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Turku hosts the Royal races 2016

From visitturku.fi and Kuninkuusravit – in English

Kunkkarilogo2

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.

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Huisi Hemmo, Trotter king 2025?

I’ll be there, let’s meet up ;)

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

Suivikas2_kuvahippos_ilkkanisula

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.

From http://kuninkuusravit.fi/en-gb

I’ll be there – will you?


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Would you like to be a (Finn)horse owner?

From Raviliiga 2014 tulee avaten mahdollisuuden myös suomenhevosille (Raviliiga.fi 26.2.2014)

Ostrobothnia will get at least one new Trot League team in 2014. Photo by Raviliiga

Trot League, or Raviliiga in Finnish, is a project that aims to provide positive, low-risk experiences of horse ownership. The idea comes from Sweden, where Rikstravet is already a thing. Finnish Raviliiga started in 2013 with eight teams and eight standardbred yearlings, each of which has 700 owners. In 2014 the amount of shares will be 800 per horse.

Soon these young horses (now 2-year-olds) will hopefully start their racing careers. The project goes on for three more years, and the winner of this competition will be the horse with most winnings. It’s not the main point, though. I’m sure that with 700 owners Pamina Hip, Grainfield Fanny, Golden Luxi, Stone Capes Olive, Oberon, Lady Adele, Sahara Crack It and Arctic Madonna won’t be short of apples, carrots or admiring looks for a few years. ;)

One share of a horse for three years costs 100 €,  with no additional cost whatsoever. You could say this must be the easiest and also a very cheap way to own a horse! The horses live and train in professional trainers’ stables, so ownership doesn’t require any experience about horses. People have a great opportunity to get to know people and structures behind horse racing as a horse owner.

The League started off so well, that the project received an award for its success. It has introduced hundreds of new people to horses. In my opinion this is the way to market horse racing -through horses themselves, not betting or other trivia.

2014 – Finnhorses step in

The project has received quite much feedback, mostly positive and excited. But what seemed to trouble people the most was the fact that there weren’t any finnhorses in the league. In 2014 the new teams have a chance to choose between a finnhorse and a standardbred -both breeds get their own leagues.

Each team chooses a professional horse trainer, and trainers get to choose the horses. The standardbreds are bought as yearlings and finnhorses as 2,5-year-olds.

The participating race tracks will announce their choices (finnhorse or standardbred league) soon. I have to say, I’m excited!


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Finnish Team for Vincennes 2014

From Vincennesin kylmäveriottelun osallistujat julkaistu (Hippos.fi 31.1.2014)

The Finnish team for Paris has been chosen:

Dominik, trainer Risto Tupamäki

Hiskin Muisto, trainer Jouni Miettinen

Rapin Aatos, trainer Jouni Miettinen

Suikun Rilla, trainer Harri Sulku

They face the Swedish and Norwegian teams in Vincennes on 20th and 23rd of February. Good luck!

Suikun Rilla

Suikun Rilla is an experienced traveller -this is his third trip to Paris! Photo by Hippos/Eeva Karvonen

Earlier years’ results

Horse Driver date dist./track time place
 2002
Gilbert A Hammar 22.2. 2100/6 disq.
A Hammar 24.2. 2100/2 disq.
Juli Pat S Mikkola 22.2. 2100/11 27.7a 3
S Mikkola 24.2. 2100/10 27.8a 3
Meno-Teemu T Pakkanen 22.2. 2100/10 28.4a 5
T Pakkanen 24.2. 2100/12 29.7a 7
Tähti-Tili J-M Bazire 22.2. 2100/12 29.9a 8
M Lenoir 24.2. 2100/11 disq.
 2003
Hilkker P Vercruysse 20.2. 2100/8 29.2a 7
M Taskinen 23.2. 2100/2 26.9a 8
Hirmori P Puikkonen 20.2. 2100/12 28.5a 3
P Puikkonen 23.2. 2100/12 25.9a 4
Sipori A Hartikainen 20.2. 2100/3 28.1a 2
P Levesque 23.2. 2100/3 25.6a 1
Utun Voku J Kervinen 20.2. 2100/10 disq.
J Kervinen 23.2. 2100/10 26.0a 5
 2004
Jiimän P Vercruysse 19.2. 2100/6 28.3a 8
N Jokela 22.2. 2100/1 28.1a 8
Totemi Rok A Teivainen 19.2. 2100/8 disq.
A Teivainen 22.2. 2100/2 25.6a 1
Tutuari H Torvinen 19.2. 2100/12 27.0a 3
P Vercruysse 22.2. 2100/12 disq.(2)
Vieskerin Vire T Perttunen 19.2. 2100/4 26.5a 2
T Perttunen 22.2. 2100/5 26.7a 5
 2005
Milia P Levesque 24.2. 2100/10 26.9a 9
V-E Paavola 27.2. 2100/11 25.9a 5
Tutuari H Torvinen 24.2. 2100/8 26.3a 3
H Torvinen 27.2. 2100/7 26.4a 7
Valkoviiri T Salojensaari 24.2. 2100/1 11
T Salojensaari 27.2. 2100/8 27.9a 9
Vieskerin Vire T Perttunen 24.2. 2100/6 26.4a 4
J-M Bazire 27.2. 2100/9 10
 2006
Milia O Mäenpää 23.2. 2100/1 26.1a 3
P Levesque 26.2. 2100/9 27.3a 7
Plantom A Moilanen 23.2. 2100/4 26.6a 5
A Moilanen 26.2. 2100/8 26.7ax 4
Rento Reiska P Levesque 23.2. 2100/12 disq.
N Jokela 26.2. 2100/11 11
Tupla-Heli V-E Paavola 23.2. 2100/10 26.6a 6
V-E Paavola 26.2. 2100/10 26.7a 5
 2007
Häiskän Lento T Okkolin 22.2. 2100/10 27.4a 6
T Okkolin 25.2. 2100/10 26.1a 3
Tementeri T Rautiainen 22.2. 2100/3 26,8a 5
T Rautiainen 25.2. 2100/3 27,4a 6
Vipu-Poika M Vanha-Rauvola 22.2. 2100/11 31.1a 7
P Levesque 25.2. 2100/11 27.4a 7
 2008
Frans J Utala 21.2. 2100/7 25.1a 4
J Utala 24.2. 2100/4 25.1a 4
Leevi Dahlia J-P Kauhanen 21.2. 2100/11 28.9a 7
P Levesque 24.2. 2100 scratched
Rulari F Nivard 21.2. 2100/1 quit
A Lahtinen 24.2. 2100/8 25.9a 7
Tementeri T Rautiainen 21.2. 2100/6 25.1a 5
T Rautiainen 24.2. 2100/5 24.2a 3
 2009
Huuveri I Korpi 19.2. 2100/2 26.4a 7
I Korpi 22.2. 2100/2 25.5ax 4
Tuiskis H Torvinen 19.2. 2100/11 26.3a 6
J M Bazire 22.2. 2100/11 25.3ax 3
Vileman J M Bazire 19.2. 2100/6 disq.
A Ala-Rantala 22.2. 2100/5 26.6a 5
 2010
Filho B Piton 25.2. 2100/1 25.4a 3
T Okkolin 28.2. 2100/7 disq.
Suomitar M Hietanen 25.2. 2100/7 disq.
M Hietanen 28.2. 2100/1 29.0a 8
 2011
Feelis E Raffin 24.2. 2100/12 disq.
J Törmänen 27.2. 2100/12 24.9a 3
Hovimäki T Okkolin 24.2. 2100/11 25.0a 7
T Okkolin 27.2. 2100/11 24.6a 1
Tähen Tuuri T Rautiainen 24.2. 2100/5 24.4a 1
T Rautiainen 27.2. 2100/3 25.1a 4
Veeran Turo T Ojanperä 24.2. 2100/4 24.9a 6
M Abrivard 27.2. 2100/1 24.8ax 2
 2012
Feelis F Ouvrie 23.2. 2100/11 disq.
J Törmänen 26.2. 2100/11 24,9a 3
Provinssi H Hietanen 23.2. 2100/12 disq.
H Hietanen 26.2. 2100/10 disq.
Ruletto T Okkolin 23.2. 2100/3 26,6a 4
T Okkolin 26.2. 2100/9 disq.
Suikun Rilla H Sulku 23.2. 2100/10 26,8a 5
F Nivard 26.2. 2100/12 23,4a 1
 2013
Keisar J Törmänen 21.2. 2100/12 24,5a 4
J Törmänen 24.2. 2100/11 23,7a 3
Metkutus E Raffin 21.2. 2100/10 disq.
J-M Paavola 24.2. 2100/10 24,8a 7
Suikun Rilla H Sulku 21.2. 2100/11 disq.
M Abrivard 24.2. 2100/12 disq.
Tesantti E Holopainen 21.2. 2100/5 25,1ax 8
E Holopainen 24.2. 2100/6 24.8ax 8

Results from the “Towards Paris” race last Wednesday the 29th:

Horse / Driver Time Coefficient Prize Dist./track
1. 1 Otto Milleri Niko Jokela 25,8 18 3 500 € 2100:1  
2. 2 Camri Jani Ruotsalainen 25,8 43 1 750 € 2100:2  
3. 10 Keisar Hannu Torvinen 25,9 172 1 050 € 2100:10  
4. 8 Tixa Kari Venäläinen 26,0 125 700 € 2100:8  
5. 11 Vieskerin Valo Pertti Niveri 26,3 x 429 350 € 2100:11  
6. 9 Jonsker Arto Hammar 26,3 x 438 300 € 2100:9  
7. 12 B. Vilunki Ari Moilanen 26,4 202 2100:12  
8. 3 Suikun Rilla Harri Sulku 26,5 966 2100:3  
9. 7 Dominik Risto Tupamäki 26,6 x 213 2100:7  
10. 5 Metkutus Juha-Matti Paavola 26,8 301 2100:5  
4 Rapin Aatos Mika Forss disq. 140 2100:4  
6 Siirin Älli Ahti Antti-Roiko scratched 2100:6  

500m:25,0/Otto Milleri 1000m: 26,5 1500m: 28,0 last 500m: 23,0


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Paris awaits!

From Suomenhevosjoukkue matkustaa Vincennesiin – ilmoittautumispäivä 29.1. (Hippos.fi)

Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian coldblood trotter horses race once a year in France. Each team consists of four horses. They race twice on the famous Vincennes track in Paris, at Prix des Trotteurs Sang Froid on 20th and at Prix des Pays Nordiques Trophée Järvsöfaks on 23rd of February 2014.

Vieskerin Valo, here winning at Kouvola, begins his racing year 2014 from Vermo on Wednesday. My personal favourite. ;)

The Finns have been eager to attend the Paris trip, this year we even got an elimination race in Vermo on Wednesday (January 29th)!  Two best horses from this race get tickets to Paris and two others are chosen from those who sign up.

Kohti Pariisia (“Towards Paris”) race – 29th of January at Vermo
# Horse / Driver distance:track Record auto Record volt Winnings
1 Otto Milleri  /  Niko Jokela 2100: 1 26,6ake 24,9ke 80 720 €
2 Camri  /  Jani Ruotsalainen 2100: 2 20,9aly 23,9ke 96 050 €
3 Suikun Rilla  /  Harri Sulku 2100: 3 22,5aly 23,7ke 88 514 €
4 Rapin Aatos  /  Mika Forss 2100: 4 24,5ake 23,9ke 76 500 €
5 Metkutus  /  Juha-Matti Paavola 2100: 5 23,5ake 24,5ke 85 940 €
6 Siirin Älli  /  Ahti Antti-Roiko 2100: 6 23,6ake 26,6ke 118 300 €
7 Dominik  /  Risto Tupamäki 2100: 7 21,0aly 24,2ke 69 730 €
8 Tixa  /  Kari Venäläinen 2100: 8 22,8aly 28,0ke 98 030 €
9 Jonsker  /  Arto Hammar 2100: 9 22,3aly 24,0ke 81 760 €
10 Keisar  /  Hannu Torvinen 2100: 10 23,1aly 24,4ke 91 070 €
11 Vieskerin Valo  /  Pertti Niveri 2100: 11 21,3aly 24,9kp 98 810 €
12 B. Vilunki  /  Ari Moilanen 2100: 12 21,9aly 22,4ke 114 480 €

What an interesting race! Metkutus, Suikun Rilla and Keisar are already experienced Paris travellers from earlier years, but anything can happen. There are coronation race participants as well as young age-class stars. Our team is cheering for Vieskerin Valo, though. ;)

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2013

2012


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Meet Liising, the most popular stud in Finland

From Tältä näyttää Liising -Suomen suosituin siitosori jo neljättä vuotta (yle.fi)

Photo by Maria Bonnor / Yle

Liising has covered 150 mares a year for the last four years and already has over 600 foals progeny.

Owner Juha Kortekallio refers to him as a humble worker with good nerves. “Also his foals are great race horses. They are fast to develop but have enough humour to race also as adults. They are easy to handle at home but tough on the track”.

Liising has a strong sire line that goes back to Vieteri through Patrik and V.T. Ajatus. Liising’s sons Tuokkolan Touho, Köppinen and Lars (just to name a few) have also already started their breeding careers. “There are quite many Liising’s sons and daughters racing in open races. For example last Saturday there was a T75 race in Turku, where the winner, second and fourth places went to Liising’s sons!”

Coronation races encourage the finnhorse breeders

In Liising’s case the mares are covered through artificial insemination. His sperm takes the freezing well, the maximum amount of mares for one stud is 150 per year. The foaling percent is about 70, giving Liising about 100 foals progeny per year.

Liising ja omistaja Juha Kortekallio.

Kortekallio thinks that it’s an easier task for a Finnish breeder to have finnhorses than other breeds, since all the best horses of this breed are in Finland. “The breeder has a chance to see all the stallions live quite easily”, he says.

The best race horses can earn a living, but how about horse breeding?

“It’s not financially profitable by any means, but for most of us it’s a lifestyle. Luckily we have got the annual Coronation Trot event. Every breeder and owner wishes to have their horse competing there one day and that’s what keeps them trying”.

Liising 1777-94J

  • Born 5th of July 1994
  • Bred by Anne Nikula
  • Racing statistics 79, 22-17-14
  • Records 1.20,4a – 1.23,8
Patrik
1362-82J
trt 161 cm s. 1981† FIN
21,0aly-23,2ly
V.T. Ajatus 1430-75J H FIN
26,3aly-28,9ly
Vieteri 407-71TJ Vj
21,6aly-25,9ly FIN
Vilperi Jo 18 Valio 24,8aly-27,0ly
Vekkuli 100606 Vj 37,6
Tositar 101462
31,9ake-33,8 FIN
Ihme-Toti yh 1138 25,9a
Ara 100603 52,0
Puhelu 2397-75J Valio FIN
28,8aly-34,3ke
Puhemies 6572 Pj Valio
26,0aly-27,8ly FIN
Erilo 5731 Valio 29,2-epav25,3
Funkis 57189 38,0
Tulos 503908 FIN Eri-Tulos 6004 47,7
Huiputus 58904 AA 47,1
Leiman-Liina
1065-81J FIN
29,1aly-30,6ly
Vekkuli Jo 101 P FIN
25,7aly-29,0ly
Vesseli 6440
29,7a-31,4 FIN
Eri-Ote 5462 32,7
Lissu 18673
Pelho 100053 Valio
29,6ake FIN
Mutri 5360 32,9
Ullo 16904
Leima 46316 FIN Arous 5468
45,1 FIN
Aromus yh 586 Valio 29,9
Vilo 50670
Malu 44495 FIN Mahti 4147
Lessu 54857

Progeny statistics (December 2013)

Year Progeny Raced horses Starts Winnings Wins Record auto Record volt
2013 94 0 0 0,00 € 0
2012 86 0 0 0,00 € 0
2011 96 0 0 0,00 € 0
2010 58 1 1 240,00 € 0 43,1ke
2009 65 17 149 131 080,00 € 29 25,9ake 28,0ke
2008 33 9 93 142 440,00 € 18 23,6ake 26,6ke
2007 36 15 191 147 465,00 € 31 23,1aly 24,1ke
2006 40 17 375 82 692,00 € 41 23,8aly 27,2ke
2005 11 6 94 3 855,00 € 1 34,0ake 32,2ke
2004 37 27 1001 281 156,00 € 82 24,3aly 23,8ke
2003 24 13 673 586 483,00 € 110 20,8aly 23,3ke
2002 29 19 904 260 068,00 € 81 20,3aly 23,5ke
2001 26 11 490 153 024,00 € 51 22,8aly 25,1ly
Altogether 635 135 3971 1 788 503,00 € 444 20,3aly 23,3ke


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Christmas calendar day 18: Queen

ip_vipotiina

Photo by Satu Pitkänen / Rozpravka photography

May I present, the three-time trotter queen I.P. Vipotiina. :)