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The blog is quite silent now, but check out the Facebook page

Hello, my dear reader!

As you can see, the blog has been very silent for the past years. I haven’t had any urge to post anymore, neither have I wanted to take the page down. Even with my poor (second language) English, all these posts have served a purpose – to make the Finnhorse known. When there’s will, there’s a way.

At the moment it seems unlikely that I’ll post here again any time soon, if ever.

But every now and then I come across beautiful Finnhorse photos or videos on Facebook, and love to share them.

Check this out —-> Finnhorse – National Treasure 


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Finnhorse covering statistics 2017

From Lämminveristen ravihevosten astutusmäärät nousussa, suomenhevoset edellisen vuoden tasolla ( 3.11.2017)

Costello and Risto Tupamäki in Vermo

Costello, photo Laura Laakso/ photo bank

Costello was the most popular stallion in 2017 with 116 covered mares. This was his first year standing at stud.

Former “matadors” Viesker and Liising weren’t available this year. Liising died and Viesker’s owners have decided that he has earned his retirement days after about 1500 offspring. Viesker was born in 1989 and his first crop was born in 1997.

Sipori got the second place with 78 mares and Fiiling placed third with 76 mares.

Top 10 trotter (J)-stallions
1. Costello (116)
2. Sipori (78)
3. Fiiling (76)
4. Camri (62)
5. Jokivarren Kunkku (58)
6. Frans (54)
7. Tuli-Viesker (44)
8. Vaellus (37)
9. Suivikas (31)
10. Villikunkku (30)

Top 10 riding horse (R)-stallions
1. Lastun Leka (32)
2. Silvolan Hemminki (27)
3. Ponuveikko (18)
4. Hessin Leevi (17) & Jalopeno (17) & R.T. Kajaus (17)
7. Valon Veikka (15)
8. Rannan Ruhtinas (14)
9. Corleone (13)
10. Kuningas Ässä (13)

Top 10 pony-sized (P)-stallions
1. Tintin Sahrami (14)
2. Pisara Vihtori (5)
3. E.V. Jovankka (4) & Kuukson Kaipaus (4) & Sibbo (4)
6. A.T. Musta-Ritari (3) & Kuoppalan Humu (3) & Oksasnikko (3) & Pikku Verneri (3) & Tintin Timjami (3)

Top 10 Work horse (T/Ta)-stallions
1. Etupassi (10)
2. Jaaritus (8)
3. Huima Heppu (7)
4. E.V. Johtotähti (5) & Kiripassi (5) & Pikku-Laakeri (5)
7. Tuohivirsu (4)
8. Esu (3) & Huldan Veto (3) Pirttilän Figo (3)

Altogether there are 1744 reported coverings this year, so about the same as in 2016 (1766).  70 % of these mares were covered by J (trotter)-stallions. R (riding horse) section placed second with 17,7 %, P (pony-sized finnhorses) third with 3,6 % and T (work horse) section fourth with 3,3 %.

95 mares were covered by stallions that have not been inspected for studbook (5,4 %). These foals, if purebred, will be registered as Finnhorses, but they won’t be able to compete in harness racing unless both of their parents have the same owner.

Full statistics 2017 (pdf, source 

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Thesis: Selection of Finnhorse stallions for cryopreservation



Isäntä, photo by Hippos photo bank/Pirje Fager-Pintilä

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the extinction and preservation of the Finn horse. The breed is not yet endangered, but the researchers and breeders worry that the genetic material is narrowing (too fast). If we don’t act now, there might be problems in the future.

So far I know one Finn horse stallion whose semen has been frozen, Taikuri.

One option could be cryopreserving the genetic material. Saija Tenhunen and Tytti Salonpää from Savonia University of Applied Sciences made their thesis on the subject in 2016.

Abstract in English:

The goal of our thesis is to make a candidate list of stallions that could be chosen for cryopreservation. In our thesis we will research inbreeding coefficients, generation intervals and effective population size of Finnhorses born between 1960 and 2014. We will also research which stallions have had the biggest genetic contributions to the current population and which stallions might be the best candidates for cryopreservation by using the Optimal Contribution Selection (OCS) method. The stallion candidates should be healthy, fertile and represent the current population of Finnhorses. The genetic material in cryopreservation should reflect the genetic structure of the whole population in the best possible way.

In the data from the Finnish Trotting and Breeding Association there were 82 178 animals in total, but after processing the data there were 80 378 animals in total. The pedigree completeness index in five generations was 89.9 %. The inbreeding coefficient for the Finnhorses born in 2014 was on average 4.75 % and the generation interval was 13.56 years. The effective population size calculated for the whole population was 135.8 individuals. Stallions that had the biggest genetic contributions for the current Finnhorse population were Murto, Eri-Aaroni, Suikku, Vokker and Vieteri. We made three different stallion candidate lists: in the first list there were potential stallions born in the last generation (14 years), in the second list there were potential stallions born in the past 20 years and in the third list there were only potential studbook stallions.

We can conclude from our results that in Finnhorse breeding choices they have avoided inbreeding. From the year 1960 the average inbreeding coefficient in the Finnhorse population has increased 4 %, which can be partly explained by increased pedigree information over the years. From the effective population size, we can conclude that at the moment there is enough genetic variation in the population to survive with vitality in the short term (five generations). This breed might have problems surviving with vitality in the long term if the genetic diversity in the breed is ignored when making breeding choices. Ex-situ cryopreservation is the recommended solution for securing the vitality of the Finnhorse population in the future.

With the OCS method we got potential stallion candidates based on their pedigree information that were not in the studbook or in breeding use. However, this method does not include the major lines (trotter) in the choice. So we recommended choosing known trotter stud stallions from outside these candidate lists for cryopreservation. All Finnhorse colors were not included in the candidate lists. To secure phenotypical diversity in the breed, it would be a good option to collect semen from stallions that inherit these colors.

The stallions

Of course, the most interesting part of this thesis for the average horse breeder would be the list of stallions. Which ones they have picked, which stallion should I choose to help preserving the rarest blood lines, what can we do to help our beloved Finn horse the most?

Here you go. The links will take you to Sukuposti horse database.

List 1: Stallions under 14 years of age.

List 2: Stallions max 20 yo.

List 3: Studbook stallions

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Turku hosts the Royal races 2016

From and Kuninkuusravit – in English


The 85th Royal Race, Kuninkuusravit, takes place in the oldest city and former capital of Finland, Turku.

The Kuninkuusravit weekend is the biggest harness racing event in Finland, attracting about 50-60 000 spectators every year. This is the sixth time Turku race track organizes the races.

Turku has taken an active role in marketing the event also for international audience. I’m sure you don’t haveto be a Finn to enjoy the races. :)

Ships traffic between Turku and Stockholm on a daily basis, so it’s very easy to travel from Sweden. Turku  also has an airport and is only a few hours away from Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

Why visit?

Some say, they aren’t even interested in harness racing overall, but this weekend is a must. For some it’s the overall atmosphere, for some the festival around the event, that makes them return every year.

But I’d say for me and many like me, the main reason is that the biggest stars in this event are the Finn horses.

I can only imagine what it feels like to own, train or have bred a horse that gets to compete for the crown… I believe it’s a dream of every single Finn horse trotter breeder (including myself), the goal.


Huisi Hemmo, Trotter king 2025?

I’ll be there, let’s meet up ;)

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Official music video for “Suomenhevonen”

Today is Johan Vilhelm Snellman‘s birthday, the day of the Finnish identity.

Enjoy the music by Huojuva Lato and photography by Kirsti Hassinen on this new, official music video of this popular song.

Lyrics in English:

Where would we be without you
you four-legged, light-maned
friend, Finnhorse

I have no other earthly possessions,
the heaven’s roof, road’s carpet
forest trees for walls
for a friend, the Finnhorse

My grandfather cleared the fields
oats soon flowered, where the plough flew, –
be kind, horse
our friend, Finnhorse

As guns blazed in the Carelian isthmus
in the frost and snow
you were more reliable than the machine
our friend Finnhorse

These villages are empty
no roads cleared and the old left behind
but yet there are some
and some horses, too

When I leave this place
this road and roadsides
this slippery ice of a wintery road
bury me by my horse

For where would we be without you
you four-legged, light-maned
friend, Finnhorse

This translation was published in the Get to Know the Finnhorse -brochure.

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Video: French professor visiting Teivo

Video by Tampereen hevosklinikka

French professor Jean-Marie Denoix visited and lectured in Finland in March 2016. During his visit he was offered an opportunity to drive a Finnish trotter called Frankker. :)

Short interview in English starts at 5:37.


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2015 in review

A big thank you for every visitor! Here’s a review in statistics. :)

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.