What is the USIHC? What does it do?

The Icelandic Horse community worldwide is governed by FEIF, the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations. (Pronounced "fife," the acronym comes from the German.) Comprised of the National Breed Associations of 19 countries, FEIF governs competition activities and regulates the breeding and registration of Icelandic Horses throughout the world outside of Iceland. (See the FEIF website for more information.)

The United Icelandic Horse Congress was formed in 1987 as an umbrella organization to join together two US organizations, the U.S. Icelandic Horse Federation and the International Icelandic Horse Association to meet the FEIF rule that only one association from each country is allowed to represent the breed. In 1993, the organizations merged into the umbrella organization and the name was changed to the United States Icelandic Horse Congress, or USIHC.

As a FEIF member organization, the USIHC maintains the Registry of Icelandic Horses in the US, organizes US participation in international competitions, and regulates breeding and competition activities in the US in accordance with FEIF rules. USIHC also sponsors activities, events, and educational programs "to promote the knowledge of the Icelandic Horse within the United States and its correct use as a competition and riding horse," according to the USIHC Constitution. Finally, the USIHC represents the United States in FEIF.

Why should I join the USIHC? What are the benefits?

As a member of the USIHC, you are part of the worldwide community of Icelandic Horse enthusiasts. By joining USIHC committees and working on projects, you can contribute to the progress of Icelandic Horses in America and have a voice in the international Icelandic Horse world.

All USIHC members receive The Icelandic Horse Quarterly, a high quality quarterly magazine featuring news, practical information, and stories about Icelandic Horses. Members are also eligible to receive FEIF-sponsored mailings and starting in 2007 a free subscription to World Fengur - an international database of Icelandic horses.   .

USIHC members who qualify are eligible to compete internationally at the World Championships on the US team and to take part in USIHC programs such as the Riding Badge Program. They receive discounts at other USIHC-sanctioned programs, such as Breeding Evaluations and Sanctioned Shows.

Your membership dues are spent on the day-to-day operation of the Congress, including publication of The Icelandic Horse Quarterly, maintenance of this website, publication of promotional brochures, creation of displays, and other general informational projects. The more members, the more the USIHC can accomplish to educate the American public about the Icelandic Horse.

How do I get my World Fengur subscription?

You must register with World Fengur to take advantage of the free subscription included with your membership in the Congress. The process take just a few minutes once your Congress membership is active. We have prepared a page on the web site to help you get connected to World Fengur. Click here to get started.

World Fengur requires Congress members to re-register each year. Each March you will need to visit the World Fengur Access page to receive a new activation code and repeat the registration with World Fengur. This is a requirement imposed by World Fengur, not the US Icelandic Horse Congress.

How do I join?

The membership application process is completely automated on the web site. You may pay your membership dues with PayPal or mail us a check. Use the payment method that is most convenient for you. Click here to get started on your application.

When your application has been processed, you will receive a USIHC Welcome Packet, including an issue of The Icelandic Horse Quarterly (the USIHC magazine) and imporant information for new members.

If you choose to apply and pay for your membership with PayPal, your membership will be immeidately active as soon as PayPal completes the payment transaction. If you choose to pay with a check, your membership will become active when the Treasurer has processed your payment. To check on the status of your application, contact the Treasurer by e-mail at treasurer@icelandics.org.

How is the Congress organized? How are the Officers and the Board of Directors elected?

The USIHC is governed by a volunteer nine-member Board of Directors elected by the USIHC membership. Board members serve a three-year term. The terms are staggered on a rolling system so that three Board positions are open for election each year. For more information see Article VII of the USIHC Constitution.

The current Board of Directors are:

Will Covert, California (President), 2017
Lori Cretney, Wisconsin (Vice President), 2018
Kari Pietsch-Wangard, Wisconsin (Treasurer), 2017
Andrea Barber, New York 2017
Alex Dannenmann, Florida, 2019
Jessica Haynsworth, Vermont, 2019
Leslie Chambers, Connecticut, 2018
Linda Templeton, Washington, 2019
The USIHC Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) are elected by the Board of Directors at the first Board meeting after the Annual Meeting. Each officer's term is for one year or until a successor is elected by the Board.   For more information see Article VII of the USIHC Constitution.

Who organizes USIHC programs?

USIHC programs are organized by committees appointed by the Board of Directors. All committee members, including the chairs, are volunteers, and any USIHC member can join any committee by contacting the chairperson. Each committee chair, if not a Board member, reports to a Board member, and all expenditures are approved by the Board. 

Current Committee chairs are:

Breeding -- Sherry Hoover - breeding@icelandics.org
Sport -- Will Covert - sport@icelandics.org
Leisure Riding -- Janet Mulder - leisure_riding@icelandics.org
Magazine -- Nicki Esdorn and Nancy Marie Brown - quarterly@icelandics.org
Affiliated Clubs -- Leslie Chambers - affiliated_clubs@icelandics.org
Education -- Will Covert and Kari Pietsch Wangard - education@icelandics.org
Promotion -- Emily Potts - promotion@icelandics.org
Youth -- Kristina Behringer - youth@icelandics.org

When does the USIHC meet? Can I attend the meetings?

The USIHC Annual Meeting is normally held in the first quarter of each year. USIHC members are encouraged to attend and meet other Icelandic Horse enthusiasts and become more informed about the organization.

The Annual Meeting consists of reports from Officers (President, Secretary, Treasurer), from the breed registry, and from the committees. Members are encouraged to attend and may also propose items for the agenda.

The Board of Directors meets monthly, usually the third Thursday of each month. The exact date of each meeting is posted on the calendar page on the web site. With the exception of an in-person meeting the night before the Annual Meeting, the Board meets by telephone conference call. The agenda is posted on the bulletin board page on the web site the weekend before each meeting. A few days after each meeting the minutes are posted on the web site.

Any member of the USIHC is welcome to audit any of the Board conference calls. The member is responsible for any toll charges to connect to the call. Auditors are asked to report their presence during the roll call at the start of meeting or immediately upon joining an in-progress call. Auditors are expected to remain silent unless called upon by the President. Conference calls may be recorded.

For more information on meetings see Article VIII of the USIHC Constitution.

Why should I register my Icelandic Horse?

Registering your Icelandic Horse with the USIHC, whether you're active in breeding or not, increases the value of the horse. Some USIHC programs such as the Pleasure Rider Program, the try outs for the world championship team, and inclusion in the Stallion book require the horse to be registered.

Registering your horse also helps the USIHC keep track of how many Icelandic Horses there are in America. Currently over 3,000 Icelandic Horses are registered with the USIHC. Finally, registration fees not only underwrite the cost of the registry, but are used to support special USIHC programs such as Breeding Evaluations.

How do I register my Icelandic Horse?

The Registry of Icelandic Horses in the US is maintained by the USIHC in accordance with FEIF rules. The Registry Rules and registration forms are available on the USIHC website or by contacting the registrar,

Ásta Covert
P.O. Box 1724
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Tel (866) 929-0009 [extension 2]
Email The Registry

Each horse to be registered (except imported geldings) must be DNA-typed and its parents must be registered with the FEIF member association in their country of residence. DNA-typing is performed by the

Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, University of California-Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8744

Contact the Laboratory for more information on the procedure to follow.

What does it cost to register my Icelandic Horse?

The cost depends on the age of the horse and, if it was foaled abroad, how long it has been since the horse was imported into the United States. There are some registry transactions which are free. Click here for a list of all registry fees.

How can I meet other Icelandic Horse owners?

The USIHC numbers over 500 members spread throughout the country. Many USIHC members organize informal trail rides, clinics, open houses, and other events to which you may be invited; often these are advertised in the Calendar section of the Icelandic Horse Quarterly and are posted on the calendar page of the website.

There are also a number of Affiliated Clubs affiliated with the USIHC. These clubs organize many of their own events.

Who can I contact for help?

Each member of the Board of Directors and each Committee chair is experienced in one or more areas concerning the USIHC or Icelandic Horses in general. They are also happy to refer you to experts in the US, Iceland, or other FEIF countries, depending on the information you need.

If you are experiencing problems with the website or any online services, the fastest way to get help is to send an email to webhelp@icelandics.org.

If you have a general question and aren't sure who to ask send an email to info@icelandics.org and we'll route the question to the proper person for you.