Nov 20, 2023

Awards of the year in Iceland

Last Saturday Icelandic riders and breeders were rewarded for their results in 2023.

Last Saturday (November 18), the

Icelandic national equestrian association

(Landssamband Hestamannafélaga) held its annual award ceremony in Reykjavík. This evening is the one all Icelandic professionals within the horse industry look most forward to as titles such as rider of the year and sport breeding farm of the year are awarded.

We were thrilled to be on site to rejoice over this year's results. Here is a list of the awards and who won them:

  • Most promising rider of the year: Jón Ársæll Bergmann

Jón Ársæll and Frár frá Sandhóli won the fourgait (V1) at the World Championships in the young riders' category. They also won the as the fourgait combination (C4: here, Jón Ársæll and Frár had the highest marks when the Tölt and fourgaits tests are combined). Jón Ársæll also won 4 Icelandic Champions titles in 2023: Fourgait (V1), fourgait combination (C4), tölt (T1) and 250m pace (P1) and won a silver medal at the Icelandic Championships in 100m pace race (P2).

  • Sport breeding farm of the year: Strandarhjáleiga

Competition results of horses from bred by the Strandarhjáleiga all over the world were outstanding. Horses bred at Strandarhjálegia had great results on the competition track in Germandy, Switzerland, Norway, France, Denmark, Austria, Iceland as well and in the Netherlands during the World Championship.

  • Pace rider of the year: Daníel Gunnarsson

Daníel Gunnarsson managed time under 22.0 seconds with two horses in 250m pace (P1) and time under 8.0 seconds in 100m pace race (P2). He also won a silver medal in 250m pace race (P1) at the World Championships with the mare Eining frá Einhamri.

  • Gæðinga rider of the year: Gústaf Ásgeir Hinriksson

Gústaf Ásgeir and Bjarmi frá Litlu-Tungu won the fivegait (A-class) in the gæðinga competition of the local club Geysir as well as Fjórðungsmót where Bjarmi was chosen 'gæðingur' of the competition.

  • Sport rider of the year: Jóhanna Margrét Snorradóttir

Jóhanna Margrét and Bárður frá Melabergi were crowned World Champions in tölt (T1) and fourgait combination (C4) this summer after having won three Icelandic Champion titles in fourgait (V1), Tölt (T1) and fourgait combination (C4). They also won a silver medal in fourgait (V1) at the World Championships.

  • Rider of the year: Elvar Þormarsson

Elvar Þormarsson and Fjalladís frá Fornusöndum were World Champions both in the 250m pace race (P1) and Pace test (PP1) this summer. Together, they were also Icelandic Champions in Pace test (PP1) for the third time.

Horses of Iceland congratulates all these riders and other nominees for their outstanding results over the competition season! Thank you all for putting stars in our eyes and showing great horsemanship on the oval and pace tracks!