The Porocup Rovaniemi preliminary round in Mäntyvaara

The Rovaniemi preliminary round marks the start of the Porocup reindeer race at the end of February. This action-packed event is easy to access, as transportation is available from centrally located hotels in Rovaniemi. In 2019, 200 reindeer raced each other in Mäntyvaara. 

Reindeer races – a traditional Lappish event

Reindeer races have been held in Finland since 1932. These popular, family-friendly events are held on summer weekends. Nowadays, races are held as Porocup events in different parts of the reindeer herding area. The reindeer race season consists of five races, and the race season culminates in Reindeer Championships in Inari, with 24 reindeer from the Hot series that have scored the most points in the Porocup preliminary races.

Race reindeer are fit athletes trained by highly-skilled people. However, the reindeer lead regular reindeer lives from spring to autumn, roaming freely in forests.