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Zophonías from Vinland Awarded Anne Elwell Breeding Award

Photo: Zophonías from Vinland with Rider Helga Una Björnsdóttir

USIHC is proud to recognize Zophonías from Vinland as the recipient of the 2019 Anne Elwell Breeding Award. This award is given annually to the breeder of the highest evaluated ridden stallion or gelding bred in the United States.

Zophonías from Vinland (US2012104637) was evaluated at the 2019 New York Breeding Evaluation in Cobleskill, New York on September 1-2, 2019. He received 8.2 for conformation, 8.15 for rideablilty, and a total score of 8.17.

“There are so many years that go into breeding, from purchasing the breeding horses, to birth, raising, training, and ultimately showing them. Not all our horses make it to first prize, but for the very few that do it is a special honor receiving an award,” said Martina Gates, breeder and owner. “This award is especially close to my heart because Anne [Elwell] was instrumental in my passion for breeding. She was incredibly generous with her advice and sharing of knowledge.”

Anne Elwell is one of the founding members of USIHC and served as its first breeding leader. Her tireless efforts to support USIHC and to further quality breeding in the United States are commemorated by this award.

"The future of the Icelandic breed in the United States is inextricably tied to domestic breeding. The Anne Elwell and Carolyn Cantella awards give us the opportunity to recognize those individuals who have dedicated their time, energy and resources to this worthy endeavor,” said Virginia Lauridsen, USIHC Breeding Committee Chair. “Breeding assessments are invaluable for our entire community. Everyone can gain knowledge and tools for improvement through the process of preparing and presenting a horse for assessment. The USIHC breeding committee is committed to making this process more accessible and enjoyable for all."

In 2019, 15 Icelandic horses were evaluated in the United States. Official evaluations took place in Cobleskill, NY and Peru, IA.

To learn more about USIHC breeding awards or to view past recipients, please visit


US2012104637 Zophonías from Vinland

Born 2012

Owner and Breeder: Martina Gates

F.: IS1996156333 - Stígandi frá Leysingjastöðum II
Ff.: IS1990184730 - Andvari frá Ey I
Fm.: IS1990256307 - Dekkja frá Leysingjastöðum II
M.: IS2008281115 - Gnótt frá Holtsmúla 1
Mf.: IS1998184713 - Aron frá Strandarhöfði
Mm.: IS1999284500 - Gríma frá Skíðbakka III


Date of show: 01.09.2019 - 02.09.2019

Rider:  Helga Una Björnsdóttir      Trainer:  Martina Gates

Chief judge:  Þorvaldur Kristjánsson
Judge:   Arnar Bjarki Sigurðarson

Measurements (cm):

146   135   141   67   143   37   49   46   6.7   27.5   18  

Measure of hooves: 8,3   L.h. 8,2  

Total: 8,17

Conformation: 8,20
Ridden abilities: 8,15

Head: 7,5

Neck-Withers-Shoulders: 8,5

Back and Croup: 7,5

Proportions: 8,0

Legs: 8,5

Joints: 8,5

Hooves: 8,5

Mane and Tail: 7,0

Tölt: 8,5 

Trot: 8,0 

Pace: 7,5

Gallop: 8,5

Spirit: 8,5

General impression: 8,0

Walk: 8,0

Slow tölt: 8,0

Canter: 7,5



The United States Icelandic Horse Congress maintains the Registry of Icelandic Horses in the U.S, sponsors U.S. participation in international competitions, and regulates breeding and competition activities within the U.S. in accordance with FEIF rules. It furthers knowledge of the Icelandic Horse within the U.S., promotes its correct use as a competition and pleasure riding horse, and provides a network in which to share information on events and services among Icelandic horse owners.  For more news and information, follow @usihc on Instagram, "like" USIHC on Facebook, and visit