Hvanneyri Agricultural School – 60th Anniversary

In the last century, the Agricultural School of Hvanneyri was the largest and most well-renowned agricultural school in Iceland. It attracted students from all over the country. For many students, the highlight of the year was the competition in breaking in and training young horses which took place in spring. This competition is called “Skeifukeppni”. The day of Skeifukeppni on which the various prizes are awarded is a true funfair for students of all levels.

The prizes include awards from the Trainers Association (FT) and the popular Morgunblaðsskeifan, the latter going to the student who receives the highest average score in the practical riding examination. The Morgunblaðsskeifan has been awarded annually since 1957 and it is considered a great honor to receive the “Shoe”. Some of its recipients later became known as the most talented riders of the country.

Award recipients at Hvanneyri's 60th anniversary

Winners from oldest to most recent

For the winners, this prize opened many doors in the field of professional horsemanship. They would be entrusted with the better horses and were given the task to train them. These where the horses the owners had great hopes for and that were expected to do well in future competitions.

This spring (21st April 2016), the school’s riding club “Grani” turned 60 years old. In order to celebrate this anniversary, all previous winners, i.e. the winners of the past 59 years, were invited once more.

The picture shows the winners that attended the celebration, from oldest to the left to most recent on the right. If you look closely, you might be able to identify two of Eldhestar’s founders.  Hróðmar won the competition in 1979 and his brother Sigurjón won two years later in 1981.

New Brochure 2017

Eldhestars new brochure  for 2017 can now be downloaded, please click here!

For summer 2017, we have added our new Combo Tour, “Bike & Ride” (tour 4a).  This tour will be operated in cooperation with our partner “Reykjavik Bike Tours” located at the old harbor in Reykjavik, who welcomes our guests in the morning for a Classic Reykjavik Bike Tour on excellent bicycles. Afterwards, we will take our guests from the harbor to Eldhestar for an afternoon riding tour.
We also introduce a new tour for winter, spring and fall in the brochure, “Family Vacation” (tour 33). This tour is designed for families who might have different interests, and we offer child reduction for children up to 17 years. The program can be booked for 3 or 5 nights, either with hotel- or guesthouse accommodation. The  tour page will be online soon.
Hotel Eldhestar now offers 37 spacious rooms as 10 comfortable new rooms were added in 2016. We would like to emphasize that non-riders are very welcome at Hotel Eldhestar. There is plenty to do and see in the area, several tours and activities can be booked with pickup from Eldhestar and we offer transportation to Reykjavik free of charge for our guests.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions, we are happy to assist you!
For the Danish brochure please click here.

New stable and autumn life

Our farm Vellir has changed a bit within the last years, and certainly a lot since the beginning of Eldhestar in 1986! Since 2008, we have added a new stable, the guesthouse, the riding hall, the new part of the restaurant and 10 new rooms.

In the first week of September, the constructors arrived again, but this time for the horses. The stable will be expanded, so more horses can be accommodated for training and courses during the winter season. The new stable with 12 new boxes and a spacious area for the farriers will be ready to use just in time for the beginning of the training season in December.

The summer season has ended with the last tour “Around the Volcano” last week, and guests on the first winter tour “Northern Lights Grand Tour“ will arrive tomorrow. We enjoyed stunning Northern Lights and golden autumn days with sunshine and crisp air last week end, and expect this beautiful weather to continue for the whole week.

Most of our horses left for their well deserved vacation. It is such a joy to see their happiness when they step out of the trailer and realize that they are finally out on the endless fields again. Their colleaguses back home have a nice time on the „cozy field“, the large area around the hotel used for haymaking, and a sort of wellness area for our horses in September

This time of the year is exciting as we always take in our young horses. Ida teaches them the basics, and after their first steps with the rider the get to spend another year in freedom with the herd. Pictures will come soon!

Meanwhile, we are busy preparing next season with some tours getting quickly fully booked. Please contact us if you would like to reserve a spot, the availability list is regularly updated.

The brochure 2017 is ready and will be online by the end of the week!

 

Tour dates summer 2017

The dates for all our multi-day tours in summer 2017 are now online!

You find the dates on the tour pages for  Shorter Tours (3-5 days), Longer Tours (5-7 days) and Wilderness Tours (6 days).

For further information and booking please send us an e-mail.

 

 

 

Some 6-7 day-tours open for booking again!

Are you spontaneous and still looking for an adventure this summer?

We got a few spots released on our most popular tours, so the following departures are now available again:

Tour 19 Wilderness tour Sprengisandur, 6 days riding starting on July 6 (2 spots), see detailed description here.

Longer Tour 14 Golden Highlights of the South 7 days  riding starting on August 19 (1 spot) and August 28 (2 spots), see detailed description here.

For information and booking please contact us!

Hot spring in Reykjadalur causes itinerary changes

 

Living and travelling in Iceland means being regularly reminded of the forces of nature.

The valley Reykjadalur is well known for geothermal activity and bathing in the warm stream is one of the highlights on many of our tours. Several hot springs are located next to the riding trail, and some of them are slowly expanding. One of the springs close to the bathing area has now opened up on both sides of the narrow trail, which had to be secured with a bridge for hikers. Unfortunately, this part of the trail is now impassable for horses.

This has no major effect on our popular day tour 5a Hot Spring Valley Reykjadalur (also included in tour 7 Volcano Contrasts and tour 8a/b Natures Treasures and Riders Pleasures), as the only change will be walking the last 10 minutes.

However, we will have to change the itinerary for all tours where we planned to ride through the valley coming from above:

Tour 6b Volcano Hengill & Hot Spring Valley (now riding up and down the valley, see description here).

Tour 8c Best of Eldhestar

Tour 9 Around the Volcano

Tour 12 Thingvellir

Tour 13 Golden  Highlights of the South

On tour 8c, 9, 12 and 13 we will start this day tour from our farm Vellir (riding tour 6b).

These changes will be necessary during the summer season 2016. We are working on a solution together with the town of Hveragerði.

Eldhestar Local 2016

 

The third Eldhestar Local staff competition took place in our riding hall on Saturday, April 23. This year we had 20 riders participating, many of them with new horses, some bought by Eldhestar and some owned by our staff members.

Each rider had to show a full loop in slow tölt, followed by a loop in slow tölt on the small sides and faster tölt on the long sides and finally high speed tölt. In the finals, this program had to be shown in both directions. Quite a challenging program, especially for those riders and horses who took part in a competition for the first time.

We had a great time training together, competing and enjoying delicious food á la Nico.

We congratulate the winner Anna Kronhed with her mare Dögg frá Strandarhjáleigu!

The results were the following:

A-Final

1. Anna Kronhed (Sweden) / Dögg frá Strandarhjáleigu, owner Anna Kronhed, F: Sær frá Bakkakoti, 5,75

2-3. Marieke Huurenkamp (Netherlands) / Klettur frá Horni I, owner Eldhestar, F: Hamur frá Þóroddsstöðum, 5,50

2-3. Louisa Hansen (Denmark) / Brana frá Mosfellsbæ, owner Eldhestar, F: Álfasteinn frá Selfossi, 5,50

4. Simone Nielsen (Denmark) / Skörungur frá Kánastöðum, owner Eldhestar, F: Garpur frá Auðholtshjáleigu, 5,42

5. Jóhanna Bettý Durhuus (Iceland) / Steini frá Jórvík, owner Jóhanna Bettý Durhuus, F: Gnýr frá Árgerði, 4,75

B-Final

6. Annina Wilhelm (Germany) Birna frá Ásbrú, owner Eldhestar, F: Ás frá Ásmóti, 5,50

7. Marianne Giesswein (Austria) / Sörli frá Sauðanesi, owner Irina Fjóla Jónsdóttir, F: Kjarkur frá Sauðanesi, 5,00

8. Lea Wiesendanger (Switzerland) / Ösp frá Grásteini, owner Eldhestar, F: Orri frá Þúfu, 4,58

9. Smári Sæmundsson (Iceland) / Saga frá Völlum, owner Smári Sæmundsson, F: Glóðar frá Reykjavik, 4,50

10. Corinna Frahm (Germany) / Gjósta frá Heiði, owner Corinna Frahm, F: Dynur frá Hvammi, 4,42

All results

11. Atli Már Atlason (Iceland) / Seðill frá Flekkudal, owner Atli Már Atlason, F: Fáfnir frá Fagranesi

12. Sonja Weinberg (Germany) / Víðir frá Flagbjarnarholti, owner Eldhestar, F: Tónn frá Torfunesi

13. Yngve Söderstrand (Sweden) / Ör frá Strandarhjáleigu, owner Yngve Söderstrand, F: Þóroddur frá Þóroddsstöðum

14. Lisa Gerstenmeyer (Germany) / Finnur frá Hala, owner Eldhestar, F: Þytur frá Neðra-Seli

15. Johanna Nilsson (Denmark) / Peli frá Enni, owner Eldhestar, F: Kvistur frá Enni

16. Ida Lungnér (Denmark) / Breki frá Brúnum, owner Eldhestar, F: Ægir frá Móbergi

17. Martina Cervenková (Slovakia) / Ófelía frá Hurðarbaki, owner Eldhestar, F: Andvari frá Ey

18. Ida Thorborg (Denmark) / Hrist frá Völlum, owner Hróðmar Bjarnason, F: Þröstur frá Hvammi

19. Nicolas Gadanyi (Germany) / Geysir frá Velli II, owner Nicolas Gadanyi, F: Glæsir frá Litlu-Sandvík

Guest rider:

Brigitte Baumgartner (Switzerland) /Huginn frá Völlum, owner Brigitte Baumgartner, F: Þröstur frá Hvammi

January Impressions

 

While days are getting longer quickly and half of the winter is already over it is quite busy at Eldhestar, with many day visitors, guests on tour packages and  groups of horses arriving and leaving for vacation. South Iceland has been covered with a white blanket of snow for most of the winter with beautiful cold, sunny days with powder snow and stunning Northern Lights in between.

In January, when horse life is getting interesting with most riders taking their horses in the stable, we always fill our stable with new horses, training horses and young ones. Unlike our furry herd outside they easily get too warm, so we  shave them under the mane to give them some air condition. Besides the regular riding they spend some hours a day outside in the paddock and we often let them run a few kilometer to strengthen them and give them the opportunity to move freely, just like we do to prepare our tour horses. The herd enjoys the outdoors, either playing in the snow or cuddling tight together close to the solid wind shelter, with piles of hey.

Ida continues the training of Eldhestar’s really promising youngsters “frá Völlum”, perhaps a soon to be well known breeding name…? The youngest group went off to almost one year in freedom  with the large herd, now she’s working with the horses which had their basic training last autumn. We are very happy with the offspring, some of them you might meet on tours while other will do well in competition or further breeding.

The new shape of Hotel Eldhestar is starting to look nice with construction work going very well despite of the long period of heavy snowfall.  The interior work will soon be started and the first guests are scheduled to move in on May 1.

At the office, we have started preparing next season as bookings for summer are floating in. Many of our multi-day tours are already fully booked, but we still have spots available, in particular on the tours with many departures such as Tour 20 Kjölur,  Tour 13 Golden Highlights of the South, and Tour 15 Volcano Hekla. 

As for now, we are looking forward to welcoming participants of the Winter Riding Course, who will enjoy a nice week with us and our horses and visit one of the highlights of this season, the four gait competition of “Meistaradeild”. We still have a few spots available on the departures in February, March and April (either 3 or 4 days).

 

 

 

 

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Your Eldhestar Team