The Finnish Horse has several different names including the Finnish Universal, the Finnhorse, or in it's native country as suomenhevonen. The Finnish Horse is also known as the Finnish Universal because this breed is literally used for every type of horse activity and event from agricultural work to harness racing. They truly are a universal breed and are highly regarded in Finland.
Unlike many horse producing countries, the Finnish Horse is the only breed native to Finland. The Finnish Horse was developed through the crossing of several different breeds, although the exact origins of the Finnish Horse are not clearly understood. While very popular in Finland with over 20,000 horses in the registry, there are few breeding programs for the Finnish Horse outside of its native country. There is some breeding of the Finnish Horse in Germany, but this is an exception.
The Finnish Horse can actually be designed into one or more categories in the breeding registry. These are pony, trotter, riding horse and draft. Each Finnish Horse in the registry will be designated as one or more types and will be used in appropriate breeding programs.
About three quarters of all Finnish Horses are now used in harness as racing trotters. They are extremely fast and have an excellent calm and gentle disposition while off the track, but a good spirit and competitive edge when racing.
The Kuninkuusravit is the Finnish Horse harness racing event and it has been held annually since 1924. This is a highly anticipated event for breeders and gamblers alike and is typically very well attended.
The fastest Finnish trotter is a stallion by the name of Sipon. He was able to break the 1.20,0 mark and completed the track in a record time of 1.19,4. There are also trotting mares that compete at the event, usually with slightly slower times.
One of the most famous trotting Finnish Horses is Viesker, a stallion that was named the trotting king by winning the Finnish Horse Harness Racing event five consequetive years from 1996 to 2000, a prize that had never before been won by the same horse that many years in a row.
Finnish Horses are also used as pleasure riding horses, as dressage horses and even as English and western style competitivie horses. Kelemi and Jamie are two Finnish Horses that are world class dressage mounts.
A Finnish Horse by the name of Uusi-Helina placed 28th in the world championship of endurance riding held in 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Finnish Horses have also placed in championship levels in driving competitions both in the past as well as currently. In 2002 a Finnish Horse named Jehun Viima placed 2nd in the world singles driving championships in France.