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2022 USIHC BOD Election Nominations

2022 USIHC BOD Election

In accordance with Section 2 of Article IV (Voting and Elections) of the Constitution of the USIHC, The Election Committee accepted nominations until October 14, 2022. Incumbent directors Virginia Lauridsen, Lucy Nold and Martin Nielsen are up for re-election. Virginia Lauridsen and Lucy Nold have opted to run for re-election. Martin Nielsen has declined to run for re-election. 

In addition, Will Covert has been elected to serve on the FEIF Board of Directors. Because FEIF board members may not fill the same or a similar position in a national association, he will be stepping down from the USIHC Board in December 2022 creating an additional open seat.

Nominations for the following individuals were submitted:

Sara Stewart - Nominated by Virginia Lauridsen and seconded by Lucy Nold and Carrie Brandt.

Ásta Covert - Nominated by Leslie Chambers and seconded by Emily Potts and Amy Goddard.

Joshua Bart - Nominated by Antje Freygang and seconded by Dawn Shaw and Donnamarie Temple-Burgess.

This election shall select four directors, three who will serve for terms of three years and one director who will serve for a term of one year to fulfill Will Covert's term. All terms will begin on January 1, 2023. 

Ballots will be sent via email to voting members and remain open through December 14, 2022 11:59pm ET.


Virginia Lauridsen

Virginia Lauridsen is finishing her first term on the USIHC Board of Directors and currently serves as chair of the Breeding Committee. Virginia has been very involved with the Icelandic horse community for the past decade and owns Harmony Icelandics in Truro, Iowa, where she has hosted numerous national and world ranking shows, breeding assessments, and clinics. She is a FEIF Level I trainer, and has presented the Icelandic horse at several horse fairs, including the

Midwest Horse Fair and the Iowa Horse Fair. Virginia is a frequent contributor to the Icelandic Quarterly, having written many articles about breeding and horse welfare. She was the principal author of the USIHC Breeding Manual, which was published in 2020, and the speaker at the 2022 USIHC Annual meeting. Virginia enjoys competing with her Icelandic horses, both in Icelandic competition and dressage. She is in the National Ranking in both T1 and V1, and won the United States Dressage Federation All Breeds Award in both 2021 and 2022 with her gelding Herkules from Dalalif. Virginia also serves on the USIHC education committee, and chaired the US Trainer Certification sub-committee.


Lucy Nold

Lucy Nold grew up riding Icelandic Horses in California and began breeding, training and competing as a teenager. She has received many national ranking awards in various classes over the years and was a rider on the US team for the 2008 FEIF Youth Cup in Switzerland. She went on to study Animal Science at the University of California, Davis with a specialization in equine science. She has always been very dedicated to supporting youth riders to achieve their goals and was also the US team leader for the 2014 FEIF Youth Cup in Iceland. After finishing her degree, Lucy moved to Oregon, where she owns and manages Five-Gait Farm LLC, a full service training, teaching and breeding operation. One of her biggest focuses is developing a strong group of youth riders who enjoy many activities with Icelandic horses including competing and trail riding. Lucy is also a USIHC Sport Judge B and rode one of her stallions to become the highest evaluated US bred four-gaited stallion in America in 2018. Lucy is very dedicated to developing our Icelandic horse community here in the US and growing the enthusiasm for this wonderful versatile breed. 


Sara Stewart

Sara was first introduced to Icelandic horses three years ago and has gone BIG quickly! She now lives on a 182 acre farm with her husband and two daughters and they now have 14 Icelandics. They also recently imported their first breeding mare and have a new foal. Sara’s family was drawn to the special qualities of the Icelandic horse and her daughters are both avid competitors. Nine-year old Emelia (Emmy) is currently ranked first in the National Ranking in T7, T8, V5 and V6. Five-year old Louisa (Lulu) is “chomping at the bit” to challenge her sister and is sure to add some accolades of her own very soon. Sara is living her dream as a “stay at home mom,” home-schooling her girls and tending the farm. She is excited to learn more about the breed and offer her organizational gifts to the USIHC.


Ásta Covert

I have been an active member of the USIHC since 1999. I started as the secretary for the registrar in 2000 and eventually took it over from Caryn Cantella in 2007 and I am still the current registrar for the USIHC. I was a member of the board of directors from 2007 till 2015 when I stepped down when our daughter was born.

As an active  trainer and riding teacher I feel like I have many years of experience with our breed to share when it comes to many of the fields the USIHC covers.  I have also been a member of the U.S. national team at the World Championships 5 times, 3 of which I was a medalist in tölt, four gait and four gait combination and I feel very passionate about our sport. I was one of the founding members of the CIA affiliate club and have hosted many shows as well as helped with IceTest and IceTest set ups for shows all over the US.

As a mother I am also very interested in seeing our youth members flourish and participate in the many programs the USIHC has to offer.

The board of directors has been doing a great job at growing our community and I would love to be a part of the board again and share my passion for the Icelandic horse and our growing community.


Joshua Bart

An avid traveler, and repeat visitor to Iceland year after year, Josh Bart lives in the Northern Virginia area.  In 2019, Josh finally found his own Icelandic horse partner known only as “13-year old Oliver.”  During the first month of 2020 lockdown, Josh spent many late nights tracking down “Oliver’s” pedigree, 8 past owners, and continental travels to discover that “Oliver” is actually Reddi fra Sonrise Icelandics, a 20-year old Icelandic from British Columbia.  With his identity restored, Reddi and Josh currently foxhunt (as Reddi loves to jump) in Middleburg, Virginia.  Josh is currently working to increase breed visibility and expand their opportunities within the horse world - especially given their extreme versatility, great brains, and power-to-weight ratio.  Equally important, Josh would like to see greater USIHC recognition for exceptional horses and riders who have gone the distance in demonstrating their work ethic, character, and versatility.

In 2020, after working with other Icelandic horse community members to track down Reddi’s history, Josh proposed to USIHC a more streamlined way to help unregistered horses seek information to get them registered.  Soon after, Josh proposed a rule change to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) formally recognizing the Icelandic horse as a horse, thus allowing for the flexibility for Icelandic horses to compete in USEF-sponsored shows as either horses or ponies without worry of horse height requirements. The rule change is the first and only mention of Icelandic horses by USEF in any formal capacity.  Josh’s proposed rule change was approved by the USEF Board of Directors in June 2021 and took effect on 1 December 2021.  Electing Josh to serve on the USIHC Board of Director’s will provide an even better springboard to champion and promote the world’s best horse breed - after all, if they were good enough for the Vikings, they are certainly good enough for the rest of us.