Bergur Jónsson was born at Ketilsstaðir in 1960 and is the second oldest of four siblings. He developed an interest in horses right away and started riding, training and breaking in horses as soon as he was old enough. The Breeding at Ketilsstaðir was small at first since there were not many horses in the area at the time. In 1968 it changed when the Horse Club Freyfaxi changed its direction and started to rent very good stallions.
First was Sörli 653 frá Sauðárkróki and a year later the stallion Blakkur and the mare Kvika were born at Ketilsstaðir. Kvika didn’t leave much behind but Blakkur is the grandfather of Hugmynd one of Bergur’s main broodmares. Like for many kids that grow up at a farm there was a lot of work to be done and early on Bergur was a valuable helper making hay and he spent days running the machines. Riding and horsemanship was something that was time for when there was a break from other duties. Bergur didn’t get much riding instructions since that wasn’t the norm then, rather we crawled on the horse and rode somehow, often bareback. Bergur’s first horse was called Neisti and he was a trotter that newer got trained to tölt, since we rode like an Indian and I rather taught him to jump the gates rather than open them says Bergur.
The winter Bergur turned thirteen in 1973, Ragnar Hinriksson came east to break in and train horses for the Fjórðungsmót and Bergur’s father Jón Bergsson put the horses in training with him. In the spring when the grass was green they made facilities at Ketilsstaðir and Ragnar and the late Atli Vilbergsson from Bergsstaðir were there in the summer training for the Fjórðungsmót. Bergur says it was very fun and he rode with them as much as he could and they let him ride many different horses.
Bergur got to try a few first prize mares, among them was Elísa frá Sandfelli that Ragnar then possessed and later received a very high judgment.
“At the Fjórðungsmót that summer the 2nd assessment breeding judgements were different than they are today and I’m not even sure the judgment was open but I got to ride some horses and I assume strongly that they didn’t expect them to raise by me. This was very precious to partake in such a fairytale for a young boy to hang out with such geniuses and it changed my thinking and view of horsemanship” says Bergur.
So at 12 years old he got to start showing breeding horses, then a few years went by since breeding judgments were only the years Landsmót and Fjórðungsmót were held. When he was 16 years old in 10th grade he trained seven mares along with school and showed them in the spring. Bergur remembers they were more successful than his school even though they didn’t all score particularly high. They all qualified for Fjórðungsmót no surprise there they were no average mares. These are all mares that have put a mark on the history of the Breeding at Ketilsstaðir. There was Ör, mother of Hugmynd, Fála mother of Máni, Snekkja mother of Vakning and Ljómslöpp and Kengála grandmother of Framtíð.
There his direction was formed. He didn’t continue school and the next winter he started training and breaking in horses and has done only that ever since. At first Bergur trained for others but in the fall of 1979 a stable was built at Ketilsstaðir and he trained from there in the winter of 1980. That summer a Fjórðungsmót was held and it was the first big competition for Bergur. He showed many breeding horses and Gæðingars. He showed the highest five-year-old mare, highest stallion and the third place four-year-old mare. He also had horses in finals in A- and B-Class.
The winter after that he went to train for Sigurður Haraldsson in Kirkjubær and the winter after that in Skagafjörður for the Breeding association. The work was mainly to train offspring of Júpiter frá Reykjum and Óðinn frá Sauðárkróki. He trained the young horses for two months and then they were shown. When Bergur suggested and insisted that one of the young horses was not to be shown, “then Sveinn at Sauðárkrókur told me that I could take my sack and someone else would come and show the horses”. There Bergur won the big achievement to show a horse for an even 6.0 for riding ability. With a whip in both hands he managed to get 5.0 for three gaits, Tölt, Pace and Gallop.
After the stay in Skagafjörður Bergur worked mainly with horses in the east of Iceland. He ran a Training center and always had one or two helpers. The winter 1984 Bergur took the Young horse exam and in 1986 the Training exam, later in 1992 he took the Riding instructor exam C at the Riding instructors course at Hólaskóli and in December 1998 he took the Riding instructor exam B from FT (trainers association). In 1993 he became a Gæðingakeppni judge and in 1994 he became a National Gæðingakeppni judge. Bergur’s first Lansmót was in 1978 and he has shown horses at every Landsmót since, though mainly breeding horses but he has also ridden in the finals at 3 Landsmót’s in A-Class.