The annual national Finnish work horse championship contest is held this year 9th of June in Jyväskylä, at Killerjärvi race track. Only inspected finnhorse stallions and mares can participate.
Prizes: 2500 EUR – 1250 EUR – 650 EUR – 300 EUR – 200 EUR, next five 100 EUR, the rest 80 EUR if all parts are fulfilled.
Work horse championships crowns finnhorse’s versatility
Left: Vilpotar and Markku Mässeli, champion pair of 2011. Photo from the original article
Finnhorse has been purebred for about 100 years. At first the selection was made purely by horse’s looks and body structure, but already in the 1920s the inspection was changed to measuring the horse’s performance at work. Since then the horses have also competed in pulling heavy loads. Since it is all about finnhorse’s versatility, measuring walk- and trotting times is still a part of Finnish work horse championships. Finnhorses still have an outstanding pulling technique in their genes, which makes them equivalent to even challenge much more bigger and heavier draft horses.
In the 1970s the horse breeding in Finland went historically low, the pulling contests also went on hiatus for a few years. But since 1984 this traditional show of horses’ skills and horsemanship was reawaken. Since then, Suomen Hippos has organized an annual Finnish work horse championships with co-operation of local horse breeding associations.
The participants challenge each other in three partial tests: 1000m trotting test, 500m walk with 500kg load and pulling test, with a sleigh on sand. The starting weight is about 500kg and the load grows 50kg in every 20m. The winner is the horse that gets the most points from these three tests.
Pekka Vilkuna’s contest
Hilippa-sculpture is a challenge cup for national work horse championships participants. It was first given in Turku 2007 and works as a challenge cup for the next ten years, until 2017. Every year the sculpture is given to the annual champion, but after ten years it is given to the horse with most points from the last 10 championship contests.
All the rest approved horses 3 points.
This contest encourages sustainability with work horses and encourage in future work in horse breeding and working.
Finnish Parliament 24.11.2006
Member of Parliament