The Icelandic Horse Association of Australia (IHAA) was formed in 2009 by a small group of Icelandic Horse owners and breeders. The aim was to form a group to facilitate the registration of the Australian bred Icelandic Horses and, to generally promote and protect the unique qualities of the breed.
The IHAA Statement of Purpose includes:
1. To promote knowledge and understanding about the characteristics, advantages, breeding, handling, and riding of Icelandic Horses.
2. To promote the welfare of Icelandic Horses.
3. To promote enjoyment of the characteristics and advantages of Icelandic Horses.
4. To provide a means of exchange of information amongst persons interested in Icelandic Horses.
5. To facilitate the maintenance of breeding records of Icelandic Horses in Australia and a system of registration of these horses.
Early records show the existence of Icelandic Horses in Australia as early as 1863 but not much else is known of any other purebred imports into Australia until the mid 1990s. It was then that 8 fillies and a colt were brought out from Denmark. After 2000, several horses where imported from New Zealand to start small breeding herds. Imports of breeding horses from Iceland, Germany and USA/Canada followed.
At present there are approximately 200 purebred Icelandic Horses in Australia. Only a small percentage of these are over 4 years old and have been started under saddle. There are three bigger studs in Victoria, one in Sydney and one in Queensland. The remainder of the horses are spread far and wide over the vastness of Australia.
Since the members are so spread out the IHAA aims to keep members connected and to provide them with the framework to ensure Icelandic Horses have long and successful lives here in Australia.