The International Day of the Icelandic Horse was celebrated with art and photo contests this year. More than 1,000 entries were made to both contests combined and last weekend the winners were announced.

The International Day of the Icelandic Horse was celebrated on 12 September in a rather unusual way. Instead of open stables, Horses of Iceland (HOI) opened a call for photos. A total of 684 photos were entered to the competition, which ended on Saturday.

All of the photos featured a special moment with the Icelandic horse in beautiful nature. People could vote their favourite photo – only one – and 9361 votes were made!

The photo which received the highest number of votes, 1343, was “Soulmates” by Sveinn Orri (@svenoreo). He wins the 66°North Kaldi Gore-Tex® Infinum® Windstopper® wool jacket and snug wool blanket with a gorgeous Icelandic horse design from

“Soulmates” by Sveinn Orri (@svenoreo).

2nd to 5th place.

HOI would like to thank everyone who participated in the contest. Take a look at the other entries here.

In Germany, the Day of the Icelandic Horse was celebrated with an award ceremony and the opening of an exhibition of the artwork entered in IPZV’s Icelandic (Horse) Art Competition. The ceremony was held at the Embassy of Iceland in Berlin on Friday, 11 September.

Icelandic Ambassador to Germany María Erla Marelsdóttir gave the opening address, followed by speeches by Claudia Temmeyer und Christian Eckert from IPZV. Twelve artists were awarded and almost everyone was able to attend the ceremony.

In the children’s category (places 4–1), Milan Löhrer, James Bradfield, Luis Eren Saltuk and Joris Baisch were awarded. Joris, who drew Icelandic horses playing in the snow (second image below), received the 3rd main prize: A gift certificate to Icelandic horse farm Wiesenhof worth more than EUR 300.

In the teenagers’ category (places 4–1), Charlotta Borggräfe, Katrin Spreng, Lara Friese and Lisa Neumaier and Sina Brucker were awarded. Lisa and Sina, who painted the Icelandic horse in its natural habitat (second image below), received the 2nd main prize: One night at Hotel Rangá, including a four-course dinner and breakfast, and tickets to Landsmót 2022.

In the adults’ category (places 4–1), Julian Mertens and Valentin Evang, Nina Ekström, Bärbel Ricklefs-Bahr and Margrét Erla Júlíusdóttir were awarded. Margrét, who submitted the painting “In the land of elves and fairytales” (second image below) received the 1st main prize: A gift certificate with Icelandair – sponsored by HOI – worth almost EUR 450 and an eight-day horse tour with Eldhestar.

The 12 artwork will also be published in IPZV’s calendar for 2021 and all participants will receive a copy. Further entries can be viewed on IPZV’s website. HOI would like to congratulate the winners and thank all 465 artists who entered their pictures in the contest for their participation.

Read more about the competition here. On HOI’s Facebook page, you can find information about other prizes and read interviews with the jury and organisers.

All around the world, members of the Icelandic horse community celebrated the Day of the Icelandic Horse with treks or quality time with their four-legged friends. Three of the photos published on HOI’s Facebook page showed group rides in Norway, Belgium and New Zealand!

Text: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir. Photos: Sandra Kühnapfel (from the ceremony in Berlin) and a selection of entries.


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