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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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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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Christmas is every year, but Kuninkuusravit only once a year!


Suivikas leads the Trotter King ranking at the moment. Photo by Hippos/Ilkka Nisula

Only 45 days left, my friends. :)

This year the biggest harness racing event in Finland, the Kuninkuusravit, will take place at Joensuu, in Eastern Finland on 1st and 2nd of August, 2015. We still don’t know the 12 stallions and 12 mares that will get to race for the crowns, but the rankings will keep the speculations going until the signing day.

(I’m cheering for Vieskerin Valo and Camri, because of reason 1 and reason 2 ;))

See more videos at Joensuu Race Track’s Youtube Channel

I have come across a few different translations for the name of this event. Should “Kuninkuusravit” be translated as the Coronation Trot, the Royal Race(s), the finnhorse Trotting Championships or something else? All of these seem to fit to the definition – it’s an annual horse racing event where the best trotters of this breed compete for the titles of King and Queen (kuningas = king in Finnish, kuninkuus = royalty).

Please let me know your thoughts – I have struggled with this translation for a while now! Or should we just call it “Kuninkuusravit”? ;)

Another ad for this year’s event.

Kuninkuusravit – The Royal Race

The Royal Race, an annual competition for Finnhorse, is held this year in Joensuu, the heart of North Karelia. It is the greatest harness racing event in Finland, and gathers approximately 60 000 spectators every year. It has been held three times before in Joensuu. This year the Royal Race is raced for the 84th time.

The competitors – 12 stallions and 12 mares – participate for three partial races. On Saturday, the first competition day, the horses race 2100 meters. On Sunday, the second competition day, the first race’s length is one mile (1609 meters) and the second race, the most demanding of all, is 3100 meters.

The Royal Race has been said to be one of the hardest competitions in harness racing worldwide, as the horses must race three times in two days. The winners of overall competitions will be crowned as the Trotting King and the Trotting Queen, and winning these titles is highly appreciated.

History of the Royal Races in Joensuu

The first Royal Races were held already in 1924. The Royal Races in Joensuu have quite a remarkable meaning in the history of this amazing event: in the 1948 competition the King and Queen were both selected, as until that the stallions and mares were competing together.

Year 1984 is remembered for one man and his talent: Pentti Savolainen was the breeder, owner, trainer and driver of both the King Vekseli and the Queen Vekkuliina. This is considered to be an unbreakable record.

At the latest Royal Races, year 2000, Viesker (which many consider to be “the greatest racing Finnhorse in history”) was crowned as the King – for the fifth time in a row! Only two other stallions – Vieteri and Vekseli – have succeeded five times, but not consecutively.

Unforgettable weekend – every year

Although the Finnhorse is the main attraction, there are many more great events during the weekend. Finnish Championship of Monté, a French-originating sport where the trotters are actually ridden, not driven, is exciting and speedy race.

While most of the drivers are men, most of the riders are women: one would be amazed of their strength. Many more races with top-class horses fill the air with excitement and the thrill of betting. The evening party has well-known artists and it serves as an annual get-together for those, who dedicate their life to the world of horse sports.


I’ll be there – will you?

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Trotter King Candidates 2014

From Ravikuningas- ja kuningatarkandidaatit on valittu ( 22.7.2014)

It’s that time of the year again!

These  twelve stallions will take part in Coronation Trot event, a competition that consists of three races within two days. On Saturday they set the bar at 2100 m race, on Sunday they race first at 1600 m distance and the final race is a 3100 m, only few hours later.

The horse which performs best in all three races wins the king’s crown. These are the absolute best stallions of this breed at the moment, so we are once again looking forward to an exciting battle of the titans next weekend at Pori. :)

Here are some statistics on the King candidates. See the Queen candidates here.

Who’s your favorite?



Born 2003, breeder Pekka Luukkonen, owner Team Boker, trainer Esa Holopainen

Race statistics 112, 27-14-13, winnings 300.400€, records 1.21,0a – 1.21,4v

This year: 10, 1-0-3, 14.800€ 1.22,3a – 1.21,8v



Born 2006, breeder Jani Konnu, owner Itä-Savon Hevosystäväinseura ry, trainer Jorma Konnu

Race statistics 62, 19-13-4, winnings 110.394€, records 1.20,9a – 1.23,9v

This year: 7, 0-3-0 1.21,1a

Elias Intomieli


Born 2004, breeder Kainuun Ammattiopisto-Liikelaitos, owner Team Elias, trainer Timo Mäkäräinen

Race statistics: 68, 26-7-2, 103.270€ 1.221,a – 1.25,3v

This year: 13, 4-3-0, 43.600€, 1.221,a – 1.27,7v



Born 2003, breeder Kauppapuutarha Ylitalo Oy & Lähdekorpi Esa, owner Talli Hullumies, trainer Seppo Sarkola

Race statistics: 94, 25-11-9, winnings 164.630€, winnings 1.21,0a – 1.22,5v

This year: 8, 2-0-0, 7.100€, 1.21,3a – 1.22,9v



Born 2002, breeder Kyösti Hagert, owner Kolme Hevosta Tmi & Kilpiäinen J.& Varis M., trainer Jari Nylund

Race statistics: 57, 24-7-3, winnings 86.515€ records 1.22,0a – 1.23,0v

This year: 12, 4-0-1 13.575€ 1.22,1a – 1.23,4v



Born 2003, breeders & owners Korhonen Jyrki & Maija, trainer Jyrki Korhonen

Race statistics: 175, 27-21-16 winnings 276.880€, records 1.20,8a – 1.23,3v

This year: 14, 4-1-1, 42.700€ 1.22,3a – 1.23,5v



Born 2004, breeder, owner  & trainer Juha-Matti Paavola

Race statistics: 151, 20-21-22, 94.440€1.21,7a – 1.24,2v

This year: 18, 0-2-3, 8.700€ 1.21,7a – 1.24,2v

Rapin Aatos


Born 2006, breeder Mari Rautiainen, owner Fanfaria Team, trainer Jouni Miettinen

Race statistics: 82, 14-16-10, 101.546€ 1.21,1a – 1.23,7v

This year: 16, 2-2-2, 25.046€ 1.21,1a – 1.23,7v



Born 2006, breeder Eeva-Liisa Kortekallio, owner Ravitalli Juha Kortekallio, trainer Juha Kortekallio

Race statistics: 55, 19-8-4, winnings 94.910€ records 1.22,2a – 1.24,1v

This year: 12, 3-1-1, 32.450€ 1.22,2a – 1.24,9v

Tapsan Tahti


Born 2002, breeder Tapio Perttunen, owner Talli Rytmiryhmä, trainer Tapio Perttunen

Race statistics: 142, 16-18-21, winnings 116.800€, records 1.21,5a – 1.22,7

This year: 13, 2-1-2, 34.400€ 1.23,3a – 1.22,7v

Vieskerin Valo


Born 2004, breeder & owner Janita Bollström, trainer Pertti Niveri

Race statistics: 132, 24-21-13, winnings 129.260€ 1.21,3a – 1.22,9v

This year: 15, 5-1-1, 30.450€ 1.23,0a – 1.22,9v



Born 2005, breeders & owners Naumanen Jorma & Tiina, trainer Jorma Naumanen

Race Statistics: 92, 14-24-15, winnings 184.270€, records 1.21,0a – 1.22,1v

This year: 7, 0-4-1, 27.000€, 1.21,0a – 1.22,5v

 Photos: Hippos photo bank

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Trotter Queen candidates 2014

From Ravikuningas- ja kuningatarkandidaatit on valittu ( 22.7.2014)

It’s that time of the year again!

These  twelve mares will take part in Coronation Trot event, a competition that consists of three races within two days. On Saturday they set the bar at 2100 m race, on Sunday they race first at 1600 m distance and the final race is a 3100 m only few hours later.

The horse which performs best in all three races wins the queen’s crown. These are the absolute best mares of this breed at the moment, so we are once again looking forward to an exciting battle of the titans next weekend at Pori. :)

Here are some statistics on the Queen candidates. See the King candidates here.

Who’s your favorite?

Queen candidates



Born 2001, breeder Kiia-Karoliina Nieminen, owner Likan Talli, trainer Esa Heikkinen

Race statistics: 195, 15-21-18, winnings 94.105 €, records 1.22,5a – 1.24,0v

This year: 10, 0-2-1, winnings 5.650 €, 1.24,0a and 1.26,8v



Born 2005, breeder Good-Talli Oy, owner & trainer Anna-Mari Sipilä

Race statistics 76, 16-9-10, winnings 70.620 €, records 1.22,8a – 25,7v

This year: 11, 4-1-2, 1.23,0a – 25,7v

Kemun Tutu


Born 2006, breeder Pentti Hokkanen, owner Fanfaria Team, trainer Jouni Miettinen

Race statistics: 111, 9-23-16, winnings 68.225€, records 1.23,2a – 1.24,0v

This year: 22, 1-3-5, winnings 15.575€, 1.23,3a – 1.24,3v



Born 2006, breeder, owner & trainer Heikki Karjula

Race statistics: 78, 15-7-5, winnings  75.020€ records 1.22,9a – 1.24,9v

This year: 14, 1-0-0, 7.040€ 1.22,9a – 1.25,1v

Mian Mari


Born 2007, breeder Pekka Raudasoja, owner & trainer Jussi Isokoski

Race statistics: 56, 5-10-11, winnings 37.180€, records 1.22,7a – 1.23,8v

This year: 13, 0-3-4, 9.830€ 1.22,7a – 23,8v



Born 2003, breeder Kivimäki Seppo & Oravisjärvi Pekka, owner Flankkila E.& Salmela E.& S.& S., trainer Jukka-Pekka Kauhanen

Race statistics: 96, 21-21-10,winnings 65.160€ records 1.22,2a – 1.24,2v

This year: 14, 2-2-1, 6.725€ 1.22,5a – 24,2v

Saaga S

saaga s

Born 2006, breeder Keskimaunu S. & Keskimaunu J. & J., owner & trainer Ilkka Pyysalo

Race statistics: 65, 12-10-11, winnings 86.310€ records 1.21,9a – 1.24,7v

This year: 9, 1-2-1, 20.550€ 1.21,9a – 1.24,7v



Born 2002, breeder Petteri Salonen, owners Kallio T.&Järvinen P.&Tahlo J., trainer Mika Kallio

Race statistics: 273, 12-16-21, winnings 64.785€ records 1.22,5a – 1.24,7v

This year: 25, 1-2-2, 7.880€ 1.23,4a  -1.24,7v

Topin Musta


Born 2004, breeder, owner & trainer Topi Piikkilä

Race statistics: 84, 23-12-9, winnings 68.680€ 1.24,0a – 1.24,2v

This year: 11, 0-2-0, 4.850€ 1.24,3a – 1.25,3v



Born 2005, breeder Kari Viitala, owners Romsi H.& H.& Liimatta J.&Pennanen T., trainer Jouni Miettinen

Race statistics: 112, 18-14-15, winnings 76.225€ 1.23,1a – 1.24,5v



Born 2006, breeder Maatalousyhtymä Tuomaala, owner Saarinen Tomi & Sipilä Annamari, trainer Tomi Saarinen

Race statistics: 70, 15-7-5, winnings 86.720€ records 1.23,8a – 1.24,5v

This year: 7, 2-0-1, 11.850€ 1.23,8a – 1.24,5v

Yllin Kyllin


Born 2002, breeder Sanna Aaltonen, owner Merkkari Talli, trainer Teemu Okkolin

Race statistics: 99, 16-10-12, winnings 108.160 € , records 1.22,5a – 1.24,9v

This year: 8, 1-0-0, 3.100 € 1.22,5a – 1.27,1v

Photos: Hippos photo bank

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Elitkampen winners 1986-2014



Viesker is the only Finn to win the Elitkampen multiple times. He won the race five times 1996-2000. Here he is greeting the Coronation Trot audience at Kuopio in 2013 (age 24). Photo: Hippos/Satu Meriluoto

Elitkampen Winner 2014, Neslands Loke, comes from Norway and so did the other two medalists Føynland Kongen and Rokne Eld. Great day for Norwegians! Finnhorses took the next two places, Rapin Aatos placed fourth and Camri fifth. :)

Traditional race

This race of the best Northern codblood trotters is a traditional part of the Elitloppet weekend. For the last few years mostly Norwegians and Swedes have taken the brightest medals, but luckily the Finns have had their moments in the history of Elitkampen as well. This year the horses were good, but others were better. We are still waiting for our next international superstar. ;)

Ponseri was the first Finnhorse to win the Elitkampen in 1994. In 1996 the legendary Viesker took the crown and kept it for five years in a row. After him only Järvsöfaks has been able to do the same.

Elitkampen winners 1986-2014

Year Horse Driver Country Winner odds Time
2014 Neslands Loke  Åsbjörn Tengsareid Norway 39,28 1.20,8
2013 Tekno Odin Öystein Tjomsland Norway 1,43 1.20,6
2012 Hallsta Lotus Ulf Ohlsson Sweden 1,23 1.19,9
2011 Feseth Lynet Jan-Ove Olsen Norway 9,20 1.20,4
2010 Hallsta Lotus Ulf Ohlsson Sweden 8,13 1.19,7
2009 Röste Bo Åsbjörn Tengsareid Sweden 3,62 1.20,3
2008 Vinning Kos Thor Borg Norway 17,48 1.20,7
2007 Moe Odin Asbjörn Mehla Norway 3,66 1.19,4
2006 Järvsöfaks Jan-Olov Persson Sweden 1,10 1.19,6
2005 Järvsöfaks Jan-Olov Persson Sweden 1,29 1.19,4
2004 Järvsöfaks Jan-Olov Persson Sweden 1,05 1.18,9
2003 Järvsöfaks Jan-Olov Persson Sweden 1,11 1.19,1
2002 Järvsöfaks Jan-Olov Persson Sweden 1,25 1.20,2
2001 Sagi Knut Jorma Kontio Norway 39,66 1.21,2
2000 Viesker Kaarlo Ahokas Finland 1,17 1.20,2
1999 Viesker Kaarlo Ahokas Finland 1,25 1.22,7
1998 Viesker Kaarlo Ahokas Finland 1,46 1.21,2
1997 Viesker Kaarlo Ahokas Finland 1,40 1.21,7
1996 Viesker Kaarlo Ahokas Finland 2,00 1.21,7
1995 Åslands Kvikk Edvar Kristiansen Norway 4,01 1.23,1
1994 Ponseri Anssi Niininen Finland 1,76 1.23,3
1993 Atom Vinter Rune Wiig Norway 2,54 1.23,3
1992 Verner Jim Frick Sweden 3,41 1.21,5
1991 Atom Vinter Arve Gudbrand Blihovde Norway 3,80 1.22,1
1990 Atom Vinter Arve Gudbrand Blihovde Norway 8,73 1.21,9
1989 Svinten Kenneth Karlsson Sweden 4,00 1.23,3
1988 Alm Svarten Tore H Larsen Norway 1,23 1.23,7
1987 Alm Svarten Ulf Thoresen Norway 1,36 1.21,5
1986 Alm Svarten Ulf Thoresen Norway 6,19 1.23,0


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Camri and Rapin Aatos to Elitkampen 2014

From Camri ja Rapin Aatos Elitkampeniin (

The Elitloppet race weekend takes place at Solvalla, Stockholm from May 23th to 25th. Finnhorse stallions Camri and Rapin Aatos are heading to Sweden to represent Finland in this international coldblood race.


Camri, photo: Hippos/Ilkka Nisula

Camri was the big name of last week after Erkon Pokaali last Saturday. He fought tremendously against Tekno Odin, after 1.18,5 opening and 1.19,5 lap! At the end he finished second after Tekno Odin, but nevertheless did what no one believed he could. You can watch the race here.


Rapin Aatos visiting France. Photo: Hippos

Rapin Aatos has also had a good season so far, for example he placed fourth in Vincennes, France last February.

Hopefully they are both heading to Pori in August as well!

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