The Finnhorse is the only official horse breed solely developed in Finland. It carries the name Suomenhevonen, which stands for “Horse of Finland”. It has become a popular breed due to it being so very versatile. In addition, it is also a very fast trotter and a popular breed for harness racing.
It may be one breed, but the Finnhorse comes in several unique types.
- The best-known type is the trotter. Being very fast, the trotter is the most common Finnhorse type and one of the main reasons the breed still exists.
- A riding type is growing in popularity. This type is the most universal and must perform in dressage, driving and/or jumping.
- The heavy draught type is used for pulling heavy loads and agriculture work, but numbers are very low these days.
- In addition to the above three, there’s even a pony-sized section. Though this type is the rarest of all.
Universal in all types is performance and temperament. Horses must both be workable and being able to work. There are several tests, based on the horse’s type, that will grade each individual horse before it is allowed to enter the studbook. These selection criteria have resulted in a very versatile coldblooded breed with a good temperament and high performance.
By far the most common colour in the breed is chestnut. More than 90% of all horses come in this colour. Variations exist in their shade, including mane and tail (flaxen). Bay, brown and black are rare.
Cream and grey are present but extremely rare. There is only 1 bloodline known that produces grey. Furthermore, pangaré and silver exist in the breed.
Roan, rabicano and splashed white 1 have been confirmed in the breed. There’s also a version of sabino (not Sabino-1). More scientific information on this white pattern is required before anything definitive can be said about their genetics.