The story behind the breeding stallion: Kveikur frá Stangarlæk 1!

Suddenly there was a very good four gaiter on Landsmót 2018 in breeding class, a jet black stallion with extraordinary gaits and movements. His name is Kveikur frá Stangalæk 1, born and raised just outside the kitchen window of his breeders and owners Ragna Björnsdóttir and Birgir Leó Ólafsson. When they saw he was a special horse, they decided that Aðalheiður Anna Guðjónsdóttir would be the suitable rider for him. The combination became a success and many great breeding results followed. Kveikur has scored 10 for tölt and character, and 9,5 for trot, gallop and general impression. Kveikur is currently the highest judged four gaited stallion in the world. Because he is such a stunning horse I would really want to tell more about him, so I interviewed Birgir Leó and Ragna about this outstanding stallion from their breeding at Stangarlækur 1.

”You can almost feel how they are connected and Kveikur´s trusts and respect towards Aðalheiður Anna is without limits.” Birgir leó Ólafsson about Kveikur and his rider Aðalheiðu Anna
Kveikur and Aðalheiður Anna at Landsmót, Photo: Jens Einarsson

Kveikur frá Stangarlæk 1 IS2012188095 (8.76 total) Blub 123
Father: Sjóður frá Kirkjubæ IS2007186104 (8.70 total 9.0 total for rideability) scored up to 7.43 in F1 preliminary
Fathers father: Sær frá Bakkakoti IS1997186183 (8.62 total 9 on tölt, trot & pace)
Mother: Raketta frá Kjarnholtum I IS2004288562 (8.07 total 9 for tölt)
Mothers father: Glaður frá Kjarnholtum I IS2001188569 (7.92 total)

How did you choose Kveikurs parents?
It all started when we bought his mother Raketta from the breeding farm Kjarnholt I in 2007.  Raketta was then trained and showed by our friends at Árbakki, Hinrik Bragason and Hulda Gústafsdóttir.  Hinrik did a great job when he showed her in FIZO breeding 2010 where she got her final marks and first price (8.07). Raketta has been our number one breeding mare ever since with super tolt and temperament. How we chose Sjóður was really not hard, we had two stallions in sight as the best fit for Raketta at that time, but in the end we chose Sjóður frá Kirkjubæ. Sjóður had won by in his group at Landsmót 2011 at Vindheimamelar and he already showed then how super talented he is. We never had any doubt about how good Sjóður was as a breeding stallion and he has  proven to be one of our absolute best choices. Raketta visited again in the summer of 2019 so next year we, hopefully, have a full sister or brother of Kveikur.

Why did you choose Adalheidur as the rider for Kveikur?
We got to know Aðalheiður in 2013 as she was assisting Reynir Örn in riding lessons we were participants at. Reynir Örn already took some horses for us in training at Margretarhof in Iceland, before Kveikur went to them so we had a  really good experience having them and helping us out with training the young horses. We could say that we choose them for Kveikur, as a team, because we knew at that time that Reynir and Aðalheiður Anna work and support each other with the horses.


Photo: Jens Einarsson


How did you experience Landsmót 2018?
Landsmót 2018 in Reykjavík, and the whole summer of 2018 as a matter of fact, is something we will never forget for sure. The feeling when they were on the track was surreal to say the least and thankfully the people at Landsmót appreciated how Kveikur was performing under his rider, Aðalheiður Anna Guðjónsdóttir. We experienced that week in Reykjavik as unreal more or less but thankfully we managed to stand tight by Kveikur so that he would get his rest in the stable and so on.

When did you see he was a very talented and special horse?
We saw at a young age how Kveikur had a really special mindedness. He was always really calm but yet he was full of joy and loved more than anything to run with his group.  He was brought up with a same-aged stallion at the time. They became really good friends and I think it was a big influence on how he was brought up.
Around the age of two, we noticed how good looking he was and his body was taking the shape we know now.
In the pretraining, he started to show us some enjoyable moments of what we have now seen under Aðalheiður Anna in the track.


What is so unique about Kveikur?
For Kveikur individually, the first thing that comes to mind is how he thinks and acts.  Sometimes you even wonder if he thinks like a human. Kveikur is a really intelligent horse.

If you then think about the partnership between Aðalheiður Anna and him, for us it is the harmony and the balance they have when they are performing. You can almost feel how they are connected and Kveikur´s trusts and respect towards Aðalheiður Anna is without limits.

What did you expect from him when he was becoming a riding horse?
We have always been very careful with our expectations of our breeding. We have always had that goal in breeding that a normal amateur rider could ride our horses.  Sometimes it goes like that, sometimes it does not. We have been very fortunate with our breeding in that way.

Can you describe his character? 
Kveikur frá Stangarlæk 1 is for us the dream horse in all aspects.  There are not many faults in his character, if any to be honest. Words like sweet, gentle, smart, curious, brave, funny come to mind when we think about him.

Photo: Jens Einarsson


How is he as a riding horse?
As a riding horse he is what you see on the track. When an older couple approached us at Landsmót 2018 and said, “our feeling for Kveikur is that I could ride him”, they were absolutely right. That would be the best description of Kveikur.


What is his best gait?
His four gaits are all top quality, There is not much difference in quality in difference in tölt, trot or canter. Difficult to choose one. Kveikur has scored 10 on tölt, 9.5 on canter and trot, 9 on slow tölt.

What makes him such a good stallion?

As a breeding stallion Kveikur´s pedigree is well known in the breeding sector.  The horses from Kjarnholt I and Kirkjubær have been, and still are, among the best breeding line available. Kveikur is a result of long-time breeding from those breeding farms and of course, we take a small credit for making way for Kveikur to rise.

Could you tell me a bit about his offspring?
We see a lot of resemblance of Kveikur on his offsprings.  Their mindset is similar, quiet but cheerful. Four of his oldest offsprings are now in training and are doing well.  We hope to see one young Kveikurs daughter soon on the track.

What do you see from him in his offspring?
Body wise we see a lot of him in his offspring head, eyes and neck.  They have also very similar mane and tail.

There are a lot of good breeding stallions in Iceland, why should you breed with Kveikur?

It is difficult to compare the best to the best. If you, as a breeder, like what you see in a stallion you should go for it and use that stallion.  Kveikur is no different from other great stallions, it is easy to like him, therefore breeders are using him.

Wich type of mare would be the best match with him
The types of mares that fits Kveikur the best would be the mare you like the most in your breeding. It is important to know the mare that you are using as a breeding mare, despite the stallion you are going for. There is really no other script for these things in my opinion.

Photo: Jens Einarsson

What are his best results so far?
Kveikur scored 8.22 in his first T1 competition in Meistaradeild 2019 and up to 8.76 in FIZO breeding. Kveikur has scored 10 on tölt, 9.5 on canter and trot, 9 on slow tölt.

What are your goals with him?
Our goal with Kveikur is first and foremost to help him grow as a breeding stallion.  Therefore he won’t, most likely,  be competing much will most next year and the year after. After that we hope to see his offsprings on the track.

Kveikur was fully booked with mares fot his year, where will he cover when he is available again for breeding?
Kveikur will be at Stangarlækur 1 after Landsmót in the summer of 2020.  The year after that he will be at Kýrholt in Skagafjörður. After that he most likely will be at Stangarlækur for coming years.

Photo: Jens Einarsson
Thank you so much Ragna Bjönsdóttir and Birgir Leó Ólafsson for telling us so much about your awesome Kveikur, I hope to see him with my own eyes at Landsmót 2020. It was super nice to work with you on this article. I will certainly follow Kveikur the coming years! I’m very curious how his offspring will be in the track themselves, hopefully they will be a lot like their father.


One thought on “The story behind the breeding stallion: Kveikur frá Stangarlæk 1!

  1. You covered a lot of ground here, congrats on a brilliant interview! It was a joy to read and I love how the Stangarlækur people view and describe their horses. I have met Kveikur a few times in the last weeks and he really is an incredibly sweet guy, on top of all his merits on the track ❤


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