The Icelandic horse is expected to garner attention in the United States in the coming 18 months when it will perform in the horse show Apassionata. The tour begins in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 27.
Icelandic horses. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
The multi-awarded show has proven one of the most popular family events in Europe in the past years, attracting five million spectators since its launch nine years ago. Now it will tour North America for the first time, Morgunblaðið reports.
Icelandic horse owner Guðmar Þór Pétursson runs a ranch with almost 50 Icelandic horses in Kentucky and he was given the task of organizing the Icelandic horse’s participation in Apassionata’s US tour.
“There have been Icelandic horses in the shows in Europe. When they decided to tour America they sought to have Icelandic horses perform there too and I was mentioned in that connection,” Guðmar stated.
He has organized his own horse shows in the US, entitled “The Knights of Iceland”, and so he is experienced with the procedure. “I have traveled with a show team to large horse festivals in America a few times a year for around ten years.”
Four of Guðmar’s horses, along with a substitute, will participate in each show. He will serve as the team leader; in addition to himself, two Icelandic and two American riders will perform. Performances are scheduled three days a week, Fridays through Sundays.
Guðmar believes the Apassionata tour will significantly impact the popularity of the Icelandic horse in North America.
“We will reach a lot of people; it includes 66 cities, three to six shows in each city and a few thousand spectators in each show. There are 45 horses of 13 breeds in Apassionata and even though we aren’t the stars of the show it will be great promotion for the Icelandic horse,” Guðmar concluded.
The horses aren’t the only Icelandic aspect of Apassionata; the Icelandic opera singer Arndís Halla Ásgeirsdóttir has held a full-time position performing during the show in Europe for many years and is known as “The Voice of Apassionata”.
She will not accompany the four-legged Icelanders to America in person but her music will be brought along on the tour.