When the first people settled down in Iceland with their horses some 1000 years ago the horses were already selected. A breeding policy that emerged on the basis of need – only the best horses would be good enough - was utilised when the boats went off for Iceland. All through the years the living conditions for man and horse in Iceland have been greatly responsible for the further selection. During the last century man has interfered more and more. Today we know about assessments of breeding horses that are more than 50 years old. A unique assessment system was established in Iceland and has ever since been an example followed by breeders of other horse races. This assessment system has undergone a continuous development. The result of this development can be read about here – and seen wherever man is enjoying life together with the Icelandic horse.
FEIF was established in 1969. In 1986 the FEIF assessment system for Icelandic breeding horses was described in detail together with the breeding standard by Marit Jonsson (former President of FEIF) in co-operation with the Icelandic national horse breeding advisor of that time, Gunnar Bjarnason. A few years later Kristinn Hugason, former national horse breeding advisor in Iceland, initiated and, in 1992, finished the first book version of Icelandic breeding show rules and the scale of scoring for the different traits. Along with these two publications the interest of Icelandic horse breeding spread around the world faster than one could believe. To some extent, this increase in the breeding helped many FEIF member nation states to decide to support the goal of having only one breeding assessment system in use for Icelandic horse breeding.