History of Dalur

The Dalur Horse Center is an equestrian training centre which has been run over 35 years at the farm Dalland, Mosfellsbaer, in the south-west of Iceland.There were six individuals who started Dalur, all great horse lovers, among others was the well known horseman and riding teacher Eyjólfur Ísólfsson. Soon the activity was taken over by the couple Gunnar B.Dungal and Þórdís Alda Sigurðardóttir who also were two of Dalur's founders.They still own Dalland breeding and Dalur horsecenter.

Many of Iceland’s most renowned riders have worked at Dalur over the years. One of them, Atli Guðmundsson together with Eva Mandal, worked in and ran Dalur for many years. Atli trained and showed several of the older first prize breeding mares, some of which are still in use as breeding mares today in Dalland. He put forward his suggestions and had influence upon which stallions were to be used, since he was involved in training some of Iceland’s best known and promising stallions, and - of course - he also knew the qualities of the mares very well. Atlis greatest success with a horse from Dalland breeding was when he and Ormur from Dalland were the winners of A fl. Gæðinga (five gait) at Landsmót hestamanna / The Icelandic Championship for Icelandic horses which took place in the year 2000 in Reykjavik.

For the past 14 years Halldór Guðjónsson has been manager and the head trainer of Dalur (his grandfather was the late exellent horsebreeder Sigurður Haraldsson in Kirkjubær). Halldór graduated from Hólar University as a trainer, and later (2007) as a riding teacher with highest degree. Halldór moved to Sweden for one year with his family and still goes there often to give riding lessons. In Dalur Halldór trains horses, shows them in breeding shows and competes with good results. He has also supervised students from the Equine Science programme at Hólar University College, North Iceland and is working as a riding teacher for the ridingcourse REIÐMAÐURINN launched by the Acriculture University .

Together with Halldór, Gunnar and Thordis decide how the breeding continues, which stallions should be used for the mares and which mares should be kept .

In January 2008 he was elected “The Sportsman of Mosfellsbær 2007”.

Halldór and Nátthrafn from Dalland were winners of Icetölt in Reykjavik 3 times in a row!!!

In the Tournament of Icelandic Sportsmanship on Horses 2007, Halldór, riding Dalla from Dalland, was an Icelandic champion in 250 m paceracing (time 22.80).

 

Halldór and his partner Helle Laks live in Dalur with their 3 kids. Helle graduated as a horse trainer from Hólar University in 2003. She has competed several times on horses from Dalland, like Sjóður, Kyndill, Leó with good results. Earlier Helle worked for some years as a horsetrainer in Dalur and in other places in Iceland.

In the years 2010-2012 Fredrik Sandberg from Linköping, Sweden was the manager and head trainer at Dalur. He got several excellent riders from Sweden to come and work in Dalur during his period there, such as Frida Dalhén, Charlotta Gripenstam, Fanny Hallberg, Karolina Adler and Krista Erholz. Also came in this period to work in Dalur for one year Julia Kirchhoff from Germany and Grímur Óli Grímsson and Ásdís H.Árnadóttir from Iceland worked during the summers. From September 2012 to September 2013 Rúna Einarsdóttir Zingsheim worked in Dalur as a horse trainer and took care of showing horses to visitors and welcoming them to Dalur. In the autumn 2012 two horse trainers came from Sweden to Dalur, Jessica Westlund and Sandra Jonsson. They are still working in Dalur now in November 2013. Meike Egge from Germany worked in Dalur as a horse trainer from January to November 2013.

Also working on the farm is Hafliði Friðriksson, who is the jack-of-all-trades, mostly outdoors. Every morning during winter and spring he feeds the horses that are kept outdoors, does farm work with the tractor, keeps the stables clean, lends a helping hand in the garden, checks and repairs fences, just to mention a few of his tasks.

During Halldór’s time as manager, extensive development has taken place: for instance a riding hall has been constructed, and stables built.

 

Dalur provides excellent facilities for the training of horses. As of November 2007 it has stabling for 55 horses. When a new stable was built - with special stallions boxes and more place for horses attending training courses. Older parts of the buildings are all recently renovated, next to a 800m² riding hall, with an adjoining 100m² conference/function room. The conference room is ideal for practical teaching, and also provides a good view of the riding hall. Between the two stable blocks is an older, smaller riding hall, which is useful for initial training.

Summer facilities are outstanding: a stadium, a pace racetrack, and good, easily accessible overnight pastures, etc.

There are many and various bridle paths.

Another stable at Dalland houses young horses and the Dalland saddle horses.


In 2006 Gunnar and Þórdís bought Stapi, a farm estate in Skagafjörður, North Iceland, and in 2007 they added Héraðsdalur, the adjacent farm estate to Stapi. These two estates are extensive, with a varied landscape, and are thus ideal for a stud farm. From 2007 onwards, horses bred at Dalland spend their summers and winters roaming the fields of Stapi and Héraðsdalur farms.