Iceland Horse Festival Held Two Years in a Row Skip to content

Iceland Horse Festival Held Two Years in a Row

It was decided at a national convention of the National Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations (LH) last weekend that the next Landsmót National Horse Festival will be held at Vindheimamelar in Skagafjördur, north Iceland, June 26 to July 3, 2011.

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From a previous Landsmót. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Landsmót, which is usually a biennial event, was supposed to be held in Vindheimamelar last summer but had to be canceled due to a persistent and infectious cough in horses, Morgunbladid.

However, now the Landsmót will be held two years in a row; in 2012 the horse festival will take place in Reykjavík. The location for 2014 hasn’t been decided yet.

“People had their doubts about holding Landsmót next year but both because of the economic situation in Iceland and the infectious cough in the horses here there is no single event that can help the horse culture like Landsmót. We need a push,” explained Haraldur Thórarinsson, chairman of LH.

He pointed out that the horse festival is a tourist attraction and therefore creates revenue in foreign currency and a number of jobs.

The only problem is that by holding the Landsmót next year, LH is breaking a gentlemen’s agreement with the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations (FEIF) that the Landsmót won’t be held the same year as the World Championship for the Icelandic Horse, which will take place in Austria in August next year.

“We’ve angered our friends a little bit. They have full understanding of this but still find it difficult to swallow. We’ve pointed out that this situation is so unique that we really need a Landsmót to get us going again,” Thórarinsson added.

Meanwhile, horses are still being infected by the horse flu with foals proving especially vulnerable. “The epidemic as such has passed but the bacteria prevail so horses can still be infected,” said veterinarian Sigrídur Björnsdóttir.

“People have to be on the alert, especially when horses are taken to the stables. If there is a suspicion that a horse is infected, it cannot be kept in a stable with other horses,” Björnsdóttir stressed, yet adding that she finds another epidemic unlikely in the near future.

Click here to read more about this year’s Landsmót being called off and here to read recent news of the horse flu.

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