From Iceland — Possible New Horse Breed In Iceland

Possible New Horse Breed In Iceland

Published November 18, 2021

Reetta Huhta
Photo by
Magnús Hlynur Hreiðarsson/Vísir

Icelandic horse enthusiasts have encountered an interesting phenomenon: a possible new breed of Icelandic horse in Skaftárhreppur. Currently, the horses are being examined to see if their genomes are different from the rest of the horse population in Iceland, reports Vísir.

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These horses have lived in isolation in Landbrot in Skaftárhreppur for the past sixty years. They have never entered a stable, their hooves have never been clipped nor have their teeth been brushed. They have not been given any anthelmintics either. The horses are said to be incredibly fit but quite small in comparison to other Icelandic horses.

For further examination, the horses have been transferred to Árbæjarhjáleiga farm in Holt, where experts are now taking samples of these horses in order to determine whether they have in fact become another breed. According to one of the specialists, Óðinn Örn Jóhannsson, even though the horses are small, their physical condition is good. He says that there is a substantial difference between other Icelandic horses and the isolated ones: “They are like another breed.”

The farm owner, Kristin Guðnason, says that he has never seen horses like this before. “They are extremely small, and there is very little offspring,” he comments. He adds that the isolated horses are friendly with others: “It seems that they adapt well to a new environment.”

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