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A meeting with Jens Iversen FEIF president

19. janúar 2011 kl. 19:57

Jens Iversen

A meeting with Jens Iversen FEIF president

Jens Iversen FEIF president (international organization of the Icelandic horse) has left the country after a short visit. Jens met with the primary persons…..

within the horse sector, among which were representatives from the Icelandic Horse Federation (LH) and The Agricultural Society of Iceland (BÍ), the Horse Breeding Counselor and the WorldFeng supervisor.
Also, there was a meeting, open for the public, where Jens introduced FEIF to the guests explaining the purposes and goals of FEIF and that at this time there is a full scale review on the FEIF laws and regulations as well as on the main emphasis of the organization.
In his introduction, Jens explained that within FEIF there are about 60.000 members in a total of 476 national associations/clubs in 19 countries and 3 continents. It is assumed that there are about 6 million horses in Europe, occupying a territory of about 6 million hectares. About 400.000 year round jobs exist around horsemanship and the yearly turnover is about 100 billion EUR annually.
The Icelandic horsemanship counts about 4% of this entity.  The FEIF board is concerned of the fact the European horse world has been growing about 5% per year while the Icelandic horse world has been stagnant for the past two years.
Apart from Iceland, the Icelandic horse possesses the largest portion in Norway relatively, where a total of 18% of all horses there are of the Icelandic breed, in Denmark the proportion is 14%, In Sweden 11% and in Germany 6%, and other countries have a smaller share. In Iceland a total of 7600 foals are registered as newborns per year, but within the other FEIF countries a total of 7400 foals are born. It was discussed that these figured showed that there would be good marketing opportunities here if things were done in a correct manner.
There were discussions about the FEIF stance on Landsmót 2011 being hosted in the same year as the World Championship. Jens said that within FEIF there was full understanding on the situation which had occurred in Iceland last spring and the postponement of Landsmót. On the other hand it was the opinion of the FEIF board that the Icelandic horse world was not large enough to cover both those events in the same year, let alone with only a month apart.  Clearly, this is not a good development and the FEIF board was concerned about this. FEIF did not have another choice than to support the WC, because within FEIF there are 19 countries who have chosen to be FEIF members and to run it as an organization and a large portion of the FEIF income is coming from those tournaments, and this is something that Icelandic horse people have to understand when it comes to the stance of the FEIF board.  He said it was necessary to look towards the future and bring an order to these tournaments so that they could grow and develop as the two largest events held within the Icelandic horsemanship with a mutual support of both FEIF and Icelandic Horse Federation.
Jens emphasized that the gæðinga competition should be worked on and introduced in a systematic manner within FEIF, or else problems could arise.  Evidentially people have been interpreting this at their own will.  
A great deal of discussions were about the well being of animals and the great inspection which is occurring in the name of green horse riding.  People are in agreement that these are matters which need to be looked into.  The answer is increased education and with the improved work of judges, riders and trainers.
Discussions have been amongst individuals within FEIF on prohibiting the use of Icelandic sliding cheek bits and this was discussed at the meeting. Jens emphasized that the clear sentiment of the FEIF board was to hold on to traditional Icelandic riding and therefore allow the Icelandic cheek bits.  Democracy on the other hand had to have its way; the FEIF board could not prohibit countries from bringing forth suggestions into the FEIF board.  People have to address this discussion with good reasoning, of which there is no lack.
Jens was pleased with his visit to Iceland and looks forward to the ongoing cooperation with the Icelandic people.