More than 3000 horses have been exported this year, an increase of more than 1000 since last year. This is a record high in export numbers and more than double the export numbers of just two years ago.
The last record was set in 1996 when 2,841 Icelandic horses were exported in one year, but in 2010-2019 the numbers ranged from 1100-1500. This year, 3,341 horses have left Iceland, 361 studs, 1,426 geldings, and 1,554 mares. Of these, 845 horses were certified A, meaning that both the horse and its parents had undergone DNA analysis proving its family history.
The top three export countries are Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, with 2,467 of the total exported horses, Germany alone receiving 1,477. This is according to data from Worldfengur, published by The Icelandic Agricultural Advisory Centre.
Once they’ve left Iceland, the horses can never return. Importing horses is prohibited to protect the Icelandic horse breed that has lived in isolation in Iceland for centuries.