Gudmar started competing on the Icelandic horse at age 6 and today is one of the most accomplished riders in Iceland. He consistently ranks in the top five in the U.S. National Ranking as well.
In 1996, Gudmar and his family began exporting and promoting the Icelandic horse in the United States. Not long afterwards, Gudmar founded his business in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2001 he graduated with honors from Holar University, Iceland’s premier equine college, from which he holds the highest degree possible below Master Trainer.
Since then Gudmar has established himself as a preeminent trainer, teacher, and competitor in both breeding and sport competitions in the U.S. and Iceland. He founded The Knights of Iceland show team, which has wowed audiences for years at major equine shows, such as Equine Affair.
In 2013 Gudmar transferred his headquarters to Iceland and realized his lifelong dream of establishing a trans-Atlantic operation. This new organization involves several partnerships, allowing him to serve his customers at every stage of the Icelandic horse experience.
America2Iceland introduces riders to the breed via equine treks and vacations in Iceland. Each year they offer a variety of trips that cater to various experience levels and goals. These trips take place at Gudmar’s Stadarhus Farm & Countryside Guesthouse, located in the Borganes area, which is about an hour outside of Reykjavik. At Stadarhus, Gudmar also offers training and boarding services, as well as sales and export of Icelandic horses. He is known for searching the Icelandic countryside and beyond for the Icelandic horse that meets your specific needs and expectations. He can then arrange to deliver the horse to you wherever you are.
Meanwhile in the U.S., Gudmar is a resident trainer at Carrie Brandt’s beautiful new Swallowland Farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Throughout the year he conducts clinics there and at various other farms across the U.S. Gudmar’s presence and partnerships in the U.S. enable him to monitor the training and progress of both the riders and horses.
Gudmar is also a partner and manager of Fakasel, the new Icelandic Horse Park in South Iceland, where he created and continues to direct a theatrical performance that showcases the uniqueness of the Icelandic breed.
Since my husband Tom and I first got started with Icelandic horses about eight years ago, Gudmar has been there for us every time we have needed a hand. From riding clinics to buying, selling and training horses, every experience has been a positive one. We have learned a lot from him and have enjoyed many laughs and had so much fun. Besides being accessible, which with his schedule is amazing in itself, he has treated us with the care and respect one would receive from a close friend. Our journey with the horses has been a learning experience and has evolved over the years. This has meant that some wonderful horses have come and gone. Gudmar has been exceptionally understanding and sensitive to my feelings and sometimes indecisiveness along the way. His progressive thinking and willingness to continue to learn and share his knowledge is invaluable to the people and Icelandic horses in the US. We are extremely lucky to have Gudmar, his family and staff available as we continue our lives with the horses we have come to love so much.
Guðmar Þór Pétursson is one of the best horsemen I have had the privilege of working with, in any discipline. The attention he pays to all aspects of the care and training of horse and rider is exemplary. His ability to read the horse and rider, to tailor his methods to best suit the situation in front of him, and to explain his ideas in a way that each individual (human or equine) can understand easily is an extraordinary treasure. Guðmar also shows a hunger for knowledge that is invaluable. I learned more in the months I worked for Guðmar and his family than I have learned in years working with other trainers. His thoughtful, insightful, caring approach to teaching and training has been an inspiration to me for as long as I have known him.
Steven & Andrea Barber
“Breeding and raising quality Icelandic horses takes a huge emotional and financial commitment. Because of this, deciding where to send young horses for their initial training can be an agonizing decision. After careful consideration we chose Gudmar for two of our promising young mares and could not have been more pleased. Gudmar took the time with both to train them as true riding horses – not just machines that run up and down and around a track. He was always easy to contact during the training process for detailed updates and even long after our mares have been home he has continued to be extremely accessible and helpful with anything we need. Our mares returned home well trained, fit, responsive, supple and just plain fun to ride – ready to perform in the show ring as well as serve as pleasure riding horses out on the trail. But most important to us they returned with open, willing, and very positive attitudes towards people and working.
It is really this attitude that to us speaks volumes about the training and care that our horses received with Gudmar. Whether you are looking for a trainer to begin your horse’s initial training, to tune up your older horse, or to polish your own riding skills we can without hesitation highly recommend Gudmar Petursson. In him you will find both an experienced horseman and a great friend.”