Board of Directors

FEIF Board of Directors

FEIF is managed by the Board of Directors. The board deals with all current business except for items specifically reserved for the decision of the Delegates’ Assembly. The duties of the board are to represent FEIF to the outside world and to call and run the regular and extraordinary Delegates’ Assemblies. The Delegates’ Assembly elects the board for two years regardless of the nationality of the candidates. Only members of a FEIF member association can be elected or appointed to an official position within FEIF. 

The board consists of:

  • President
  • Director of Breeding
  • Director of Education
  • Director of Leisure Riding
  • Director of Sport
  • Director of Youth Work

In addition the board can consist of 1 – 2 more board members.

A board member may not fill the same or a similar position in a national association connected with the FEIF. Candidates for vacant posts within the board are proposed by the member associations or by the board itself. Every year, three or four of the members of the board are up for election. Re-election is allowed. All positions are unpaid. 

Jean-Paul Balz, FEIF President

The FEIF president has the over-all responsibility within FEIF Board.  He or she acts as a link between the Board Members and secures the best possible co-operation within the Board. The president shall work to the benefit of all FEIF member countries and co-operates the service towards the FEIF Member Associations in general matters.

Jean-Paul is from Switzerland, living and working near Berne, owner and CEO of the family company working in wood transformation and handlings technic. He has a license as international sport judge and Icelandic horse trainer; he is an active leisure rider and has been World Championships team leader for Switzerland or France several times. He was twice competition leader at the Swiss Championships. Jean-Paul has been a member of the national sport committee of Switzerland, and as their president a member of the board of IPV CH, later responsible for the national sport judges.  He has been FEIF Director of Sport and member of the FEIF Board since 2018.

Jean-Paul Balz (CH) is FEIF President, having been elected at the Delegates Assembly in Sweden in 2023.

Inge Kringeland, Director of Breeding

The Director of Breeding is responsible for the Breeding department and thus responsible for the rules and regulations for breeding shows, for the registration of Icelandic horses in the global database World Fengur (in co-operation with the Farmers Association of Iceland (Bændasamtök Islands)),the education of international breeding judges,  and the definition of breeding goals.

Current Director of Breeding is Inge Kringeland (NO), elected February 2016.

Inge Kringeland was born on a farm on the west coast of Norway and has been working with animals including horses the most of his life.  In 1996 he came in contact with his first Icelandic horses with a plan to train and sell seven horses to earn some money.Those seven horses have grown to more than 70.  Inge is now living in the eastern part of Norway, near Oslo, together with Anita Martinsen on his farm, Kringeland. He has 5 adult children and 9 grandchildren.

Inge Kringeland has a Masters degree in animal breeding and nutrition from the Agriculture University of Norway and he has been working in the  agricultural business most of his life. At the moment Inge is the head of the office for agricultural affairs in the local authority. Inge has been involved in animal breeding from different angles. He has been leading the breeding program for honey bees in Norway for 13 years, been the leaders of the Norwegian breeding Council for all races of horses for 7 years and the breeding leader for Icelandic horses in Norway for 8 years. Inge has “given life” to two new Icelandic horse clubs in Norway, Hrani and Kraftur and he has been the chairman or a board member in both.

Inge has been involved in FEIF work since 2001 as Norwegian breeding leader, chairman of the FEIF registration group and member of the FEIF breeding Committee.  

Mark Timmerman, Director of Education

Mark Timmerman has been involved in different FEIF activities for many years, as participant in national and international competitions including World Championships. He is licensed national sport judge and national breeding judge and certified level 3 trainer/instructor for Icelandic horses in the Netherlands.

He coordinates the education program for trainers/instructors of Icelandic horses in the Netherlands and teaches didactics, equine behavior and provides practical instructions. Since 2006 he has been the Chairman of the Dutch Society of Trainers and Instructors for the Icelandic Horse (VIT) (with an interruption between 2017 and 2019) and he is certified examiner for practical exams in equestrian education. Mark regularly participated in the FEIF education seminars during the past years and completed courses on different topics, e.g. saddle fitting, coaching skills, management training programs and mental coaching.

In his private life Mark is professor in periodontology and chairman of the exam’s committee at the Dental School in Nijmegen and riding teacher for Icelandic horses at his farm Stal de Hondsbergen.

Mark was elected by the Delegates’ Assembly 2024 as Director of Education.

Atli Már Ingólfsson, Director of Leisure Riding

Atli Már Ingólfsson was am born in 1973 in the western part of Iceland in a fishing village called Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. He started riding horses when he was 12 years old and since then horses have been his passion. His fiancée is Gígja Dögg Einarsdóttir, photographer with a passion for horses. Together they have six children age 3 – 18 years and they have about 20 horses for breeding, leisure riding, some competitions and longer horse riding trips during summer.

Atli Már graduated from law school in 2000 and completed MBA studies at Reykjavík University in 2007. Today he is one of the owners of Land law offices in Iceland. Since moving to Hafnarfjörður in the year in 1987 he has been a member of Sörli riding club, a board member since 2024 and president of the club since 2018. In addition, he was a member of the LH Disciplinary Committee until 2022.

For the past 10 years, Atli Már had a passion for introducing the Icelandic horse to children who do not have parents or relatives who own horses. And to develop ways to have children, young riders and experienced riders, participate in organized training, as is the case in all other sports. He believes that the Icelandic horse and the philosophy around the horses has huge possibilities within the international horse world and that are vast opportunities to explore in regards to introducing the Icelandic horse to new people and future owners.

Atli Már has been elected at the Delegates Assembly 2023 as Member of the Board, at the Delegates’ Assembly 2024 as Director of Leisure Riding. 

Will Covert, Director of Sport

The Director of Sport is responsible for all sport matters within FEIF. This covers the sport rules and regulations and guidelines for sport judges, the international co-operation between member countries and the different bodies involved in sport, the annual meeting of national sport leader (Sport Meeting), the Sport Committee, the international seminars for sport judges, the licenses for international sport judges and the test to become a licensed international sport juge, World Championships and the WorldRanking.

Will Covert started in horses very young, first in Quarter horses and now since 1993 in Icelandic horses. He lives in California with his wife Asta and daughter Bella who share his passion for the Icelandic Horse. Will became the first American to make the finals at the World Championships in 1997 when he rode Dynur fra Ytra-Skörðugili in F1. In 1999 he won the World Champion title in T2 on Blær fra Sigluvík. Will spent time in Iceland training horses and speaks near fluent Icelandic. He was the first American member of the Trainer Association of Iceland and is a certified farrier. He became a FEIF International Sport Judge in 2007. He was one of the judges at the World Championships in Switzerland 2009 and appointed deputy Chief Judge at the 2017 World Championships in Holland, 2019 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Will has served on the FEIF Sport Judges Committee.

Will is a very active member of the United States Icelandic Horse Congress. He was president of the USIHC and a member of the Board of Directors along with being an active member of the Sport committee and the Education committee and previously served as the US Sport leader. Will hopes to bring his experience from the many areas of the Icelandic horse world to help FEIF continue to grow and serve the member committee and the Icelandic horse.

Will Covert (US)  is the FEIF Director of Sport, having been elected at the Delegates Assembly in Sweden in 2023.

Gundula Sharman, Director of Youth Work

The Director of Youth Work is responsible within FEIF for organizing and conducting the international co-operation between youth work in the member countries, the youth committeee and the FEIF Board. The stated aims of the Youth department are: (a) to promote excellence in riding and horsemanship skills, by supporting the educational youth work that happens in member countries; (b) to build up and foster cross border friendship and international networks that will grow and last beyond the teenage years of the participants, and (c) to promote sound knowledge and understanding of the Icelandic horse, its history and its culture.

The current FEIF Director of Youth Work is Gundula Sharman, she was elected in 2014 in Reykjavík.

Gundula Sharman and her husband run an organic farm in the North East of Scotland, cultivating cereals and vegetables. They also breed Icelandic horses on a small scale, and train all their own youngsters. Their aim is to produce well-trained, family friendly horses for the UK leisure market.

Since 1998, Gundula has been working as a lecturer and head of the German department at the University of Aberdeen. For many years, she was also involved with the British Horse Society (all horse breeds), which is an important voice in the national horse industry in the UK.