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Central Organisation for Trotting and Horse Breeding

Suomen Hippos ry is Finland’s national central organisation for trotting and horse breeding, with 129 member organisations. The most important tasks of Suomen Hippos are to maintain a register and studbook of all horse breeds bred in Finland and to manage and supervise trotting race activities in Finland. In addition, Suomen Hippos engages in educational, organisational and publishing activities.  

Suomen Hippos work to ensure that we tell and live a story about the horse industry, where as many people as possible want to join in the future as well. Our main goal is to offer horse and sports experiences and life content for everyone. Our values quide us to work responsibly, openly and always in a community spirit with big passion. 

  • Trotting, also known as harness racing is a sport that offers unforgettable experiences and excitement. Finland is one of the leading countries in Europe in trotting, and Finnish expertise in the field is highly valued around the world.  

    A trotter is an elite athlete horse whose well-being is expertly taken care of. The horses, drivers, trainers and coaches, grooms and other experts in the sport are widely appreciated. 

    The annual culmination of trotting in Finland is the Kuninkuusravit trotting race, the top competition for our national breed, the Finnhorse. This is one of the biggest summer events in Finland. 

    Trotting as a sport 

    Trotting in Finland originates in ice trotting races arranged in the 1800s. Today, trotting races are organised all over Finland 363 days a year. The only days when these competitions are not held are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

    Summer is the peak period in Finnish trotting, as competitions are held not only on the major provincial tracks, but also on the summer tracks and local trotting tracks. There are 18 provincial tracks in Finland that organise competitions throughout the year. In addition, there are 24 trotting tracks in summer use and training tracks. 

    In addition to the Kuninkuusravit trotting race, top events in the Finnish trotting calendar include major international competitions such as the Finlandia-Ajo, Kymi Grand Prix, St Michel, Seinäjoki-Race and Nordic King. Moreover, various age division and breeder competitions, for which horses are entered when they are still foals, are among the main events of the year. 

    The trotting races have series for standardbreds, coldbloods, Finnhorses and ponies. In addition to harness racing starts, there are also monté starts, that is, mounted trotting races. 

    The upcoming competition dates can be found in the Heppa system. 

  • Horse breeding 

    Horse breeding in Finland is an ecologically, economically and culturally responsible choice. In Finland, sports and pleasure horses are well-being and increasing research data contributes to the continuous development of the equine industry. 

    Caring for horses’ life-long well-being begins with the selection of the right kind of breeding qualities. Exhibitions and breeding inspections are tools for ensuring that the animals are healthy both by conformation and characteristics, and that their disposition is suitable for their intended purpose. 

    In Finland, horses are often treated as family members and breeding of foals is a way of life. In fact, horse breeding in Finland relies on horse enthusiasts who breed one or two foals per year. Of the around 3,000 foals born in Finland every year, some 1,000 are Finnhorses. The Finnhorse, the only original horse breed developed in Finland, is the national horse breed of Finland. It has been bred as a pure breed since 1907. 

    Suomen Hippos maintains the studbook for a total of 14 breeds: the Finnhorse, Finnish standardbred, Arabian horse, Thoroughbred, Anglo-Arabian, Finnish Warmblooded (FWB), Connemara, Icelandic horse, New Forest, Finnish Riding Pony, Gotland Russ, Shetland Pony, Welsh Pony (sections A, B, C, and D) and Fjord Horse. 

    The rules of the breed studbook are included in the breeding programmes of each breed. For stallions used for breeding, a stallion licence must be redeemed for the mating season and a record of matings must be kept. Once the keeper of the stallion has recorded the birth certificate as redeemed in the electronic system, the foal can be entered in the studbook. For more information, contact the registry of each breed. 

    Suomen Hippos provides the Heila breeding system (also in english) as a tool for horse breeding and advice, and to provide support to breeding selections. 


  • Suomen Hippos, authorised by the Finnish Food Authority, is responsible for entering equine animals in the register, and issues identification documents for its studbook breeds and non-registered equine animals. Foals born in Finland are registered with Suomen Hippos. Hippos is also responsible for registering or entering imported horses and ponies in the database. Each horse must have a horse passport and the location where they are kept must be reported to the Finnish Food Authority. 

    Horses and equine animals born in Finland 

    Notification of the birth of a foal in Finland is submitted to Oma Talli. Foaling is reported using the mare’s mating data. If the mare has been inseminated abroad, please contact the registry of the breed in question.  

    The foal must always be identified for the purpose of issuing an identification document. Horse breeding associations are responsible for the identification of foals. In addition to the AD HOC identification of a medicated foal, the foal must also be identified separately for the purpose of issuing a passport, if the foal is entered in the studbook, or the information available for the AD HOC identification is not sufficient for issuing a passport. When the foal is identified, its colour and markings are recorded and the foal is microchipped. A hair sample is taken from each foal entered in the studbook, to facilitate determining the parentage. A hair sample from the dam may also be required.  

    Once the foal has been identified, an identification document may be issued for it. For a horse entered in the studbook, the preconditions of the studbook must also be met (sire’s stallion license, birth certificate, verification of parentage based on the hair sample). The Finnish Food Authority will issue the invoice for the identification of the foal and for issuing of the identification document. Suomen Hippos ry will issue the invoice for the costs of entry in the studbook. 

    Horses and equine animals imported to Finland 

    All equine animals imported to Finland (incl. the Åland Islands) permanently (for more than 90 days) must be entered in the official database within 30 days of import. Suomen Hippos recommends that the identity of all horses be verified by an identifier authorised by a horse breeding association. At the same time, the horse can be entered in the studbook. Participation in trotting race and studbook activities requires that the horse is registered according to the rules of the studbook. The horse can be entered in the official database alone by submitting the horse’s identification document, a copy of the Traces health certificate and the database form to Suomen Hippos. In addition, export certificates apply to the international competition activities of horses that participate in trotting races.  

    Read more:
    Djuravelsverksamhet – Livsmedelsverket (ruokavirasto.fi)
    Animal breeding – Finnish Food Authority  

  • Owning a horse is an inspiring and highly rewarding hobby – in fact, it is a lifestyle choice for many. Horse ownership keeps abreast of the times: nowadays, a horse can be owned by an individual or jointly by a group, for a fixed period of time or for the lifetime of the horse. Joint ownership, co-ownership, various leasing agreements and renting a horse make ownership possible without excessive financial investment or full-time commitment. 

    The owner of the horse is responsible for taking care of the horse’s day-to-day well-being. Regional horse breeding associations whose activities include diverse advisory services support horse owners in ensuring that the everyday life with a horse runs smoothly. 

    The horse owner is also responsible for ensuring that all matters related to the registration of the horse are up to date. The registration of horses also safeguards the rights of the breeder and the horse owner. The horse’s registration data and the owner’s data can be managed through the Oma Talli system. 

    Changes of ownership are only possible for horses entered in the database of Suomen Hippos. Changes of ownership of imported horses and horses registered elsewhere are made at the time of entry in the database. 

    The change of ownership must be submitted to the register of Suomen Hippos within 14 days of the transaction. 

    A new stable name or co-ownership are always subject to separate registration. The new stable name or co-ownership must be registered before the notification of the change of ownership is submitted, or the registration must be submitted in connection with the change of ownership. 

  • Suomen Hippos offers a wide range of training and education activities for breeders, owners, young horse enthusiasts and harness racers. 

    Hipposakatemia, Suomen Hippos’ Moodle-based online learning environment, offers various courses, including those for the head coach of horses, depot area stewards, theory sections of C and P driving licence courses, trotting race judges and instructors of children and young people. 

    The course portfolio also includes courses focused on the well-being of horses and introductory courses open to all. 

  • Responsible conduct in all activities is common for the entire equine industry, and all actors can influence it through their own actions and choices.  

    The primary focal points of the responsibility programme for harness racing and horse breeding include ensuring the well-being of horses and people, promoting sustainable management that is open to critical scrutiny, and striving to reduce the environmental impacts of the industry. By reviewing our operations and actions, we aim to constantly strive towards more responsible operations. 

    At trotting races, the horses’ well-being is key: at the event, there is always a veterinarian present with assistants, responsible for ensuring horses’ well-being. The horses are observed in the collecting ring, during the competition and in the stable area. Any negligence concerning horses’ health will be reported further. In addition, special welfare checks are carried out at all provincial tracks, and the participating horses for these are selected by drawing lots.   

    The starting points for ensuring the horses’ well-being include correct handling and prevention of injuries, starting from the schooling stage of each horse. In recent years, the rules for the treatment of trotters have become stricter, and most recently in 2022, the rules governing the driving style were significantly changed: commanding a horse is no longer allowed in trotting races in Finland.  

    Medication of the horse is also strictly controlled at trotting races. Trotting is still by far the most tested sport in Finland, with a significantly higher number of tests taken than, for example, in ice hockey or cross-country skiing. 

    A dynamic trotting and horse breeding community is important for the well-being of people as well. No harassment, threats, bullying or discrimination of any kind is acceptable in equestrian sports, nor in the organisations of Suomen Hippos and its member associations. Hippos’ website includes a separately defined code of conduct for dealing with harassment. In addition to intervening, everyone can contribute to building a safe and inclusive community through their own actions. 

  • Suomen Hippos’ services are aimed at horse owners, breeders and harness racing enthusiasts, competitors and those interested in the equine industry.  

    • For horse owners: Oma-Talli, Registration services, Services for owners, Show activities
    • For competitors: Licences, Driving licence courses, Insurances, the Heppa system
    • For breeders: Heila breeding system, Breeding programmes, Horse breeding subsidies
    • For enthusiasts and professionals in the equine industry: Hipposakatemia courses
    • For the media: You are welcome to join the media mailing list to receive information on current topics and accreditations for events, invitations to media events and the services of our diverse image bank. Media representatives have free entry to events either with a press card or by following the accreditation policy. As a rule, pre-accreditation is required for major competitions, either through Hippos or the organising racetrack. If you would like to join the Hippos media list, you need a link to the image bank or have any other questions, please contact: maisa.hyttinen@hippos.fi. 
  • Email: hippos@hippos.fi or heppa.tuki@hippos.fi 

    Visiting address: Valjakkotie 1D, 02600 Espoo, Finland 

    Postal address: Ravitie 1, 00370 Helsinki, Finland 

    Contact details of our personnel

      the Heila breeding system also in english

    Heppa -equine database