The stallion Spuni from Vesturkot was given a higher rating for its breeding qualities than any other Icelandic horse in the world at the Landsmót Horse Festival at Vindheimamelar in Skagafjördur, north Iceland, last weekend.
From a previous horse tournament. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“He is so high above all other horses that it totally creates a new level of reference,” commented Sigurbjörn Björnsson, a horse breeder and vice-chairman of the Icelandic Horse Breeders’ Association.
He told Morgunbladid that Spuni can become particularly valuable for Icelandic horse breeding, given his qualities are inherited by his offspring. Spuni is owned by former minister and Central Bank governor Finnur Ingólfsson.
The five-year-old stallion was given 10.0 for willingness and temperament and the overall grade for talents was 9.25, as it says on landsmot.is.
“It was a magnificent moment,” Ingólfsson described to visir.is of when he heard how high Spuni was rated. When asked whether he intends to sell the horse, he replied: “You don’t put a price tag on your children. Spuni is not for sale.”
According to visir.is, the stallion’s value is estimated at ISK 40-50 million (USD 349,000-436,000, EUR 240,000-300,000).
Approximately 7,000 visitors attended the horse festival, which ran from June 26 to July 3. “The tournament was very successful. Horse enthusiasts stuck together and made the Landsmót a major event,” horse breeder Gunnar Arnarson told Morgunbladid.
He and Kristbjörg Eyvindsdóttir are the owners of another of the tournament’s stars, the stallion Gári from Audholtshjáleiga, which was awarded as the top honorary breeding horse in delivering quality offspring.
The award was presented by Minister of Agriculture Jón Bjarnason.
Although Landsmót is usually a biannual event, it will be held again next year because this year’s horse festival was originally supposed to be held in 2010 but was postponed due to the horse flu which paralyzed the Icelandic horse culture last year.
Click here to read more about Landsmót and the horse flu.