Gísli and Mette’s objective has, from the start, been to breed horses that they enjoy themselves and have capabilities to be good competition horses. Currently, there are around 10-15 foals born at Þúfur each year. The facilities at Þúfur is exemplary for horses to grow up, as they get to roam around the mountains in Deildardalur to build up strength, courage and social skills in a natural habitat. They enjoy nothing more than to watch horses bred by them develop well and see them reach their full potential, whatever their role might be.

The breeding stock at Þúfur now includes 5 honorary breeding mares and 2 honorary breeding stallions.

Friður og Lotning, offsprings of Lygna and Rósamunda
Friður og Lotning, offsprings of Lygna and Rósamunda

History

The breeding at Þúfur is based on a strong foundation. Gísli grew up on the prestigious horse breeding farm Hofsstaðir, which had considerable influence on his preferences of what characteristics he looks for in the horses he breeds and rides. Gísli was brought up with the view that lightness should always come first and has since put great emphasis on cultivating the lightness of the horses originating from Hofsstaðir in his breeding. 

He left home with two mares; Kvika and Mósa frá Hofsstaðir. Combined with the Kjarnholt bloodlines, Kvika produced very good pace horses, among them the Landsmót champion in Young Adults, Kólfur frá Stangarholti. When he trained horses from Kleifar, Gísli got the opportunity to be paid by picking one of the horses for himself. He was impressed with these horse’s gaits and movements, especially the “schwung” and quality of the trot. That deal resulted in Rósamunda, Mugga and Spurning frá Kleifum. Spurning frá Kleifum was the mother of Grýla frá Stangarholti, the mother of the legendary Álfadís frá Selfossi. Mugga was the mother of numerous competition horses, such as Muggur and Lygna frá Stangarholti. 

Mette dreamt about breeding her own competition horses, perhaps due to her lack of access to horse growing up. She got Lygna as payment for her first work in Iceland, which was subsequently the first horse Mette showed in both breeding evaluation and competition. Lygna received very good evaluation; 8.21 for ridden abilities with 9 for trot, which was not very common at that time. 

Mette recounts the first time she saw Lygna;


“I first saw Lygna being lunged and she looked like a circus horse, so light and playful. I remember my feeling of impression and later I found out that she had just endless speed in all gaits”. 

Lygna’s influence

Mette’s dream to breed her own competition horses certainly came true. Lygna’s first offspring, Baldvin frá Stangarholti, a liver chestnut gelding has had an outstanding competition career. First as Mette’s own competition horse but after he was sold, he continued his success. Baldvin holds multiple Icelandic champion titles in both adult and youth classes and was arguably one of the most successful competition horse in Iceland for consecutive 14 years, from 2004 to 2018.
Baldvin’s siblings created the base for the Þúfur breeding, but Lygna’s daughters and granddaughters are the most prominent of our breeding mares. Lygna also gave Mette’s main competition horses, such as Hnokki, Háttur, Hryðja, List and Blundur.

Through the years, Gísli and Mette have made deals with owners of several mares they trained and thought as excellent horses, to get one foal as a part of the payment for the training. Since 2009, they got quite fresh blood into their breeding as many of these deals have been immensely beneficial for the Þúfur breeding. Examples of these deals are Lýsing (now with honorary prize), Sif, Harpa and Völva as well as the greatly successful stallions Trymbill and Sólon. 

Mette and Lygna frá Stangarholti

Bloodlines

Gísli and Mette have always based their selection of the stallions they use by their gut feeling. They do not use stallions they haven’t at least seen live, or better yet; ridden. Most of the stallions they have used consistently, have been horses that came to them for training at some point. They seek towards the bloodlines of Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum I, who they feel it’s speed and long strides fit perfectly with the lightness and springiness with the blood of Gáski frá Hofsstöðum. Futhermore, they seek for exceptional movements, schwung and basic gaits of the horses from Kleifar and the outstanding pace from Náttfari frá Ytra-Dalsgerði bloodlines.

They have also been very fortunate in what stallions they have come across and bred through the years, with two of them especially having had profound impact in their breeding; Hróður frá Refsstöðum and Trymbill frá Stóra Ási.

 

Hróður frá Refsstöðum

A strike of luck made Gísli able to buy Hróður as a yearling and long story short, he won the Sleipnir cup at Landsmót 2008, the highest distinction a breeding stallion can receive. Hróður stands behind the vast majority of the horses from Þúfur, but from him comes lightness, springiness, speed and outstanding movements. 

Trymbill frá Stóra-Ási

Trymbill received honorary prize for offsprings at Landsmót 2022, where he was recognized to produce horses with strong topline, light stepping, elegant and skillful horses with great pace most often. All the horses who were shown with Trymbill at his honorary ceremony on Landsmót 2022 have great pace except one. Gísli and Mette continue to strive to breed horses out of their favorite bloodlines and finding them a role to fulfill their potential.