The Icelandic horse and traditions surrounding it could possibly make UNESCO’s Heritage List within a few years, according to hestafrettir.is. The board of the National Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations today decided to start preparations for submitting an application to UNESCO.
Since 2003, UNESCO has approved applications for so-called intangible cultural heritage (you can view the list here), involving traditions and knowledge.
Lárus Ástmar Hannesson, head of the National Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations, says the application process can take two to three years. He’s optimistic the Icelandic horse will earn this honor, because, he says, it deserves it.
Lárus emphasizes that since the settlement of the country in the ninth century, the Icelandic horse has lived with the nation, its role gradually changing in a thousand years. It’s one of few breeds in the world to have remained pure.