The carcasses of 12 horses were found in Bessastaðatjörn in Álftanes near Reykjavík yesterday. They are believed to have walked onto the frozen pond in one of the past days and fallen through the ice. Seven of the horses belonged to tour company Íshestar and five to horse association Sóti.
Einar Bollason, owner of Íshestar, told visir.is that this is a terrible accident and that everyone at the company is in shock. “They were there, all of them, in one group. They had walked onto the ice, the ice had given in and they had been unable to crawl back on land. It was just off the bank.”
Íshestar kept 24 horses on the land, which is owned by Sóti, and has done so for tens of years without an accident. “We were going to bring them to the stables and then it turned out that 13 horses are missing, seven of our horses. They had simply disappeared.”
The owners had searched for the horses since Saturday when they were spotted by the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter on a surveillance flight.
Einar said he can’t describe how he feels about the loss. “People bond with these horses over the summer … We have owned some of them for about 15 years … I told my staff, ‘Thank God these weren’t our children,’ but this is the closest you can get.”
Ruv.is reported this morning that Reykjavík Helicopters had offered their assistance in trying to get the dead horses out of the frozen pond today. The ice around them will be broken and then helicopters will be used to lift the carcasses.