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:
- 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.
Gunnar Sturluson, President
Gunnar Sturluson has been involved with Icelandic horses from his childhood, travelling, competing and breeding. He has one daughter, Borghildur born 1998 and she is involved in the horses together with Gunnar. They breed horses and run a training station for horses at their farm in Hrísdalur on Snæfellsnes in West-Iceland.
In his daily life, he is Partner at LOGOS legal services based in Reykjavík and practices corporate and commercial law. He tries to ride as much as possible and a few years ago he started competing again after 17 years of rest. His best moments are on horseback at the yellow sand beaches of Snæfellsnes.
Gunnar was chairman of Snæfellingur riding club in West Iceland from 2007-2012, as well as a board member and vice chairman of Landssamband Hestamannafélaga (LH) from 2008 to 2012. Gunnar has been member of the FEIF Board since 2011.
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.
Silke Feuchthofen, Director of Education
The Director of Education has overall responsibility within FEIF for promoting international cooperation between the member associations in the field of education, and works with the FEIF Education Committee for the benefit of all FEIF member countries respecting the national diversities with the aim of guiding the achievement of the vision, mission and goals of FEIF.
Silke Feuchthofen is the Director of Education, having been elected at the Delegates Assembly in Reykjavík in 2014.
Silke is IPZV Ausbilder, trainer level 4, FEIF International Sport and Breeding judge, National Sport Judge (highest level) and Breeding Judge, examiner and instructor for IPZV education at all levels, including judges, young horse trainer and advanced horse trainer education and exams. She passed a professional education in horse Training, breeding and stud management with warm blood horses. Silke was IPZV sport leader for 3 years.
Silke is a member of the IPZV Education committee and FEIF Education committee and works as professional trainer and instructor worldwide. She regularly participates in competitions and was successful as a sport and breeding rider and team trainer at several World Championships of Icelandic horses.
Christian Eckert, Director of Leisure Riding
The Director of Leisure Riding has overall responsibility within FEIF for promoting international cooperation between the member associations in the field of leisure riding.
Christian Eckert is a computer scientist and is married and has three adult daughters. He has a long history on voluntary work within local and regional clubs in Germany and from 2012 to 2021 he was Director of Leisure Riding of IPZV, the German Icelandic Horse Association.
Christian organised the German parts of the relay rides to all World Championships since 2013 and he was responsible for the Brandenburg Gate event in 2013 where more than 300 Icelandic horses joined in the centre of Berlin. In 2020 he initiated the successful IPZV art contest.
Since 2019 years Christian has been a member of the FEIF Leisure Riding Committee.
Christian Eckert (DE) is the FEIF Director of Leisure Riding, having been elected at the virtual Delegates Assembly 2021.
Jean-Paul Balz, 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.
Jean-Paul is from Switzerland, living and working near Berne, owner and CEO of the family companies working in wood transformation, handlings technic and consulting (SAP). He has a license as international sport judge and Icelandic horse trainer, he is an active leisure rider (his daughters being active competition riders) and has been team leader for Switzerland or France for five times. He had twice been 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.
Jean-Paul Balz (CH) is the FEIF Director of Sport, having been elected at the Delegates Assembly in Sweden in 2018.
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.
Even Hedland, Board member
Even has been involved in Icelandic horses since 1983 and was the chairperson of a local Icelandic horse club from 1996-99 and has since then been involved at a national level. He worked as a teacher within the field of agroculture/forestry for 11 years. For the last 14 years, he has worked as a training manager / competence manager in two large Nordic companies in the field of HR in a Nordic construction companies with over 15,000 employees and several other professional organizations in the forestry industry in Norway.
Even was chairman of the Norwegian Icelandic Horse Association for 14 years. His focus has been on organizational development, long-term funding of NIHF and quality assurance throughout all parts of the association. He was the chairman of the Nordic Icelandic Horse Association arranging the World Championships 2015 and has also been an active part of the establishment of the Nordic Icelandic Horse Collaboration.
Even has been elected at the Delegates Assembly 2022. With his background and experience he will support all FEIF associations with focus on the development of FEIF.
Will Covert, Board member
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.