The Finnhorse is a descendant of the northern European domestic horse and resembles such breeds as the Estonian Native, but its exact descent is unclear. The earliest signs of this horse date back to the Bronze Age, and its known history is about a thousand years old. It has played an important part in all the events of the Finnish history, being used for various military purposes and as a workhorse. The present-day Finnhorse is purebred: no outside influences have been allowed since the studbook of the breed was established in 1907. (While accidental and even intentional Finnhorse crosses are born sometimes, the resulting animals tend to neither look good nor perform well.) The studbook is kept by Suomen Hippos, the Finnish Trotting and Breeding Association. In 1924, the breeding programme of the Finnhorse was divided in two branches, the heavier draft and the lighter all-round horse. In 1971, four branches (draft, trotter, riding horse and pony-sized horse) were established.
The Finnhorse or Finnish Horse (Finnish: suomenhevonen, pet name: suokki) belongs to general horse breeds, having both warmblood and heavier draft blood influence and characteristics. The breed is also called the Finnish Universal in English, because it is said to fulfill all needs for horses in Finland, from agricultural work to speedy harness races to riding. Finnhorse is the only native horse breed in Finland. The Finnhorse is among the fastest and most versatile coldbloods in the world.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Finnhorse".