport cottages, we went for todays first visit. At Miðsitja we met the owners Magnús, Ingunn, Birgir and Ása together with their team. While showing us some of their very interesting young horses from famous stallions, like Spuni frá Vesturkoti and Ómur frá Kvistum, they introduced us to their breeding history and philosophy. Their goal is to breed beautiful horses with excellent proportions and a lot of tölt, and obviously they are doing really well! It was a great pleasure to stroll around the stable with a cup of hot coffee and some Icelandic snacks, while chatting with the friendly staff and studying the pedigrees of their great horses.

Our next stop was at Varmaland, and as soon as we stepped out of the bus we heard some music coming from the stable. Inside we found not only the owners Sigurgeir and Birna and their team, but also their neighbor Geirmundur who happens to be Iceland´s most well known accordion player. He was entertaining us as we took the tour of the stable, where we of course found a whole bunch of fantastic horses.  We were treated with both cold and hot drinks toghether with some tasty Icelandic specialities, and then a demonstration of the Aqua Trainer. We were also shown horses in different stages of education, spanning from a recently started three-year old to well-known competition horses. Last but not least we were amazed by the stunningly beautiful first prize stallion Erró frá Ási 2, shown free running in the riding hall. After a couple of hours we had to say goodbye to all the nice people and horses, and head towards lunch.

The clouds were gone and the sun was shining as we drove through the scenic landscape, even more beautiful with a little snow on the mountaintops. We stopped for lunch at Hofsstaðir, well known for excellent service and good food.

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Our last visit today was at Vatnsleysa, a farm with a long history of breeding. The owners Björn and Árndís greeted us outside the stable, and started with telling us about the history of the farm. Björns father started building up  the breeding in 1966, mainly with Kolkúos bloodlines and offsprings from Lýsingur frá Voðmúlastöðum. Some of their top stallions, for example Hraunar frá Vatnsleysu, were presented to us, and the special characteristics and movements of the Vatnsleysu breed was very obvious in all of them. Finally we got to visit the famous Glampi frá Vatnsleysu in his field, now 28 years old and retired but it was really nice seeing him enjoying a good life with his best friend. 

After Vatnsleysa we headed home for dinner at Hótel Varmahlið, and then it was time to visit the Laufskálarétt Horse Show at the riding hall in Sauðárkrókur. One great horse after another was presented, there were world champion riders and many first prize horses. Great fun, with a lot of singing, humor and high spirits. A memorable way to finish a great day!