Jump to: navigation, search


Finnhorse stallion, trotter section
Distinguishing features: Dry and strongly muscled, with hard legs and good hooves. Most often of chestnut colour.
Alternative names: Finnish Horse, Finnish Universal
Country of origin: Flag of Finland Finland
Breed standards
Hippos: Breed standards
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Finnhorse or Finnish Horse (, literally "horse of Finland"; pet name: suokki) is a horse breed with both warmblood and draught horse influence and characteristics. The Finnish sometimes prefer to call the breed Finnish Universal in English, because it is said to fulfil all needs for horses in Finland, including agricultural and forestry work, harness racing, and riding. It is the only horse breed fully developed in Finland. The Finnhorse is claimed to be among the fastest and most versatile draught horse breeds in the world. However, whether the breed is actually a true draught horse breed is controversial. According to various sources, the Finnhorse has been categorised as a light draught, as a heavy warmblood, and as a "universal type". In Finland, the breed is never categorised as a warmblood. The term "universal horse" is used in Finland to describe certain hard-to-categorise breeds such as the Fjord horse, that are relatively small and have a body type that is heavy for a warmblood, but light for a draught.


Breed characteristics

File:Finnhorse jaakko.jpg
A founding sire, Jaakko (Tt 118), photographed in 1882

Finnhorses are lively, with a willing personality, are hardy with good endurance, and generally are long-lived. The breed standard defines the Finnhorse as a versatile multi-purpose use horse of average height, sturdy conformation, and good build. The goal set by the breed standard is for an easy-to-handle, versatile horse that combines strength, agility, speed and endurance. Finnhorses have good movement and robust health.[1][2] Finnhorses are strongly muscled, with good bone and strong hooves. They have a reliable and alert temperament and are easily handled. The breed standard encourages a temperament that is "honest and sincere"; eager to cooperate with humans, obedient, and willing to work.[1]

The most common colour in the breed is chestnut, though other colours are accepted. Finnhorses typically have thick manes and tails. The average height of the breed is 15.1 hands (61 inches, 155 cm),[3] but typically ranges from 15 to 17 hands (60 to 68 inches, 152 to 173 cm). Pony-sized Finnhorses (under 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm)) exist as well, and are licensed for breeding in a separate section of the official stud book.

Finnhorses are relatively fast for a cold-blooded breed.[3] The first official Finnish record was held by the mare Brita, from 1865.[4] The cold-blood horse world record in harness racing held by Finnhorses until 2005, when a Scandanavian coldblood trotter from Sweden, Järvsöfaks, broke the record of 1:19,4a (per kilometre), previously held by Viesker.[3] The fastest time, a 1:19.4 per kilometre run at the Elitkampen race in Solvalla, is held by the stallion Sipori.[5][6] However, since he placed second after Järvsöfaks, this result is not considered the official Finnish record.[6]

The breed standard describes the head of a Finnhorse as dry and the profile straight, not long or convex, with well-spaced, short ears. The neck should be well-shaped and not underslung or ewe-necked.[1] The body should be on the longer side, rounded, and proportionate. The legs should be dry and sturdy with good hooves; gaits should be regular with elasticity,[1] most have relatively low, steady action.[2] The croup should not be level or with too high connection of tail.[1] The horse's overall conformation should be typical of the section in which it is recorded.[1]

There are four sections of the modern Finnhorse studbook, and the following qualifications are added to distinguish each section:

  • a working section (draught type) horse should be sturdy with long and deep body, and may be of heavy conformation
  • a trotter section horse should be of lighter conformation, with good muscles, and with rather long body and legs
  • a riding section horse should have a good posture, long neck, small head and slanted shoulders. The withers should stand out clearly, and the body should not be too long
  • a pony-sized section horse should be proportionately small all-around.[1]

The working or draught type () is the oldest of the Finnhorse types, and has existed as a separate breeding section since 1924.[7] The body is longer and the conformation overall heavier than in the other sections. Today, the draught type is rare, with only about a thousand horses of the type registered in 2004.[3]

The "all-around" branch of the studbook, for lighter Finnhorses, as opposed to the working horse type, was established in 1924. It was divided into three sections in 1971: the trotter (), riding () and pony-sized () types. Today, the trotter type prevails, with the great majority of Finnhorses being trotters.[3]

To qualify for the Finnhorse stud book, a horse must prove its abilities. Achievements from riding, driving, harness racing, and workhorse competitions are accepted. Horses to be registered in the riding, working, or pony-sized sections of the stud book are also tested at the stud book registration show.[8] An individual that does not qualify for the studbook on its own merits may be accepted based on the quality and accomplishments of its offspring. In this case, the horse must be qualified for a breeding award for its offspring. The offspring are evaluated by their competitive history or their stud book evaluation.[9]

A horse may be removed from the studbook if its offspring are found to have any detrimental, inherited flaw or condition. A stallion may be removed if his offspring are clearly below the average level in competitive success or stud book evaluations.[9]

Draught type

File:Murron-Ryhti pulling.png
Draught-type stallion Murron-Ryhti 3531 pulling a stone cart at a pulling competition in the 1930s.

Draught-type Finnhorses are heavier and have a longer body than horses of the trotter and riding types. In spite of their relatively small size compared to other draught breeds, Finnhorses have considerable pulling power and can pull very heavy loads.[7]

Under circumstances where a typical draught horse could pull 80 % of its weight, the Finnhorse may be capable of pulling as much as 110 % of its own weight.[10]

Working tests

When a draught-type, or a working horse type Finnhorse is offered for the studbook, it must, in addition to possessing good conformation, movement and temperament, pass two working tests: a walking test and either a pulling or a general drivability test. The points given for the horse's performance in these tests are added to those given for its temperament and gaits, resulting in the final workability score. The horse will be also given a score for its conformation.[11] In addition to achieving the minimum scores for both workability and conformation, stallions accepted for the working horse section stud book are required to trot 1,000 metres (0.62 mi) in less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds.[12]

The pulling, or tensile resistance test measures a horse's pulling capacity in relation to its size. The test is performed in several progressive stages, called "steps", with the load increased each time. The horse tested will pull a weighed sled on semi-rough sand. The friction between the sled and the sand is taken into account and is measured before the test. The sled is loaded according to the horse's weight; on the first attempt, the load equals to 36 % of the estimated weight of the horse. With each subsequent stage of the test, the load is increased by 6 % of the horse's weight.[11] The horse must pull the sled for 10 metres (33 ft) at each weight. If the horse stops during a test and does not resume within one minute, or stops four times before reaching the required distance, the test is discontinued. The horse is given two points for every testing stage it has successfully performed. The maximum total points given for the pulling test is 20.[11] To pass the test, the horse must successfully complete pulls for at least five "steps".[12] This corresponds to a pulling capacity of 60 % of the horse's weight. 20 points corresponds to 90 % of the horse's weight.

The walking test measures the horse's endurance while pulling a load. The horse tested will pull a 500 kilograms (Template:Convert/st lb) load for 500 metres (550 yd), walking. The calculated time per kilometre must be no more than ten minutes to qualify as accepted. A horse qualifying with this time will be given four points. Extra points are given for faster times at the interval of 30 seconds, and the maximum points given is 10, for a time no longer than eight minutes and 30 seconds.[11]

The horse may, instead of the pulling test, be tested for drivability. The driving test consist of four parts, and 0-5 points are given for each. To pass the test, the horse must score at least one point for each part of the test, and its full score for the test must be at least 10 points. The test evaluates the flexibility, reliability and calmness of the horse's character. The first part examines the horse while it is being harnessed and loaded, then unloaded and unharnessed. The remaining three parts evaluate the way the horse behaves when being driven. These parts often include regulation of the speed of the horse's walk, stops, turns around obstacles, and backing with a load around a corner.[13]

Three Finnhorse geldings in turnout. Bright and light shades of colour are relatively common in the Finnhorse.

Colour selection

In the 18th century, shades of chestnut were the prevailing colour of Finnish horses, but bays, blacks and greys existed in much greated numbers than today. Wide blazes and high leg markings were rare, unlike today; large markings became common only as late as in the 20th century.[14]

Due to selective breeding through much of the 20th century, the dominant colour of Finnhorses now is chestnut.[7] During the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, chestnut was considered the "most indigenous" colour for the breed, and it was chosen as the official "Hippos colour" for the breed by the national horse breeding association, Suomen Hippos. The official breeding programme attempted to turn the breed all-chestnut, and at least one mare is known to have been removed from the stud book on grounds of her bay colour[15] Flaxen manes and tails as well as white markings on the face and legs are common in the breed. Before the emphasis on colour breeding began at the end of the 19th century, chestnuts only consisted about 40 % of the breed; nearly 50 % of the horses were bay or black. Colour breeding, as well as exporting of horses in colours popular in neighbouring countries, made chestnut the prevailing colour, and in the first part of the first Finnhorse studbook, 105 of the stallions listed were chestnut and only 8 were bay. There were stallions of other colours as well, but their information did not fit into the first book. At one point, chestnuts made up more than 96 % of the breed.[citation needed]. As of 2000, 92% of all Finnhorses are some variation of chestnut.[7]

In addition to the base colours (chestnut, bay and black), the Finnhorse gene pool includes the genes for grey, cream dilutions, roan and silver dapple. A distinctive sabino, non-SB1 pattern is moderately common, but is usually minimally expressed due to the selective colour breeding of the 20th century. A single white horse, registered as sabino and deemed sabino-white, has been recorded in the modern history of the breed.[15][16]

Because of vigorous colour breeding for chestnut seen in the early 20th century, and the genetic bottleneck of the 1980s, colours such as grey and cream dilutions were only preserved by a few small breeders. In the 1980s, only a couple of grey and palomino Finnhorses existed.[15] All contemporary Finnhorse carriers of the Cream gene descend from a single maternal line, founded by the palomino mare Voikko (literally, "Palomino"), that lived in the 1920s.[17] While both Cream dilution and black are rare, there is one known smoky black in the breed, a filly foaled in 2009, identified as smoky black and confirmed by a DNA test in 2010.[18][19][20] The filly is considered "if not the first ever, at least the first in a long long time."[18] In April 2010, a foal suspected to be double Cream dilute was born, sired by a buckskin and out of a palomino. This blue-eyed filly has "pink skin and very pale coat".[21][22][23]

The roan colour is rare, and passed on via a single dam line that descends from the red roan mare Sonja, foaled in 1936.[15][24][25] Grey exists in two dam lines, one consisting of the single mare Iiris 2275-88R, who has no grey offspring as of 2009, and one descending from mare Pelelaikka and especially her maternal grandson E.V. Johtotähti 1726-93Ta, an award-winning working section stallion.[26][27][28]

The silver dapple gene survived more easily than many others for two reasons. First, because it only affects black colour and thus is "masked" in chestnuts, and second, because it produces a chestnut-like phenotype when it acts on black and bay base coat colours. Silver dapple bays were long registered as "cinnamon chestnuts", and silver dapple blacks as "flaxen-maned dark chestnuts".

As of 2007, only a small minority of Finnhorses are any color other than chestnut: 6% are bay and 1.2% black. Roans, palominos, buckskins and silver dapples exist in small numbers.[29] The number of non-chestnuts is increasing due to dedicated breeding for other colours, and as of 2009, a few dozen black and grey Finnhorses now exist.[30]

File:Turku Horse tram 1890.jpg
Finnish horses and a horse-drawn tram in Turku, 1890.


The Finnhorse is a descendant of the northern European domestic horse and resembles such breeds as the Estonian native,[7] which it has influenced. Its precise line of descent is unclear, but numerous outside influences have been recorded throughout the history of Finland. The earliest evidence of horses being known in what today is Finland dates back to the Roman Iron Age, the time when the region's population was growing due to human migration. The types of Finnish horses and their descendants, the breed today called the Finnhorse, played an important part throughout Finnish history, being used as a work horse and a beast of burden in every aspect of life well into the 20th century. The Finnhorse and its progenitors have also been an indispensable asset for military forces from the region of Finland during the times of Swedish and Russian reign, and since independence as well.

In addition to usability as military and working horses, the Finnhorse has also been bred for speed in harness racing, and it can be argued that this sport was the main factor in the survival of the breed after its numbers crashed during the later half of the 20th century, from approximately 400,000 animals in the 1950s to 14,000 in the 1980s. In the 21st century, the numbers of the breed have stabilised at approximately 20,000 animals.[31]

File:Karjalainen 1909.png
A roan Finnish horse from Karelian Isthmus, photographed in 1909. 12.3 hands (51 inches, 130 cm) high.

Early history

File:Liinaharja 1910.png
A flaxen-maned chestnut Finnhorse from Central Finland, photographed in 1910. 14 hands (56 inches, 142 cm) high.

Multiple hypotheses exist to explain the origins of the horse in Finland. While it is not impossible that wild horses roamed the area, there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of an indigenous wild population, and it seems improbable, especially considering the significant numbers of horses imported in the earliest times.[32] More likely, migrating peoples brought horses into Finland with them. Studies of comparative linguistics indicate that the earliest Finns may have known of the horse as far back as the Late Neolithic Age, which ended in the region circa 1500 BCE. However, since what is known about the movements of Finno-Ugric peoples is in constant change, the varying theories of how horses originally arrived in Finland are uncertain .[33]

One theory holds that horses arrived from the west, suggesting that the first domesticated horses were brought to what today is western Finland by the Vikings during the Viking Age,[34] circa 800–1050 CE. The Viking horses were of northern European ancestry.[34] The other main theory suggests that non-Viking peoples, who migrated into Finland from the southeast and south, brought with them horses of Mongolian origin that had been further developed in the Urals and Volga River regions. There clearly were two distinct horse types in the eastern and western regions of Finland, and the remained distinct from one another for a long time.[34]

The first scientific hypothesis for the eastern origins of the breed was put forth by a professor of archaeology, Johannes Reinhold Aspelin, who published Suomalaisen hevosen kotoperäisyydestä ("On the Nativity of the Finnish horse") 1886-1887.[35] Aspelin proposed that Finnish horses descended from an animal that had accompanied the Finno-Ugric peoples' migration from the Volga region and middle Russia to the shores of the Gulf of Finland. A similar idea had been suggested over a hundred years earlier by natural historian Pehr Adrian Gadd, and this theory has continued to receive some support into modern times.[35] The veterinarian Ludvig Fabricius considered the proposed prototype a side branch of a "Tartarian" breed, and considered it possible that the same prototype also influenced Estonian, Swedish and Norwegian horse populations.[35]

Later, agronomist Axel Alfthan (1862-1934[36]) and veterinarian Kaarlo Gummerus (1840-1898[37]) expanded Aspelin's hypothesis and proposed that the horse population later diverged into Eastern Finnish and Mid-Finnish types, and that these types had remained distinguishable as late as the turn of the 20th century. Photographs supporting these claims: the small Karelian horse was blocky and stout, with pronounced withers, a short neck and large head. The small horse from central Finland, on the other hand, was "more noble", with longer body, lighter neck and more refined head.[35] The Swedish professor Eric Åkerblom went on to suggest that the Finnish horse spread along river valleys to Troms, Norway, and was the ancestor of the Nordlandshest/Lyngshest, found around the Lyngenfjord. The Norwegians would seem to have agreed, as a local horse association purchased the Finnish pony-type stallion Viri 632-72P for stud use in 1980. Äkerblom dismissed the possibility that the eastern Finnhorse came from same prototype as the western pony breeds.[33]

In 1927, veterinarian and professor Veikko Rislakki (then Svanberg), completed his doctoral thesis, proposing the theory that three types of wild horses existed in Europe, one of which he believed to be the Przewalski's Horse.[38] Rislakki believed this unrefined and notably large-headed type was the horse the early Finns encountered about 1000 BCE. He sugggested that the Finns later encountered other peoples and horses south of the Gulf of Finland, and that these peoples had horses of a better-proportion with a shorter muzzle and wider forehead. Rislakki proposed these were descended from the Tarpan.[39] During the first few centuries CE, Rislakki suggested that the Finns came across European horses of Spanish and French origin, larger in size and with narrow foreheads.[35] Rislakki believed that his craniometric examinations, carried out in the 1920s, proved the influence of all these three horse types.[33] Almost 20 years later, during the Continuation War, Rislakki also measured Karelian horses, and later proposed that the Karelian also came from an original Northern European animal descended from the Tarpan.

In the early 20th century, English J. C. Edward and Norwegian S. Petersen, proposed Finland and the other countries surrounding the Gulf of Finland to be the home region for the so-called "yellow pony". A later ethnologist, Kustaa Vilkuna (1902-1980[40]) supported this view, proposing that an "Estonian-Finno-Karelian pony" descended from a small forest horse previously widespread in the lands surrounding the Gulf of Finland.[33]

Regardless of where the original horses came from, early bits found from graves that date from the Roman Iron Age, circa 1-400 CE, provide strong evidence that the domesticated horse was known to humans then living in the region of Finland.[41] This corresponds with the time when significant numbers of people migrated to the area from across the Gulf of Finland. Horseshoes from the Migration period have also been found at multiple sites.[33] At some point in time, not clearly documented, horses bred in the western regions crossbred with horses that originated south of the Gulf of Finland. This made the western Finnish horse type larger and better suited to farming and forestry work. The characteristics of the original western Finnish type came to prevail in the mix, even though influenced by outside blood and traces of outside influence could be detected for a long time.[34] Later, this mixed type was further crossbred with larger horses from Central Europe during the Middle Ages. Foreign horses were also brought to Finland during military campaigns, and additional animals were imported to manor houses for driving purposes. The crossbreed offspring of Central European and Finnish horses were larger than their Finnish parents, and even better suited for agricultural work.[34]

The earliest known documentation of Finnish trade in horses, both as imports and exports, dates to the late 13th century,[34] when, in 1299, Pope Gregory IX sent a letter of reprimand to the merchants of Gotland, who were selling horses to the non-Christianized Finns.[32] The trade in horses eventually shifted from mainly imports to mainly exports. Apparently the Finns succeeded in improving the level of their horse population, as a Russian chronicle from the 1330s mentions "Tamma-Karjala" ("Karelia of the Mares"), presumably denoting a place of good horse breeding.[33] Later, the 16th century writer Olaus Magnus mentioned the high quality of the horses used by the early Finns.[33] As early as in 1347, King Magnus IV saw it necessary to put limits to the horse exports from Karelia to Russia.[32][33] In the 1520s, Gustav Vasa found the Finns exporting horses by the shipload to Lübeck, and strictly prohibited such trading,[32] banning the sale of horses under the age of 7 years.

Organised breeding

The first significant, planned efforts to improve the quality of horses through selective breeding in Finland were made in the 16th century, when Gustav Vasa, known for his interest in horse breeding, founded mare manors (), or stud farms, on his properties in Western Finland. He ordered the importation of large horses from Central Europe, mainly from the region of Friesland, into Sweden, but likely into Finland as well.[32][34] These horses were kept at regional royal farms (Swedish: kungsgård, literally, "King's estate") to serve local mares. In a letter from 1556, Gustav Vasa mentions that there were 231 breeding horses of this kind in Finland. It is not known whether these horses were either originally imported directly to Finland, or descended from those bred in Sweden.[32]

Gustav Vasa also carried out major reforms of his cavalry. After the decline of heavy cavalry in the Late Middle Ages, light cavalry was gaining importance, and a new approach to horse breeding was called for.[33] In 1550, he gave orders that "stud manors" () be founded on state farms, not only in Sweden but also in every muncipality of Finland.[33][34] These studs were to each hold 20 mares and a smaller number of stallions, both Finnish horses and horses imported from Sweden.[34] Gustav Vasa also imported mares from the lands bordering the North Sea; most likely of a Friesian type. His goal was to increase the size and weight of the Finnish horse population. His successor, Eric XIV prohibited the exporting of Finnish horses, which demonstrated the success of these efforts as well as the importance of the horses of the region of Finland.[33] During the reign of later rulers of the Vasa line, the horse breeding farms lasted only for about 100 years before the programs deteriorated.[32][34] The last of the stud manors, that of Pori, was closed in 1651, and the crown-owned stallions and mares of the Pori stud were transported to Gotland.[34]

Military use

File:Rakuunakilta riders .JPG
Historical reenactment of early 20th century cavalry use of the Finnhorse. 1922 Ratsumieskilta ("Horseman Guild") uniform.

The main goal of selective breeding by the Gustav Vasa and others had been to increase the height of the Finnish horse. However, the Finnish cavalry survey records (katselmuspöytäkirjat) from the 1620s give the idea this goal was not necessarily met. The heights of horses surveyed in 1623, measured not at the withers but at the highest point of the croup, which provides a height measurement significantly different from standard measures, ranged between 105 to 130 centimetres (41 to 51 in), the horses of officers mostly being the taller animals. Only the horses owned by Colonel Herman Fleming were taller, with a croup measurement of 135 to 140 centimetres (53 to 55 in). It is not known if these horses were domestic crossbreeds or imported. The average height of the horses of the troops of Hollola, Pori and Raasepori was only 115 centimetres (45 in), but at the next year's survey 125 centimetres (49 in). It would seem that at first, the military had been offered only the smallest horses. At this time, there were no more pony-sized horses below a croup measurement of 110 centimetres (43 in), and the all-around average height of the horses used by the cavalry was about 120 centimetres (47 in).[32]

During the Thirty Years' War in 1618–1648, the Finnish cavalry were called "Hakkapelites". The most prominent charasteristic of their horses was the height: the horses were, measured behind the saddle, 105 to 130 centimetres (41 to 51 in) high.

Aulis J. Alanen described the Finnish cavalry:

Error: No text given for quotation (or equals sign used in the actual argument to an unnamed parameter)
[citation needed]

Despite long-held, tenacious beliefs in Finland, the Hakkapeliittas and their horses were not particularly well-known on the Central Europe battlefields; Finns are rarely mentioned in Central European sources of the time.[42] Nonetheless, during the era of the Swedish Empire of the 17th century, the Finnish cavalry was constantly used in Germany, Bohemia, Poland and Denmark. Parts of the cavalry were stationed in Estonia and Livonia. Horse casualties, including those occurring during marches and in drill, were considerable. Replacement horses were mostly obtained on the spot, though sometimes sent from Finland. It cannot be said how many horses obtained from battles as spoils were brought to Finland, but it is known that the cavalry troops were sent to Finland for feeding and reinforcements whenever there was a chance. Reinforcement horses were obtained from the Baltic States, but during the reign of Charles XI almost all of the cavalry horses were imported from south of the Gulf of Finland, due to their larger size.[32]

According to war historian J. O. Hannula, the horses of the Hakkapelites were not only small, the size of modern day Finnhorse weanlings, but also often stiff and worn out from hard agricultural work. Hannula stated that the Swedish Royal army did not have such miserable-looking creatures even with their cargo troops. However, he noted that the Finnish horses were redeemed by their great stamina, displayed during long exhausting campaigns.[14] The humble-looking Finnish horses were presumably often exchanged for other horses obtained as spoils of war. It might have been rare for a cavalryman to return with the same horse that he left with, and most likely the horses brought back to Finland were crossbreeds or of purely Central European lines.[14]


By the 18th century, horses were in growing demand not only for cavalry, but also to serve in the traveller's horse exchange service of the kievari tavern system. Also, while the southwestern areas of Finland mainly employed oxen, in other parts of Finland, horses were increasingly used for agriculture.[14]

The horse population of Finland vastly diminished in both numbers and quality due to war.[14][32] During the campaigns of Charles XII, the Finnish cavalry was larger than at any other time in history. Almost every usable horse of Finland was needed to mobilise the cavalry, as well as for use by infantry and for transporting supplies. Horses serving in the military never returned; even the last reinforcement regiments were taken to Sweden in 1714, and to Norway in 1718.[32] Finland was further afflicted during the Russian invasion and occupation of the 1710s, when a great number of horses were exported to Russia at the command of Peter I.[14][32] The exported horses ended up mainly in the area of Vyatka government, and some Russian researchers such as Simanov and Moerder have suggested that the Vyatka horse was developed mainly from Estonian and Finnish exports.[32] With the Russians exporting the best animals and the old custom of pastures shared by muncipalities or larger areas, the recovering of the horse population took decades. To increase numbers, it was often necessary to breed animals too young, and inbreeding also occurred.[14]

The treaties of Nystad in 1721 and Åbo 1743 ceded Finnish territory to Russia, which resulted in much of the Finnish horse population being left behind the new borders. Under these circumstances, the Finnish horses in the now-Russian areas were crossbred with the Russian horses in significant numbers.[32] By 1761, one of the first researchers in the agral chemistry in Finland described the Finnish horse population of the time:

The Savonian-Karelian horse is its own breed, descended from [the horses of] Tartary. It is rarely taller than 9 korttelis [133 centimetres (52 in)], and it is of good conformation, and a good puller, chestnut or bay of coat. [The same breed is also found in Western Finland, where it is] mixed and bigger by the influence of Scanian horses.[32]

According to ethnologist Kustaa Vilkuna's estimations, calculated from measurements of horse collars used in Finland in the 18th century, the average peasant's horse was about 12.3 hands (51 inches, 130 cm) tall, while horses employed by manors could be considerably larger, sometimes more than 13.3 hands (55 inches, 140 cm) tall. Vilkuna also discovered that the horses of the southern and western regions of Finland were larger than those of the northern and eastern regions. This was probably due to the influence of imports.[14]

By the mid-1700s, a typical Finnish horse was probably circa 13.2 hands (54 inches, 137 cm), about the same size as a small contemporary Finnhorse yearling, and weighed about 300 kilograms (660 lb), roughly half the weight of a contemporary 15.2 hands (62 inches, 157 cm) working section horse. A civilian horse of good quality had good action and was swift. However, leg faults were common.[14]


During the 18th century, new breeds had been created throughout Europe by crossing local native horse populations with light, hotblooded riding horses. Finnish military officers developed an interest in similar breeding while on study secondments (assignments) in foreign military forces.[32] In 1781, Colonel Yrjö Maunu Sprengtporten founded a state stud farm in conjunction with the Haapaniemi military school.[32][43][44] The stud had a few stallions described as "Arabian" and "Andalusian".[32] For about thirty years, these stallions influenced the local horse population outside the military school as well, and a number of writings from the 19th century mention a "Haapaniemi breed".[44]. Similar if smaller crossbreeding programs developed elsewhere: In Tavinsalmen kartano, the royal estate (kungsgård) of Tavinsalmi, at least one of the mares had been imported from Sweden.[32]

Russian Orlov trotters and Don horses also influenced the horse population of Finland for the first half the 19th century, improving its size, ridability and refinement.[32][45] The horse type known as the "Fürstenbergian breed", originating in Northern Savonia, was a crossbreed between the Finnish horses and Orlov trotters, bred by the engineer Fürstenberg at the beginning of the 19th century.[32][45]

Other intentional crossbreeding experiments included the valued lines of Sarkkila and Hali in Northern Karelia, descended from crosses with Russian military horses. The breeding program of Sarkkila stated one of the stallions to be of "Fürstenbergian breed", and one of the mares of "oriental" descent.[32][45] The "Hali breed", descending from the stallions of Sarkkila, was an important influence in the pedigree of a few notable Finnhorse trotter sires such as Eino 680 and his son Eino-Vakaa 25.[32][46]

The obvious influence of Don horses was seen as late as in the 1920s and 30s among the black and bay horses bought into the Finnish cavalry - the dragoons of Nyland had two full squadrons of these colours.[32] Some manor houses, especially in southern regions of Finland, were known to have used stallions of several warm- and hot-blooded breeds; for example, a high officer in Pernaja bred Arabians.[32][45] These crossbreeds were probably an attempt to create showy driving horses. However, in some locations, attempts to create better working horses utilised Ardennes horses and some Percherons for crossbreeding.[32] Ardennes horses had especially great influence in Southern Ostrobothnia, and in Southern Savonia a multitude of breeds were used. The amount and diversity of crossbreeding led to difficulties in creating a consistent type up until the beginning of the 20th century and the creation of the Finnhorse studbook; some of the first stallions accepted in the studbook were criticised for a "Norwegian" impression.[45]

An especially detailed description of the Finnish horse at its best in the middle of the 19th century is available, thanks to the creation of the Tori horse in Estonia. Manor owners in Estonia found the native Estonian horse too small for their agricultural needs, and came to the conclusion that the population would benefit from crossbreeding. Finnish horses, known to be generally of good quality, were among the breeds considered for the job. For further assurance, three experts were consulted. According to stud farm inspector of the Russian Empire, general Mayendorff, Finnish horses were found in four types: the "Haapaniemi type", the "Fürstenbergian type", an "Orlov type", and a "Karelian type". A Finnish academic master, A. Elving, considered Finnish horses purest in Karelia, and mixed elsewhere, especially in southwestern Finland, where Swedish, North-German and even English horses had been crossed with Finnish ones, while in Karelia and Savonia the outside influence had been mainly Russian. Swedish count Wrangler, a most valued hippologist at the time, mentioned in his report that Finns were importing Norfolk Trotters for crossbreeding purposes. Even Norwegian Dole Gudbrandsdal horses were known to have influenced the Finnish horse.[45]

The state stud farm of Tori was founded to be central base for the new Estonian breed in 1856, and ten Finnish mares and three stallions were bought for its needs. The Finnish horses were in addition to the crossbreeding also purebred to an extent. Documents of the Tori stud from the 1860s describe a number of Finnish mares. The average height was 14 hands (56 inches, 142 cm), and the colour was typically dark with a star. The head was large, the neck short but with good carriage. The body was sturdy and proportionate with muscular withers, deep chest and muscular back. The loin was on the longr side, and the haunches were muscular if sloping. The leg joints were well-defined, the pasterns short and the feet tough. Else than that, the legs also had serious faults of position, not further defined. All Finnish horses were considered calm and good workers, and swift walkers and runners.[45] However, the later offspring of part-Finnish crossbreds did not prove as good as expected, and the Tori stud gradually gave up using Finnish horses; only one Finnish-Arabian stallion has had any noteworthy influence in the modern-day Tori horse, through his great grandson Harun 42 T, who was widely used.[45]

File:Kirppu ja haravakone.png
One of the Finnhorse founding sires, Kirppu tt 710, pulling an early sulky at full speed in the 1890s.

Crown stallion system

In 1869, the Senate of Finland sent orders for the provinces of Vaasa, Häme and Kuopio to obtain suitable breeding animals. Later, funding was assigned for this purpose, and instructions were given for eight provinces to each choose four stallions. Still later, Finland was subdivided into one hundred breeding districts (), and each district was to have one state stallion. However, most years, some breeding districts lacked a stallion due to the scarcity of good quality horses. Originally, stallions were selected by committees consisting of both local people as well as state officials such as agronomists, veterinarians, military officers or farm owners. In 1893, the job switched over to the newly-created position of the horse husbandry councellor ). The first to hold this post was the argronomist and farm owner Ernst Fabricius. Official instructions were never given about the size, workability, or even breeding of crown stallions, and the only common aim in horse breeding was to increase height and weight. Additionally, before the turn of the 20th century, public discussion had not reached consensus on what was wanted from the breeding of Finnish horses. Only one thing was agreed on: Finland needed working horses. This led to great diversity in phenotype prior to the establishment of the stud book.[47]

The stallions purchased and used in this program were called "crown stallions" (), at first informally, but eventually as an official designation. The abbreviation "ro" became part of the name of each crown stallion; animals were further distinguished by their breeding districts; for example, the stallion Poke who stood at Urjala was officially "Poke ro Urjala", and his son, also named Poke, but who stood in a different district, was "Poke ro Ylihärmä".[48]

Crown stallions were leased to private persons for caretaking, often determined by holding a public auction where the winner was the person who agreed to take the stallion for the smallest compensation. Care of a crown stallion was to some degree a burden: the caretaker had a heavy responsibility because the horse was the state's property, and had to accept an obligation to keep at least one man available to care for the horse and keep the stallion available to the public for service during the breeding season, even though it was also the time when every available hand was needed for spring fieldwork. However, the task was also highly desired in spite of the burdens because the caretaker was allowed to keep all stud fees, and, after the stallion sired 60 live foals, the caretaker could obtain ownership of the animal itself. In the case of less popular stallions, a caretaker could keep the animal after six years or service.[48] Problems arose from the fact that the terms and conditions of the caretaking system often allowed the change in ownership far too soon.[47] A number of the most popular stallions managed to achieve the required 60 foals in a year.[48] While renewing the contract was possible, it was often that when a stallion's value in breeding had been proved, the horse had already been taken into private ownership and no longer available to the public. However, the crown stallion system allowed enlightened farmers to have control of the direction needed for the breeding of good working horses.[47]


By the end of the 18th century, crossbreeding of Finnish horses began to be described, especially by military leaders, as "detrimental crossbreeding"—damaging to the quality of the Finnish horse, particularly for military use.[34]In the beginning of the 19th century, German historian Friedrich Rühs especially blamed the west coast estates for damaging the Finnish horse by crossbreeding.[44] Nonetheless, outside stallions were still imported to Finland. At the end of the century, stallions "of oriental, Arabian blood" still served at state farms. The influence of the Russian-imported "oriental" Turkish and Caucasian horses, as well as "Fürstenbergian" horses was also noted. Conversely, heavier horses such as the Norfolk Trotter and Ardennes were imported to southern Finland as late as 1870, Orlov Trotters were used in Savonia and Karelia, and Norwegian stallions were brought to northern Ostrobothnia. Light riding horses were imported from Russian and Central Europe.[34]

As Finnish nationalism arose and increased in the beginning of the 20th century, Finnhorse breeding took another direction. The breed was considered a symbol of the nation, and thus it was desired that it be as purebred as possible. Chestnut was seen as the "utmost original" colour of the Finnhorse, chosen as an official breeding goal, and named "Hippos colour" after the national horse breeding association, Suomen Hippos. Any other colours were considered evidence of "foreign" blood, and they were systematically bred out of the breed. The breeding regulation of 1909 stated that no stallion "with coat of white, grey, palomino or spotted" could be accepted into the stud book. The popularity of bay and black Finnhorses dropped as well, and at least one mare was removed from the stud book on the sole grounds of her bay colour.[15]

At first the only notable objective of the Finnhorse breeding program concerned the looks, and especially the colour, of the breed, and mainly aimed to remove "foreign" characteristics. In the 1920s, trials of performance were introduced, and since then, the main objectives of the Finnhorse breeding program have remained as improving the capacity, movement, conformation and character of the breed.[49]

Since the foundation of the Finnhorse stud book in 1907, the stud book has been closed and the breed has been bred pure. While accidental and even intentional Finnhorse crossbreeds exist, they are not accepted for the Finnhorse registry and have not been developed into new breeds within Finland. The Finnhorse stud book remains to be kept by Suomen Hippos, the Finnish Trotting and Breeding Association.[7][49]

By the 1950s, there were 400,000 Finnhorses in Finland, most of them the draught type.[7] However, with the increased mechanisation of agriculture and forestry, combined with the end of horse use by the Finnish military, the number of Finnhorses declined precipitously. Further, the breed's ability to compete in equestrian sports at the highest levels was limited in multinational competitions where warmblood breeds became the dominant sport horse. The number of Finnhorses reached its all-time lowest point in the 1980s, with only about 14,000 horses. It was most likely harness racing and associated Parimutuel betting that ensured the survival of the breed. Today, most Finnhorses are bred to be trotters, but the breed is also popular in riding schools and for recreational riding.

The Finnhorse today

Nearly all Finnish horses foaled since 1971 have been registered. There are four breeding sections: trotter (J), riding horse (R), draft (T) and pony-sized (P). Some horses are registered in multiple sections of the stud book. Today, there are about 20,000 Finnhorses in Finland, and approximately 1,000 foals are born annually.[7] To be registered as a Finnhorse, a horse must either have parents registered in the Finnhorse registry or the Finnhorse studbook, or be verified to be descended from at least three generations of Finnhorses.[50]

There are few Finnhorses outside Finland, although they have been exported in small numbers to nations such as Germany, and some small-scale breeding has also taken place outside of Finland.[7]


Jumping a basic cross-rail.

Today, approximately 75 % of Finnhorses are used in harness racing, with riding being the second most popular use.[7][51] Many Finnhorses are used for multiple purposes, starting their career in trotting races and later moving on to riding, sometimes with considerable success. Finnhorses take part in both their own competitions and open, all-breed classes in dressage, show jumping, and eventing. They are also used in endurance riding, western riding and combined driving. Approximately 1.000 Finnhorses are used in riding schools and in riding therapy. Finnhorses are also popular as pleasure horses.[7]

Agricultural work and forestry

Work in agriculture and forestry were the first uses of the Finnhorse. Unlike most draught breeds, the Finnhorse was never bred to be particularly large or heavy. Because it was the only horse breed of the country, versatility was desired: the Finnhorse was also used as the primary steed of the cavalry. Also, the climate and conditions of Finland necessitated that the breed be durable and hardy. As a result, the Finnhorse remained small but tough, and could pull heavy loads in difficult terrain and even in chest-deep snow.

There are few draft-type Finnhorse family lines left, but very few Finnhorses are now known to be used as actual workhorses. However, interest in traditional work horse uses and methods has been increasing, and work horse competitions are still regularly held. These competitions usually include horse pulling or ploughing contests.

Harness racing

File:Introduction Run.png
Harness racing is the main use of the Finnhorse today.

Finnhorse harness races have been held in Finland since the second half of the 19th century, with the official annual Finnhorse racing championship Kuninkuusravit starting in 1924. Harness racing continues to be a popular spectator sport, with the Kuninkuusravit competition having attracted more than 50,000 spectators in the beginning of the 2000s.[3]

The most successful Finnhorse harness racing champion to date is the stallion Viesker.[52] Viesker won the stallions' annual championship and the title Ravikuningas ("Trotting King") five times in a row during 1996-2000, and was the first Finnhorse to break the "ghost limit" of 1.20,0 with his 1.19,9a (per kilometre) run in 2002. As of 2007, the current Finnhorse speed record 1.19,4aly (per kilometre, a short distance run), is held by the stallion Sipori. However, since this result was not a winning run, the time is not an official Finnish record.[53] As of 2010, the official Finnish record 1.21.2ake (per one kilometre)is held by the stallion Erikasson (foaled 1999), set at the Olympia race.[54][55] The most successful Finnhorse trotter mare to date is I.P. Sukkula, born in 1988. She has won the mares' annual championship and the title Ravikuningatar ("Trotting Queen") three times, in 1996, 1999, and 2000. Her record is 1.23.2aly per one kilometre.[7][56]

Combined driving

Finnhorses have also successfully competed in combined driving. The Finnhorse Jehun Viima,[57] driven by Heidi Sinda, was a member of the Finnish singles driving team that finished 2nd at the driving world championship competition in Conty, France in 2002.

File:Teppo works up a sweat in early Spring.jpg
Today the Finnhorse is a popular breed for recreational riding in Finland.


Although originally bred as draft and harness horses, Finnhorses are also good all-round riding horses, popular as riding school horses, and for other recreational uses.[7] They are particularly well suited for trail riding and horseback trekking, even endurance riding: the Finnhorse Uusi-Helinä[58], ridden by Ritva Lampinen, successfully finished the endurance riding world championship competition in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990, finishing 28th.[7] There are also some successful dressage horses such as the stallions Kelmi[59] and Jaime.[60] Most Finnhorses used in dressage compete on the national 4th level (US) or Grade IV (GB).[7] Some individuals have competed on the Prix de St. George level.[51] Each year, some Finnhorses compete in show jumping in the 130 cm classes. The Finnhorse is considered a reliable, fairly good jumper.[7]

Of the ten horses currently employed by the mounted police of Helsinki, two are Finnhorses, though they are considered somewhat small for the job.[61]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Suomenhevosen rotutyyppi [The type of the Finnhorse]" (in (Finnish)). Suomen Hippos ry. http://www.hippos.fi/hippos/jalostus_ja_kasvatus/rodut/suomenhevonen.php. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Suomenhevosen jalostusohjesääntö [The Finnish horse breeding statute]" (in (Finnish)). Finnish Trotting and Breeding Association. December 2004. p. 3. http://www.hippos.fi/hippos/jalostus_ja_kasvatus/jalostusohjesaannot/jalostusohjesaantopdft/jalohje_sh_net.pdf. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Finnhorse". Suomen Hippos ry. http://www.hippos.fi/hippos/englanti/finnhorse.php. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  4. Ertola, Kristiina; and Jukka Houttu (2003), "114 The Finnish Horse and Other Scandinavian Cold-Blooded Trotters", Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse, doi:10.1016/B978-0-7216-8342-3.50121-2, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B8N2S-4W5FFYJ-4H&_user=10&_coverDate=04%2F27%2F2009&_alid=1156798287&_rdoc=3&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_cdi=45694&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=13&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=b1d6baa26253e3650c903865b9cbca2a, retrieved 6 January 2010 
  5. Harness racing glossary, "Superjuoksija" web page accessed 2nd March 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ihatsu, Sanna. [www.otalampi.net/Sivut/pdf/OtaSanomat/OtaSanomat200702.pdf "Maailman nopein suomenhevonen [World's fastest Finnhorse]"] (in (Finnish)) (PDF). pp. 16–17. www.otalampi.net/Sivut/pdf/OtaSanomat/OtaSanomat200702.pdf. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 "The Finnhorse". The Equus Collection. The Scandinavian Horse. 2009 accessdate=6 January 2010. http://thescandinavianhorse.com/FinnhorseHorseBreed.html. 
  8. Suomen Hippos: Suomenhevosen jalostusohjesääntö (The Finnish horse breeding statute), pages 1 and 2
  9. 9.0 9.1 Suomen Hippos: Suomenhevosen jalostusohjesääntö, page 12
  10. "Suomenhevonen ja suomalainen kantahevonen [The Finnhorse and the original Finnish horse]" (in (Finnish)). http://personal.inet.fi/business/abc/vintio/suomenhevonen.shtml. Retrieved Devember 18, 2009. ""Suomenhevonen pystyy vetämään myös 110% omasta painostaan, mikä jää vastaavasti muilla työhevosroduilla keskimäärin 80%:iin."; "The Finnhorse can also pull 110% of its own weight, which in other draught horse breeds is 80% on average." [sic]" 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Suomenhevosten T-suunnan vetokoe [The Finnhorse T section [working horse pulling test]"] (in (Finnish)). Suomen työhevosseura ry. March 22, 2009. http://www.tyohevosseura.fi/kantakirjausohjeet-ja-saannot/suomenhevosten-t-suunnan-vetokoe/. Retrieved December 25, 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Kantakirjaan hyväksymisen tulosvaatimukset [The stud book minimum requirements concerning the [test results]"] (in (Finnish)). Suomen työhevosseura ry. March 22, 2009. http://www.tyohevosseura.fi/kantakirjausohjeet-ja-saannot/. Retrieved December 25, 2009. 
  13. "Suomenhevosten T-suunnan ajettavuuskoe [The Finnhorse T section [working horse drivability test]"] (in (Finnish)). Suomen työhevosseura ry. March 22, 2009. http://www.tyohevosseura.fi/kantakirjausohjeet-ja-saannot/suomenhevosten-t-suunnan-ajettavuuskoe//. Retrieved December 25, 2009. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 Ojala, Ilmari 1995: "Suomenhevonen - Alkuperän monet mahdollisuudet", page 51
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Viitanen 2007, page 147.
  16. "Vekselin Ihme at Sukuposti.net database" (in (Finnish)). http://sukuposti.net/sukutietokanta.php?Numero=13846. Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  17. "Voikko at "Sukuposti.net" database" (in (Finnish)). http://sukuposti.net/sukutietokanta.php?Numero=392339. Retrieved December 13, 2009. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Alerini, Leena. "Mustanvoikko suomenhevonen virallisesti tunnistettu" (in {fi). Hevosurheilu magazine. http://www.hevosurheilu.fi/Jalostus/mustanvoikko_suomenhevonen_virallisesti_tunnistettu_629797.html. Retrieved 2010-03-05.  |quote="[voidaan sanoa] ensimmäiseksi jos ei koskaan niin ainakin hyvin, hyvin pitkään aikaan."}}
  19. "Hennylän Kulta 246001S00092352". pedigree database Sukuposti.net. http://www.sukuposti.net/sukutietokanta.php?Numero=923058. Retrieved 2010-03-02. ]
  20. "Ensimmäinen mustanvoikko sh!" (in (Finnish)). Home site of Ukkosen Poika, news. http://www.ukkosenpoika.com/uutiset/?p=718. Retrieved 2010-03-02. ""Last summer's curiously-coloured maternal granddaughter of Ukkosen Poika, Hennylän Kulta (s. Helinän Ari, d. Apilan Viola, ds. Ukkosen Poika), has been tested for colour, and the results coming from the UK yesterday confirm that she is a smoky black as suspected. This makes Hennylän Kulta the first and for the time being the only Finnhorse identified and registered as smoky black!"" 
  21. "Auringon Säde varsoi – tuplavoikon?" (in (Finnish)). Home site of Ukkosen Poika, news. http://www.ukkosenpoika.com/uutiset/?p=741. Retrieved 2010-06-12. ""Ukkosen Poika's firstborn daughter, the 7-year-old palomino Auringon Säde (d. Kastanja), has foaled in April, by the buckskin Autere (s. Humeeti, d. Halokeeni), a blue-eyed filly with pink skin and very pale coat. It is very possible that this is the first double Cream dilute Finnhorse in [Finland]."" 
  22. Alerini, Leena. "Tuplavoikko suomenhevonen syntynyt?" (in (Finnish)). Hevosurheilu magazine. http://www.hevosurheilu.fi/Jalostus/tuplavoikko_suomenhevonen_syntynyt_639355.html. Retrieved 2010-06-12. ""The palomino mare Auringon säde has foaled out of the buckskin Autere a blue-eyed filly with pink skin and very pale coat. We still have every reason to join the owner's hopes for this to be the first known double Cream dilute Finnhorse in Finland. (...) While you read this, the filly's colouration remains [pale], and at least as of yet, her eyes have not started to darken."" 
  23. "Unnamed filly out of Auringon Säde (246001S00101071) at "Sukuposti.net" database" (in (Finnish)). http://www.sukuposti.net/sukutietokanta.php?Numero=1018989. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  24. "Sonja at Sukuposti.net database". http://www.sukuposti.net/sukutietokanta.php?Numero=336411. Retrieved December 15, 2009. 
  25. The roan family line of Finnhorse, with links to Sukuposti.net database (Finnish)
  26. Iiris 2275-88R in Sukuposti.net pedigree database, accessed 2010-3-4]
  27. Rautio, Johanna. "Suomenhevosen värit: Kimo [Colours of Finnhorse: Grey]" (in (Finnish)). http://www.havia.net/suomenhevonen/kimo.php. ""However, a few [greys] were saved [from persecution] and the grey Finnhorses of today are descended from two families. The mare Iiris alone consists the other one, and the descendants of the mare Pelelaikka the other. Pelelaikka's colour can be tracked far into the past up to the "Hinttula whites" and her family continues especially through the working section studbook stallion E.V. Johtotähti."" 
  28. Offspring of E.V. Johtotähti 1726-93Ta in Sukuposti.net pedigree database
  29. A Suomen Hippos brochure "Get to Know the Finnhorse"
  30. Lindström, Minna (editor-in-chief) (2009). "Tunne hevonen: lehti luonnollisesta hevostaidosta [Know your horse: Journal of Natural Horse Skills]" (in (Finnish)). No.1. pp. 26–28.  ISSN 1798-2774
  31. "Alkuperäinen suomalainen" (in (Finnish)). http://www.suomenhevonen.info/sh100v/fi/sh_tanaan/index.php. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  32. 32.00 32.01 32.02 32.03 32.04 32.05 32.06 32.07 32.08 32.09 32.10 32.11 32.12 32.13 32.14 32.15 32.16 32.17 32.18 32.19 32.20 32.21 32.22 32.23 32.24 32.25 Talaskivi 1977, pages 77-81
  33. 33.00 33.01 33.02 33.03 33.04 33.05 33.06 33.07 33.08 33.09 33.10 Ojala, Ilmari: article Suomenhevonen - Alkuperän monet mahdollisuudet in Tammen Suuri hevoskirja, 1995, page 50
  34. 34.00 34.01 34.02 34.03 34.04 34.05 34.06 34.07 34.08 34.09 34.10 34.11 34.12 Arppe, 1968, pages 9-12
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Ojala, Ilmari 1995: Suomenhevonen - Alkuperän monet mahdollisuudet, page 48
  36. http://artikkelihaku.kansallisbiografia.fi/kuvat/8710/
  37. http://www.finnica.fi/keski-suomi/henkilogalleria/henkiloesittely.php?id=67
  38. This claim has since been superseded by more modern understanding of horse domestication, see, e.g. Cai, Dawei; Zhuowei Tang, Lu Han, Camilla F. Speller, Dongya Y. Yang, Xiaolin Ma, Jian’en Cao, Hong Zhu, Hui Zhou (2009). "Ancient DNA provides new insights into the origin of the Chinese domestic horse".Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 835–842. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2008.11.006.; Cau, Allison; Lei Peng, Hiroki Goto, Leona Chemnick, Oliver A. Ryder, Kateryna D. Makova (2009). "Horse Domestication and Conservation Genetics of Przewalski’s Horse Inferred from Sex Chromosomal and Autosomal Sequences". Mol. Biol. Evol. 26 (1): 199–208. doi:10.1093/molbev/msn239.; Kavar, Tatjana; Peter Dovč (2008). "Domestication of the horse: Genetic relationships between domestic and wild horses". Livestock Science 116: 1–14. doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2008.03.002.
  39. This claim also unverified by modern studies
  40. [1]
  41. "Rautakauden elinkeinot [The livelihood types of Iron Age]" (in (Finnish)). Museovirasto (The Finnish National Board of Antiquities). http://www.nba.fi/fi/skm_opetus_esihist_rautak10. Retrieved December 25, 2009. "Kuolaimia. Hevosen varusteita on löytynyt keskiseltä ja myöhemmältä rautakaudelta. ("Bits. Horse equipment from middle and later Iron Age have been found.")" 
  42. Karasjärvi, Tero. "Historiallisia Arvosteluja 24/2001: Sadan vuoden sotatie [Historical [book reviews 24/2001: Sadan vuoden sotatie]"] (in (Finnish)). http://www.helsinki.fi/historia/yhdistys/arviot2001/jtl.htm. Retrieved December 25, 2009. "Hakkapeliitat eivät myöskään saavuttaneet mitään kummoisempaa mainetta Euroopan sotakentillä. Hyvin harvat aikalaislähteet mainitsevat erityisesti suomalaiset sotilaat [...]" 
  43. In some sources, the given names Yrjö Maunu are in Swedish form, Göran Magnus.
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Ojala, Ilmari 1995: Suomenhevonen - Alkuperän monet mahdollisuudet, page 52
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 45.4 45.5 45.6 45.7 Ojala, Ilmari 1995: Suomenhevonen - Suomenhevonen valtiojohtoisen jalostuksen alkaessa, page 53
  46. Line of Eino 680, accessed 21.3.2010 (Finnish)
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 Ojala, Ilmari 1995: Suomenhevonen - Ruununorijärjestelmä, page 55
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Ojala, Ilmari 1995: Suomenhevonen - Ruununorijärjestelmä, page 54
  49. 49.0 49.1 Suomen Hippos: Suomenhevosen jalostusohjesääntö, page 1
  50. Suomen Hippos: Suomenhevosen jalostusohjesääntö, page 4
  51. 51.0 51.1 "Finnhorse — a multipurpose breed". Suomenratsut ry. http://suomenratsutfi.virtualserver19.nebula.fi/in-english. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  52. Viesker at Sukuposti.net database (Finnish)
  53. "Maailman nopein suomenhevonen [The world's fastest Finnhorse]" (in (Finnish)). http://plaza.fi/stadion/ratsastus/ravit-ja-toto/raviuutiset/maailman-nopein-suomenhevonen. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  54. Mäenpää-Wirtz, Leena (April 18, 2010). "Erikasson popsi kukat ja vastustajansa [Erikasson ate his flowers and competitors]" (in (Finnish)). Helsingin Sanomat: p. B9. ISSN 0355-2047. 
  55. Erikasson at Sukuposti.net database (Finnish)
  56. I.P. Sukkula at Sukuposti.net database (Finnish)
  57. Jehun Viima at Sukuposti.net database, accessed December 16, 2009
  58. Sukuposti.net
  59. Sukuposti.net
  60. Sukuposti.net
  61. "Ratsastava poliisi 125 vuotta [Mounted police 125 years]" (in (Finnish)) (PDF). Ruskeasuon kevät 2007. p. 21. http://www.kaupunginosat.net/ruskeasuo/lehti/kevat2007.pdf. Retrieved 2010-03-20. ""The Finnhorses Patrix and Priimi might be a bit small for police mounts though, the so-called [sic] "warmbloods" are better suited for the job."" 


  • Arppe, Pentti (1968). Ristonmaa, Simo. ed (in (Finnish)). Suomen raviurheilu. K. J. Gummerus Oy. 
  • Talaskivi, Soini (1977) (in (Finnish)). Suomalainen hevoskirja. Otava. ISBN 951-1-11242-2. 
  • Viitanen, Johanna (2007) (in (Finnish)). Hevosen värit [Equine Colors]. Vudeka. ISBN 978-952-99464-8-8. 
  • Ojala, Ilmari (1995). "Suomenhevonen - Alkuperän monet mahdollisuudet [Finnhorse - the many possibilities of its origin]" (in (Finnish)). Tammen Suuri hevoskirja (Tammi): 48–52. ISBN 951-31-0515-6. 

External links


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...