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Video: Uuras, the hard working horse (with English subtitles)

“A Finnish working horse in front of plow in the middle of Helsinki Town (geographical). A typical view here in the 19th Century.”

Video by TheRopotti


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Leonida won the work horse championship 2014

From Leonida pokkasi palkinnot Valtakunnallisessa työmestaruuskilpailussa (


Leonida won the work horse championship for finnhorses 2014. Photo by Hippos/Eeva Karvonen. See more photos at the Hippos photo bank

This was the first time Leonida attended the competition. One could say she cleaned the prize table. She was the fastest in the trot test, the best mare to attend and the best first-timer. Second place went to mare Vikspertta, who was the youngest horse to attend – only five years old! Two-time work horse champion, mare Vilpotar placed third. The first prize was 1 500 euro.

– It’s great to see that hard work pays off. Leonida is an honest, fine family horse, told Matti Pakarinen, whose wife Tarja and daughters Veera and Viivi also like to take part to the daily stable routines back home.

Pakarinen has had Leonida since last October.

– I appreciate the work that Veikko Herranen (the previous owner) has done with her. Leonida felt good, but I didn’t expect us to win, since there were so many good horses against us.

 Again next year?

– Maybe not. She might be in foal next year. But if she’s not, we’ll come to compete again.

Leonida lost a shoe during the competition, but managed to pull through all the tests. There were about 500 people watching the competition. This was the 30th anniversary for the work horse championships, which has been organised annually since 1984.

The work horse championship is an annual competition for studbook inspected mares and stallions. There are three tests: 1000 m trot, 500 m walk with 500 kg carriage, and finally the pulling test, where the horses pull a sleigh in sand. The start weight is about 500 kg, the horse pulls 20 m at a time. More weight is added to the sleigh during the breaks. This continues until the horse stops or the vet calls it off (the horses are naturally under strict surveillance throughout the tests). The horses receive points for each test and the horse with most points wins the title of the champion.

Matti had a camera with him through the competition. Click here to watch it on Facebook.


Vikspertta pulling. Photo by Hippos/Eeva Karvonen

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Not just nostalgia

From Metsäsavotan paras työmies on jämäkkäjalkainen työhevonen ( 30.1.2014)

Work horses are coming back in fashion. The Finnish work horse is endangered, riding and harness racing are still more popular sports with horses, but luckily there are more and more people who also take interest in this tradition and want to learn more.

Matti Pakarisella on tallissaan seitsemän työhevosta.
Photo: Yle / Susanna Vilpponen

Finnish work horses were  left unemployed and they practically disappeared after the mechanization of the Finnish society. Luckily now people seem to have found their way back to working with horses. The Finnish Work Horse Association organizes courses that introduce people to horses and traditional ways of working.

– People are interested in making their own firewood or other similar smaller tasks with horses as a hobby, says horseman Matti Pakarinen.

Pakarinen himself owns seven finnhorses. His stable is located in Rautalampi. He says that this hobby is not as popular as in our neighboring countries Sweden or Norway, but it’s growing. Working is good exercise for both the horse and his owner, and saves nature as well -a horse doesn’t leave any tracks in the forest.

There are only a few professional horse loggers left, and Matti admits that it’s a tough job to do for a living. Horses still have their place though, especially at environmentally sensitive areas, like national parks and cemeteries. Modern hydraulic equipment with four-wheel drive makes the work much easier, yet still demands a firm horse.

The horse is more than just a worker -it’s also a man’s best friend.

Video of a finnhorse in action (by Heikki Saukko)

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Christmas calendar day 9: Car Free Day


Photo by Satu Pitkänen / Rozpravka photography

Finn horses visited the Senate square in Helsinki. The church in the background is the Helsinki Cathedral.

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Christmas calendar day 6: War horse


Photo by sgt Aunio/SA-kuva

Happy Finnish Independence day! This photo features a Finnish soldier fixing his horse’s tack, the photo was taken sometime between 1939-1945. See more photos at Finnish Wartime Photo Archive.

Today the Finnhorse association holds an online gathering on Facebook -last year we had a similar event and it got over 3000 “participants”, maybe this year even more? :) People add their independence day wishes, loads of photos of their finnhorses and touching stories of war horses on the event wall. Take a look.

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Finnish Work Horse championships 2013

Vilpotar is the Finnish work horse champion 2013

From Vilpotar palasi hallitsijaksi suomenhevosten työmestaruuskilpailussa (

This year the work horse championship competition took place at Seinäjoki in western Finland. It is open only for studbook inspected finnhorse stallions and mares (its purpose is basically the same as the finnhorse trotting championships -to serve quality horse breeding). This year’s competition was exceptional for having five first time competitors and five champions from previous years participating.

The horses are given points for their 500 m walk and 1000 m trot times, but the most significant (and the most exciting!) part is the pulling, where the horses pull a sleigh on sand starting with 500-600 kg weight. More weight is added into the sleigh after every two stairs (stair=10 m). This year the best puller Pihan Alma pulled a tremendous 28 stairs, at the final stairs the sleigh weighed about 1 200 kg. It brought her to second place in the overall

Vilpotar & Markku Mässeli

competition after Vilpotar, who renewed her title from 2011 by receiving the highest possible score in walk and trot and finishing it with pulling 23,3 stairs.

See a big photo gallery on Finnhorse Association’s homepage!

Results 2013

1.Vilpotar 2187-97Ta (Vispok – Vilma-Neiti,  Eri-Teräs)  37,3 points

2. Pihan Alma 1348-05T (Kihin Hiski – Ritukka, Karski) 36,4 points.

3. Tähden Piirros 2294-07T (Ventterin Vili – Jojon Tähti, Jaavan Jojo) 34,4 points

4.  Suikun Lukko 1324-95J (Suikun Ero – Luontoriina, Luonnos) 32,8 points

5.  Titaanin Hurmuri 1352-08T  (Murron Titaani – Muskotti, Vilkki) 31,5 points

Pihan Alma & Matti Ahola

6.  M.L. Elviira 1276-00T  (El Vihuri – M.L. Hoppu, Hovi-Paavi) 30 points

7.  Luomutar 1775-01Ta (Luomus Jr – Selissa, Selmeri) 30,9 points

8.  Tähti-Vie 2504-99J (Viesker – Patrikin Tähti, Patrik) 24,7 points

9.  Tennari 1351-02T (Eri-Luonnos – Tutotar, Toto) 21,3 points

10. Laippa 1324-97T (Pysteri – Peliitta, Luonnos) 21 points

11.  Hovingatar 1206-03Ta (Hovi-Ari – Hiiro, Vinkaus) 20,5 points

12.  Vokmarin Vappu 1308-06T (Vokmar –  Ansan Vire, Vireeni) 19 points

13.  Jojoriina 1588-98T (Jaavan Jojo – Peilaus II, Ihme-Puli) 17,3 points

14.  Hovingas 1443-05T (Hovi-Ari – Hiiro, Vinkaus) 13 points

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The Best of 2012

From Vuoden parhaat 2012 ( 28.3.2013)

Older stallions & geldings

Tähti-Vokker – Erika
Owner Tuikka Helena & Varjonen Jaakko, Breeder Tolonen Riitta-Liisa

Erikasson ja taustajoukot

  • biggest earnings ( 94 900 €) in 2012
  • Trotter King 2012, placed second in Nordic Championship, three T75-wins

Older mares

Turo – Donna-Min
Owners Haukivaara Terhi & Heikkinen Esa, breeder Pentti Haukivaara


  • Best season as a 13-year-old: 61 700€ in 2012
  • Great performance throughout the year from January to December, 29 starts with 8 wins and 8 places
  • Best time 1.21,9a
  • Placed third in the trotter queen race
  • Three wins in T65 races

5-year-old stallions and geldings

A.T. Eko – Imun Ilo
Owner Jaakko Mikkonen, breeder Matti Mikkonen


  • Richest 5-yo finnhorse with 52 440€ earnings
  • K-Maatalous Cup-finale (1p. 10 000 €) winner, Derby winner, L. Fabritius Memorial – Åbofemman-winner

5-year-old mares

Viesker- Cordiitta
Owner/breeder Ravitalli Suuronen Oy

  • Wins in filly- and young horse races, Villimies mare race winner, altogether 7 wins and record 1.25,3a record, placed third in the little king race for five-year-olds
  • 33 600€ earnings in 2012

4-yer-old stallions and geldings

Siirin Älli
Liising- Siirin Piirto

Owner Tapani Krapu, breeders Belt Outi & Idström Hannu

  • Kriterium-, Oulu Express- and Tapiola cup winner
  • new Finnish record for four-year-olds in Oulu Express race
  • Second richest of all finnhorses in 2012 after Erikasson

4-year-old mares

Viesker – Hiskin Vimma
Owner/breeder Pekka Lillbacka

  • Best earnings in 4-year-old mares category, 13 850 €
  • Ilkka-ajo winner

3-year-old stallions and geldings

Veeran Poika
Erikasson – Ruutu-Veera
Owner Palmroth Henri&Kyösti&Terno, Breeder Palmroth Kyösti & Terno

  • 3 starts, 3 wins
  • Varsat vauhdissa –finale winner

3-year-old mares

Liising – Kihin Ihme
Owner/breeder Heikki Karjula


  • Biggest earnings in 3-yo mare statistics 9 850 €
  • 3 wins in 2012


g. Laaserin Kuva
Laaseri – Peilikuva

Owner Teija Lehtonen, breeder Lasse Ritala

  • Nordic Championship winner in Sweden 2012

Work horse

s. Suikun Lukko
Suikun Ero – Luonto-Riina

Owner Jarmo Korkeaniemi, breeder Markku Pajunen.

  • Work Horse Champion 2012


s. Corleone
Erovisku – Karine

Owner Talli Hermannin nuorisoseura. Breeder Mitja Nummenmaa & Petra Rantala

  • Dressage Champion 2012
  • 7 st, 5 wins, 2 places

Show jumper

g.  K.P. Sampo
Teme – Helli-Eeva

Owner Tmi Laura Niinimäki & Damski Saara. Breeder Kauko Pietiläinen

  • Show jumping champion 2012
  • 6 st, 4 wins, 1 place

Pony-sized finnhorse

s. Vuohimäen Havu
Ellun Voi – S.O. Jessiina

Owner Miina Äkkijyrkkä. Breeder Helena Lindahl

Vuohimäen Havu

  • Silver medalist in finnhorse driving championships
  • Finnish Championship silver medalist (all breeds)
  • Baltic Cup winner in Lithuania with fastest marathon time, Baltic Cup silver medalist in the final results
  • Second in Finnish combined driving  pony ranking
  • Part of the Finnish national team


r. Tuli-Kisa
Rallaus – Kisa-Posti
Owner Ida & Emma Björkman, Breeder Juha Mäkelä.

  • Eventing champion 2012
  • 7 st, 2 wins, 2 places

Combined Driving

r. Hessin Vihtori
Vahto – Vilkku-Valo
Owner Leena & Hannu Kalalahti, breeder Heidi Sinda

  • 2012 Combined driving champion (ponies)
  • Finnhorse combined driving champion
  • Baltic Cup pony class winner
  • Ranking winner of all driving horses with 202 points.
  • 9 st, 7 wins, 2 second places in 2012