On Sunday, twelve horses were found dead, beneath the ice in the pond Bessastaðatjörn, close to the President’s residence at Bessastaðir, Álftanes. At some point during the past week, the horses have walked onto the ice, possibly in look for shelter from a storm. The ice broke, not far from land. This was reported by Vísir and RÚV.
Having heard of the lost horses, the Coast Guard decided to fly over the area, on helicopter. Since the news broke, the Coast Guard has emphasised that they did not participate in an organised search and that the area was merely added to their otherwise regular surveillance flight. Nonetheless, they found the horses.
On Monday, Reykjavík Helicopters provided a helicopter to remove the carcasses from the pond, as seen in the accompanying screenshots from RÚV’s report.
Seven of the horses belonged to the company Íshestar. Einar Bollason, the company’s spokesman, says that they have grazed the horses in Álftanes for decades, and nothing like this had ever happened. “We’ve had some of these horses for around fifteen years. You can imagine the relation to staff members. Like I said to my employees, thank god it wasn’t our children, but the closest step.”