It's all about the only native Finnish horse breed!


Video: An Adventure

Recently I have had the pleasure to share quite a few good videos – and more and more often with English subtitles! Here’s another one – enjoy!

An adventure from Ella Kiviniemi on Vimeo.

Quite an extraordinary couple wanders around the streets of Turku, Finland. This is a story about the impossible coming true.

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Breeding statistics for Finnhorses 2014

From Astutustilastot 2014 (

Breeding sections



This graph shows how popular the four breeding sections were in 2014, based on the breeding section of the stallion.

Altogether 1505 Finnhorse mares were covered in 2014. The most popular section was the trotter (J) section with 1137 mares, (75,5%), then riding horse (R) with 233 mares, which is 15,5% of all mares, work horses (T) got 40 (2,7%) and pony-sized finnhorse stallions (P) got 49 mares, which is 3,3% of all.

Altogether 46 mares (3,1%) were taken to a stallion that hasn’t been shown and/or accepted to the studbook. These stallions represent a variety of breeding sections, but most often the owner either wants to use this stallion for his/her own mare(s), or has no interest in harness racing. These foals are registered as finnhorses, but unless the same owner owns both, the mare and the stallion, the foal doesn’t get to race in trotting races. Riding competitions, however, welcome everyone.

Most popular studs in 2014

1. Liising (150 mares (maximum))
2. Viesker (95)
3. Camri (75)
4. Frans (70)
5. Vixen (56)

See the list of full statistics here (altogether 188 stallions).

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Video: Savelan Hemuli

What can I say, it’s a beautiful video of a beautiful horse, here ridden by Elina Sjögren. Worth watching and sharing. :)

By Jasmine Kousa on Youtube.


The effect of the “gait keeper” gene on performance in Finnhorses

From Alustavat tutkimukset suomenhevosten ravivarmuusgeenitutkimuksesta kuultiin Jalostuspäivillä ( 11.2.2015)

Camri (10) and Tekno Odin (6) Photo Suomen Hippos/Ilkka Nisula

Kim Jäderkvist is a Swedish PhD student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences ( She visited Finland in February and gave a presentation about their study on the DMRT3, or the “gait keeper” gene on Finnhorses.

This gene mutation (A-variant) enables the horse to trot at fast speed without proceeding into gallop.

Earlier studies have shown that the gaited breeds, such as standardbred trotters, Tennessee walkers, Rocky Mountain horses, Icelandic horses and Peruvian pasos commonly have this mutation (AA), but many other, non-gaited breeds, such as thoroughbreds, Gotland ponies and many draft breeds don’t (CC).

Actually, the mutation was originally found from Icelandic horses during a study about the summer eczema.

Of course it’s important to remember that the mutation doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the horse will be a successful trotter. But these studies have shown that having that A-allele gives better odds. On the other hand the CC-horses more often have three clear gaits, which is a good trait for a riding horse.

Kim’s presentation was published online as well, you can find it here. (It’s in English!)

The recent study got sample hair from 180 Finnhorses with trotting performance data and 59 Finnhorses that were used for riding (altogether 239 horses).

I sent a few of Elyse’s hair to this study as well. I got the results a few weeks ago, she represents the CA-type. These heterozygous A-carriers have shown more varying performance on the race tracks, something between the AA and CC horses.

More to read

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Finnish Team for Vincennes 2015

From Pariisin kylmäveriottelun suomenhevososallistujat valittu ( 28.1.2015)

Metkutus visiting France. Photo: Suomen Hippos photo bank

The annual meeting for Nordic coldblood trotters takes place in Vincennes, Paris on  the19th and 22nd of February 2015. This will be the 14th annual meeting. The French trotting association calls teams from Finland, Sweden and Norway to compete in two races, Prix des Trotteurs Sang-Froid and Prix de Pays Nordiques – Trophee Järvsöfaks.

The Finnish team for this year was announced last week. Hiskin Muisto, Irwin, Passiton and Rapin Aatos will travel to Paris. Good luck!

EDIT 12.2.2015: Irwin had to scratch – Tosi-Jänkä will replace him (from

See how the Finn horses have succeeded in these races earlier by clicking here.

The Swedish Coldblood Team for Vincennes 2015


Cali Maks (trainer Jan-Olov Persson)
(trainer Jörgen Westholm)
Järvsö Björn
(trainer Jan-Olov Persson)
(trainer Jerker Bjurman)

I haven’t found the information about the Norwegians yet, though…

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Flag Counter report

This counter was installed 22nd of November in 2011. Over 100 flags have been collected since then!


Check out how the statistics have developed:

Thanks again to every visitor, liker, guest blogger and friend – may the new year bring good things to you.

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Merry Joulu!

Little Epeli sends his greetings too! (photos by Viivi)

For this Christmas I found an interesting piece of text about the Christmas tradition in Finland. The quote below is from “Suomenusko” Facebook page. I’m so glad they translate their posts in English as well! It’s also a great page to visit if you are interested in Finnish history and traditions in general.

There hasn’t been much of difference in our little stable’s life this Christmas – a few extra carrots and spruce branches to munch on, the horses just love them. :)

Joulu was a joyful family feast celebrating the harvest year that brought health, vitality and well-being for the whole year. On joulu people went to sauna, played games and spend good time together, ate well and remembered their ancestors, haltija spirits as well as domestic animals.

Many joulu customs have been transferred from kekri to joulu as the significance of the latter feast has grown in the course of history. Both are family celebrations which involve good food and beer. Similarly to kekri, the spirits of the ancestors for said to visit the living during joulu and sauna was heated for them. Also, luck for the new year was ensured by various customs on both kekri and joulu, and the future was also forecasted in many ways on both occasions.

On joulu, straws – also conifer twigs in some places – were spread on the floor and a decoration made from straws, called himmeli, was hung from the ceiling. The master of house poured a welcoming drink to one sheaf before it was opened and spread on the floor. The master of the house also threw straws between the roof and crane log. If a lot of straws got stuck there, the harvest would be good. If little straw stuck to the roof, the next year would be bad.

Traditional joulu had two elements that have remained strong in the contemporary Finnish culture: sauna and food. Sauna was considered a sacred placed, as is proven by the large number of sayings comparing sauna to a church. The spirit and body were purified in sauna before beginning a feast.

The joulu sauna was heated early so that everyone could wash up before dark and dress clean clothes for the joulu banquet. Foods were placed on the table before sauna in the the same way as in kekri, so that the dead could enjoy their joulu meal while the people bathed in the sauna. The master of the house was the last one to leave from sauna, and it was his duty to prepare everything so that the ancestral spirits could bathe there after the people left.

Foods needed to be offered also to the local spirits before people ate those foods. If a house had a sacrificial tree, small portion of every dish was set on the root of the tree. Food and liquor could also be taken to the barn, put on a bench and placed under the table as an offering. Only after the offerings were placed could people sit down and enjoy their banquet in good company.

Food was important on joulu because it symbolized the abundance of food on the next harvest. Traditional joulu foods include bread, meat dishes, beers and porridge. Foods were kept on the table for whole joulu, and, it was said that if even one dish run out, the house would face poverty in the future. Even the poorer houses did everything they could to get plenty of good food on the table for joulu. Cattle and horses were also treated especially well on joulu, and only the best hay and sometimes even bread and drinks were given to them.

Anssi A. / Suomenusko

Read more about the Finnish folk religion and culture in English here 


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