About Gísli & Mette

Gísli Gíslason

Gísli is born and bred into horsemanship, being a descendant of famous Icelandic horsemen and breeders. His father was Gísli Höskuldsson at Hofsstaðir and his grandfather Höskuldur Eyjólfsson, one of the most renowned horseman in Iceland in the 20th century.

From Hofsstaðir, there have been myriad of great horses, the most prominent being Gáski frá Hofsstöðum. White horses have long been considered synonymous with Hofsstaðir. Gísli‘s uncle, Guðmundur Eyjólfsson was the initiator of breeding grey horses at Hofsstaðir and Gísli‘s father continued the venture in the 1960‘s with the emergence of the two grey stallions; Hrímnir frá Vilmundarstöðum (father of Gáski) and Kulur frá Eyrarbakka.

Gísli knew from the start that he wanted to train horses for a living, so he never considered an alternative profession. Growing up at Hofsstaðir, Gísli helped his father and grandfather around the farm, both with running a sheep farm and training horses from themselves and others. His earliest memories include running after the horses his grandfather was teaching to lead. As Hólar and Hvanneyri only taught general agricultural subjects at the time, Gísli went to work for Reynir Aðalsteinsson at Sigmundarstaðir at 17 years of age to expand his knowledge and experience.

Three years later he went to work at the Stallion Center at Gunnarsholt. He started his own business by renting the facilities at Kirkjubær before moving to Stangarholt, where he ran a training center for 13 years. He and Mette stayed at Þingeyrar for one year before settling down at Þúfur in 2003.

The horses that have influenced Gísli in his riding and training ideology were to begin with Gáski frá Hofsstöðum and Kolfinnnur frá Kjarnholtum I. Gáski was started by Gísli and his father at Hofsstaðir and received his best evaluation at 5 years old at Landsmót 1978, where he was the highest 5 year old stallion. Gísli got to know Kolfinnnur when he was working at Gunnarsholt. Gísli showed Kolfinnur when he was 6 years old, where he became the highest 6 years old stallion at Landsmót 1990.

In later years, Trymbill has had the greatest influence on Gísli. Trymbill has had exceptionally good career on both the breeding and the oval track. As a pair, they were in 2nd place at A-flokkur at Landsmót 2014 and have won many victories together. Still going strong, they are nowhere near finished but Trymbill is now turning 18 years old.

Biggest accomplishments

1978 1st Icelandic Champion in Tölt Youth

1990  Rider of Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum I, the winner of stallions 7 years and older at Landsmót

1997  Rider of Þota frá Akurgerði, the winner of 5 years old mares at the World Championships

2012  Rider of Kolskeggur frá Kjarnholtum I, the winner of 6 years old stallions at Landsmót

2012  Awarded the Breeding Rider of the year  in Iceland

2014  2nd place on Trymbill frá Stóra-Ási in A-flokkur at Landsmót

2016  Rider of Stefna frá Torfunesi, the winner of 4 years old mares

Gísli on Bliki, his first horse
Young Gísli on Kópur
Gísli riding Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum, when Glókolla received honorary prize for offsprinngs
Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum and Gísli
Birta frá Ey II and Gísli
Gísli and Stefna frá Torfunesi

Mette Camilla Moe Mannseth

Mette is born in Oslo, Norway and showed interest in horses at a young age so she used every opportunity there was to ride. As a girl living an urban life in Oslo with not so easy access to horses, Mette went on equestrian summer camps and later started to muck out stables and help out at nearby yards in exchange for occasional riding.

She started riding Icelandic horses when she was around 15-16 years old. What fascinated Mette with the Icelandic horse was the robust look of them, how fast and agile they are and how fun and playful the riding is. 

Soon after, she started to take lessons and worked with horses as much as she could alongside school before coming to Iceland in 1996, intending to stay for only a year to work with horses before going to university in Norway. Over twenty years later, Mette is still in Iceland and has built herself a life revolving around the Icelandic horse. Before going to Hólar, she took a year at University of Iceland to establish a firm knowledge in the Icelandic language. Mette has been a riding teacher at Hólar since 2000 and the head riding teacher since 2011. In 2013, she became a certified „Icelandic Master Trainer“, the most advanced qualification obtainable from The Association of Icelandic Horse Trainers, FT. She is the seventh Icelandic horse professional and the first woman to achieve this honours.

Lygna frá Stangarholti was the first horse Mette showed in a breeding assessment in Iceland. She and especially her offsprings have influenced Mette in her riding and as a trainer. Lygna‘s offsprings have in common that they are playful, curious, eager to learn, creative and thus very receptive to learn tricks. Additionally, they have good self carriage in tölt and powerful trot. After getting to know these horses, Mette learned to appreciate lightness in movement and spirit.

Like Lygna‘s offsprings, Mette herself is very curious by nature and is eager and not afraid to try new things, in order to avoid getting bored. She has tried numerous ways in her training and has developed her style according to her experience. For example, she rode her palomino mare Happadís frá Stangarholti with only a neck rope at Stórsýning Fáks in 2009, showing exceptional trust and cooperation between the horse and rider.
Mette is also very active when it comes to social activities. She is a board member of the Icelandic Trainer‘s Association since 2020 and a chairman of the The Icelandic Equestrian Associations‘ education committee. Furthermore, Mette has been one of the pioneers in developing the Gæðingalist competition.

Biggest accomplishments

2006  Rider of Ösp frá Hólum, the winner of 6 years old mares at Landsmót

2006  Awarded the Rider’s award from the Icelandic Trainer’s Association (FT) at Landsmót

2006  Winner of T2 at the Icelandic Championships with the homebred Kylja frá Stangarholti

2008  Two world records with 4 years old stallions; Kappi frá Kommu and Seiður frá Flugumýri

2008  Rider of Seiður frá Flugumýri, winner of 4 years old stallions at Landsmót

2010  Winner of 4-gait at the Icelandic Championships with the homebred Happadís frá Stangarholti

2014  Winner of 5-gait at the Icelandic Championships with Stjörnustæll frá Dalvík

Mette and Lygna frá Stangarholti
Mette og Kappi frá Kommu
Mette og Kappi frá Kommu
Mette og Stjörnustæll frá Dalvík
Mette og Stjörnustæll frá Dalvík
Mette og Seiður frá Flugumýri á LM 2008
Mette og Seiður frá Flugumýri á LM 2008
Mette og Kylja frá Stangarholti
Mette og Kylja frá Stangarholti
Ljóskur að leik - Mette og Happadís á Stórsýningu Fáks 2009
Ljóskur að leik - Mette og Happadís á Stórsýningu Fáks 2009
Mette með bræðurna Hátt og Hnokka
Mette með bræðurna Hátt og Hnokka

2016  Winner of 5-gait combination with the homebred Hnokki frá Þúfum at the Icelandic Championship

2016  Awarded the Feather price from the Icelandic Trainer’s Association (FT) for showing List frá Þúfum at Landsmót

2017  Winner of A-flokkur at Fjórðungsmót Vesturlands with Trymbill frá Stóra-Ási

2016-2018  Trainer of the Norwegian National Team

2020  Rider of the world record holder Eygló frá Þúfum – the highest evaluated 4 years old mare in the world

2021  Awarded the Rider’s award from the Icelandic Trainer’s Association (FT) at Fjórðungsmót Vesturlands

2021  Winner of A-flokkur at Fjórðungsmót Vesturlands with Kalsi frá Þúfum

2021  Winner of the 1st Gæðingafimi at the Icelandic Championships with Skálmöld frá Þúfum