Fewer But More Expensive Icelandic Horses Exported Skip to content

Fewer But More Expensive Icelandic Horses Exported

The export of live Icelandic horses decreased by 10.5 percent between the years of 2008 – 2009. But last year the export increased by nearly 19 percent due to the collapse of the ISK. The sales of live Icelandic horses abroad reached a peak in 1996 when 2,840 horses were exported.

According to the newest statistics from the Farmers Association 1,589 horses were exported this year, which is ten percent less than last year.

Hallveig Fródadóttir which collects the data for the Farmers Association says that this year’s numbers are equivalent to 2007. She says that last year’s increase happened mostly in the last three months of the year after the Icelandic króna had dropped 50 percent. “We had an increase for 280 horses as buyers were taking advantage of the fallen ISK,” she said.

Kristbjörg Eyvindsdóttir, horse breeder and exporter, says that the market in Icelandic horses is rather stable but in difficult economic times it seeks balance like everything else. “We must realize that there is a slump in the economy elsewhere too,” she said to <i>Fréttabladid<p>.

Eyvindsdóttir points out that the number of horses does not tell the whole story. The quality is also of great importance. “It is more professionally done now than before, both the taming of horses and recording of breeds.” She claims that it is likely that buyers are purchasing more expensive horses than before and that the prices reported for the exports pointed in that direction. “That’s where the opportunity lies for the buyers. Using the weak currency to purchase better horses for the same amount of money they would have spent before.”

Kristinn Gudnason, the chairman of the Association of Horse Farmers, agrees with Eyvindsdóttir. He states that most exported horses can be used in competitions.

The Farmers Association keeps records of all exported horses since 1988. That year, 700 Icelandic horses were exported. Since 1988, 34,095 horses have been exported.

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