The Finnhorse is the only horse breed developed in Finland. Its uses have varied from transportation to military service and from draft use to harness racing and riding. Its known history dates back about one thousand years. The breed’s herd-book was established in 1907, when the breeding work for its draft use and riding started. Later on, the breeding has focused on creating Finnhorse types that meet the requirements of modern horse racing. There are four breed sections: the trotter type, the working type, the riding horse type, and the pony-sized type.
More than 75 percent of Finnhorses are trotters. Separate race starts are held for these so-called “cold-blooded” trotters. The annual Kuninkuusravit (“royal harness race”) championship is a specialty of the Finnish world of harness racing, with Finnhorse mares and stallions competing for the titles of Ravikuningatar (“Harness Racing Queen”) and Ravikuningas (“Harness Racing King”). Kuninkuusravit is the biggest harness racing event of the year, taking place in different towns by rotation. Kuninkuunravit has been held at the Mäntyvaara racing track in Rovaniemi in 2004 and 2018.