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Turku hosts the Royal races 2016

From visitturku.fi and Kuninkuusravit – in English

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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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Video: An Adventure

Recently I have had the pleasure to share quite a few good videos – and more and more often with English subtitles! Here’s another one – enjoy!

An adventure from Ella Kiviniemi on Vimeo.

Quite an extraordinary couple wanders around the streets of Turku, Finland. This is a story about the impossible coming true.


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Coldblood trotters of the North

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Swedish Järvsöfaks ruled the north for years before his retirement
Photo by Don Wright

I have written quite a few posts about trotter finnhorses, but all of the northernmost Scandinavia is known for their coldblood trotters. The coldbloods compete in their own races as a part of harness racing scheme as well as the standardbreds and French trotters. Sweden and Norway have their own coldblood trotter breeds and the Finnish use mostly finnhorses.  Finnish races are also most often open for Swedish and Norwegian coldbloods as well, but so far other countries offer races for finnhorses not as often.

But what kind of horses are these coldblood trotters (kaldblodstraver) are and what makes them different? Mostly they are very similar: heavier draft horses have been bred with lighter type horses, pursuing lighter body structure and speed in trot. They are all good for any discipline though most often used in harness racing.

The records are currently held by Swedish and Norwegian trotters but the Finnish still stand up for their own horses by stating that Finnish horse is still the fastest breed in general, not just relying on a few exceptionally talented individuals. I haven’t seen any official statistics, but as the best of all three breeds meet in Nordic championship races annually at Turku, it has been so for the few last years that the gold medal has been taken to Norway or Sweden but the Finnish horses have come in to places from second to fifth quite often.

There could be more co-operation in northern harness racing, I’m not necessarily meaning crossbreeding (there has been discussion about that too) but for starters giving space and racing opportunities to all of them, equally between the three countries?

What do you think?

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