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Finnhorse: Progress of breeding within the riding section


From Suomenratsujen Kuninkaalliset: Ikäluokkakilpailujen vaikutuksesta suomenhevosratsun jalostuksen kehitykseen (Annmari Vanha-Similä 2010)

Another interesting bachelor’s thesis regarding finnhorses. Annmari Vanha-Similä focused her thesis to the riding horse breeding section (R-studbook) and especially how the development of age-class riding competitions have improved the quality of the horses and overall interest in breeding finnhorses for use as riding horses.

This thesis is about Finnhorse breeding in the riding section. The subject was
handled on the basis of the results of one Finnhorse event. This event is called
Suomenratsujen Kuninkaalliset. Suomenratsujen Kuninkaalliset is an own
competition weekend for Finnhorses. The competition events in the weekend
are show jumping, dressage and combined driving.
A goal of this thesis was to find out with the help of the results of this competition
weekend about Finnhorse the progress of the breeding within the riding
section. Purpose was to found, has the riding breeding got progress. Results
were collected in years 2002-2008 and show jumping and dressage has been
studied both in a separated research. The results, which have been collected in
the Suomen Ratsastajainliiton result service called Kipa, have been studied in
each of the eight best-class horses’ line of descent.
According to the research, Finnhorses riding breed development has developed
in positive way it can be said that Finnhorse breeding in the riding section
is quite young and it shows in the results. The number of Finnhorse riding
horses has increased yearly and on the years 2005-2008 Young Finnhorse
evaluation winners are all in riding studbook both in fathers and mothers side.
Keywords Horse, Finnhorse, show jumping, dressage, Finnhorse breeding.
Pages 41 p + appendices 7 p


Inspected finnhorses for different studbooks 1969-2005

This table shows the number of horses inspected for different studbooks in 1969-2005. We can see that the amounts of R- and P-horses have slightly grown during the years, yet T-horses are endangered nowadays as the vast majority of finnhorses come from trotter pedigree lines.

Vuosi =Year



J-suunta: Trotter studbook (J=juoksija=trotter)

T-suunta: Work horse studbook (T=työ=work)

R-suunta: Riding horse studbook (R=ratsastus=riding)

P-suunta: Pony-sized finnhorse studbook (P=pienhevonen=pony-sized horse)

Walpero showing his talent in quality evaluation (laatuarvostelu) in 2008 as a 3-year-old. Photo by Sini Tuhkunen

The final summary stated that it is not surprise that the majority of horses that have got success in show jumping often come from trotter parents. Many horses have even had several careers, first as a trotter and then after re-schooling in show jumping, many of them in as high as 100cm classes. This is yet another proof of finnhorse’s versatility. One good example is the two-time trotter king Pette, who was inspected as both J- and R-stud. He raced 163 times with over 200 000€ winnings and after retirement from the tracks he started schooling for riding, even competed in dressage. According to Olympic rider Werner Walldén, the ability to jump is the best trait finnhorses have for riding purposes (Wikipedia 2010b).  Trotter horses have similar hind leg structure and power that show jumping horses need, so trotter breeding serves both trotter and show jumper goals.

Studs with most offspring in the Breeder’s prize competition winners (both dressage and jumping) between 2002-2008.

The effect of R-studbook horses was bigger in dressage competitions. Stallion Kelmi and his progeny have had a huge impact on R-finnhorses, especially in dressage. A good example of a really good dressage finnhorse would be R-stud Jaime, placing nine times in dressage championships in 2002-2008. Naturally also the hard work and development in schooling and training of finnhorses for dressage has helped in achieving these goals.

Overall we can say that the R-studbook and age-class competitions have had a positive impact on interest in finnhorses and the quality of horses has improved. There still are lots of horses switching careers from trotting to riding as older age, but more horses are also bred for riding use from the beginning each year.

Ratio of R vs. other finnhorse breeding section pedigrees in show jumping(left) and dressage (right) horses

Jaime in 2009, photo by Sini Tuhkunen


3 thoughts on “Finnhorse: Progress of breeding within the riding section

  1. Pingback: Why wouldn’t a finnhorse be good for riding? « National Treasure

  2. Pingback: Finnhorse breeders with websites in English « National Treasure

  3. Pingback: What class would you show a finnhorse in? « National Treasure

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