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

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Video: Vilpo at dressage championships in 1997

video by Katri Leppämäki


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Video: Finnhorse royalties 2012

Resume from finnhorse royalties, the biggest annual finnhorse riding event.
Video by usvaa2

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Hilton Hurra lives up to expectations

From Kuukauden työhevonen: Hilton Hurra ( free & shortened translation

Hilton Hurra 1778-94Ta
stallion, born 14.6.1994
Breeder Pekka Raudasoja, Ylivieska
Owner Anna Hälvä, Ylivieska


Breed Born Country Gender Name Photos Dam
sh 1999 FIN mare Marylin 6 Rosemary 2154-84
sh 2008 FIN mare Sirjetta Mirjetta 2067-03
sh 2003 FIN stallion Hurran Toivo 12 Toivekuva 2309-91
sh 2012 FIN mare Merimaja 4 Santamaan Santra 1004-98
sh 2012 FIN mare Virin Suvi Nösviri 1402-05
finnhorse stallion Hilton Hurra

Photo from the article, © Minttu Koponen

Hilton Hurra has a quite rare pedigree, his sire line leads to Kirppu and maternal line leads to Hali. Hali’s line is told to produce horses with great working moral, same as Kirppu’s line, and Hilton Hurra truly lives up to these expectations. Pekka Raudasoja tells that he likes horses of this pedigree since they are very friendly and well-serving by nature. Anna says that Pekka is a walking dictionary of finnhorse pedigrees, so he is worth listening to.

Anna Hälvä began training Hilton Hurra for riding in 2008.The stallion has shown potential in riding, being a faithful worker and eager learner he has been easy to train. He was inspected for T-studbook with a driving test in 2010 and competes also  in dressage and show jumping with increasingly improving results. Hilton Hurra is a result of successful co-operation between a dressage rider, an old-school horseman and a harness racing trainer. By combining the know-how of each discipline the results can be this good: a horse that can do anything.

Hilton Hurra’s website

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Some blogs I follow

Lately I have found a few very interesting blogs that I would like to show to my readers as well, just in case you haven’t found them yet. Mostly riding oriented blogs this time, but I’ll keep looking for all kinds of horse related blogs to read, feel free to suggest if you  have a gem to share!loveyourblog

SH Dressage
Originally Finnish dressage rider living in UK at the moment, training and schooling horses for dressage and writes inspirational blog posts when she’s not in the saddle.

Confident Horsemanship
“Putting you & your horse in good hands. Building trust, respect & confidence between horse & human.”

Interesting texts about horse philosophy and riding.

Rosie Jones Horses
“Going global…7 months travelling around the world keeping an eye out for horses and horse people as I go…read our latest news here”

Anna Kilpeläinen
About riding and schooling horses (in Finnish).

For more horse blogs, try Haynet!

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What class would you show a finnhorse in?

Thank you, anonymous Google user, for giving me another good topic to write about by visiting my blog with these search terms. Good question!

Saaren Kiho competing in a finnhorse dressage class at Wiurila 2012. Photo by Sini Tuhkunen

Finnish and international FEI dressage tests are somewhat similar. I tried to find the similarities and equivalences between Finnish and international (FEI) tests. The ultimate highest all-finnhorse class would be the dressage championship competition ridden annually at Ypäjä on FEI test B-level.

Finnish dressage tests have a hierarchy from C to A, easy to difficult tests, meaning that easy C is the most simple one whereas the A is always more difficult, before going to Prix St. Georges, Intermediate and Grand Prix levels. Those C tests are most often performed only in club and regional level competitions at highest. They include simple circles, a few lengthened strides, volts and diagonals. Easy B-level tests have more curves and volts in them, but are still somewhat simple. FEI uses the this level for 4-year-old horses dressage tests, for instance.

“Easy A” would be considered FEI test B, which FEI uses in tests fro 5-year-olds, including for example more collected and lengthened trot and canter.

Today the finnhorse dressage championship competition consists of two dressage tests, both in FEI test B-level, ridden on two separate days, one of them showing a kür program, including e.g. half-pirouettes, shoulder-in, lengthened and collected walk, trot and canter. Of course a finnhorse can attend to open classes to compete against warmbloods, and a few horses have competed in open classes on higher level, tests similar to this one.

R-studbook is still only about 40 years old, and has had a good influence on finnhorses ability to perform in dressage. They have become more popular among riders and received more training in dressage, even on professional level. Thanks to their great character and steady gaits there are also a few of them competing in Para Dressage competitions internationally. Maybe we have yet to see even a Grand Prix finnhorse some day!

Sources: Suomen Ratsastajainliitto – kouluohjelmia and FEI Dressage tests (in English)

Style sample from a dressage champion from few years back, stallion Linkker performing in 2008:


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

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Finnhorse Royalties Indoor

From Helsinki Horse Show and Hevosurheilu

Hessin Leevi

Hessin Leevi won the Tapiola breeder’s dressage for 6-year-olds in September. Photo by Sini Tuhkunen

Besides the world record breaking attempt, there is a chance to see the best finnhorses of dressage and show jumping fields -all in one place at Helsinki on Saturday 20th October!

Finnhorse Grand Prix (110cm)

Anniina Anttila – Humeli
Nina Eskola – Jopetti
Joni Koivusalo – Sirun Oliver
Sanna Lahdensuo – Tosi-Romeo
Lotta Lehtonen – Knuutilan Veikko
Emmi – Maria Ojala – Castellon Viljami
Laura Niinimäki – K.P.Sampo
Heli Rainio – Herkko Hurmaus
Janina Airikainen –Vektor/Poika-Viltti

Dressage show

Heidi Svanborg-Corleone
Laura Porthan-Rosmo
Lassi Lehmusto-A.L.Peto
Janne Bergh-Suvi-Hermiina
Maija Heikkinen-Herkko Hurmaus
Rosali Kivitie-Jaime
Katja Kuokka-Hessin Leevi
Pauliina Pöntinen-Ratsu Reima

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