Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Rovaniemi hosts Kuninkuusravit on July 28-29

17 Jul 2018, 18:55 ( 3 Months ago) | updated: 18 Jul 2018, 23:41 ( 3 Months ago)

DF Report by Natalia Nikolaeva
Photo Source: Kuninkuusravit 2018

The annual harness racing championship contest ‘Kuninkuusravit’(Royal Races)  this year will take place in the Mäntyvaara race track of Rovaniemi on July 28 to 29.

Around 300 horses and ponies, both stallions and mares, are going to take part in the races, said Jari-Pekka Rättyä, the head of media services for Kuninkuusravit 2018. The last time Kuninkuusravit was held in Rovaniemi was in 2004.

Rättyä said, “In Kuninkuusravit there are two main events for Finn horses: one for stallions and one for mares. The 12 best stallions and 12 best mares are chosen for the main events, and during the weekend they meet three times on three different distances: 2,100, 1,600 and 3,100 meters. The best stallion and the best mare measured by total time are coroneted as the king and the queen of trotting."

In Kuninkuusravit there are two main events for Finnhorses: one for stallions and one for mares. The 12 best stallions and 12 best mares are chosen for the main events, and during the weekend they meet three times on three different distances: 2,100, 1,600 and 3,100 meters. The fastest stallion and the fastest mare measured by total time are crowned as trotting king and trotting queen.

There are going to be smaller races in between the main races. Additionally, four separate races for ponies will be held.

Naturally, the competitors are coming mostly from Finland, as the main events are only meant for Finnhorses. However, Rättyä said, “Participants from Sweden and Norway are also expected to be seen taking part in the side events.”

Thousands of spectators from all over the globe are coming to Rovaniemi to see the races. “We hope to have at least 50,000 visitors during the weekend,” Rättyä said.

The guests will be able to make their bets on horses during the races, as “Betting is an essential part of horse racing and the total amount of betting during the weekend will be several millions of euros,” said Rättyä.

The preparations for the Kuninkuusravit 2018 are going well, said Rättyä, adding that

"Mäntyvaara race track is perfect for arranging and event of this scale. Because of the huge amphitheatre like spectator stand everybody has a place to sit and good view to the track. There is also plenty of picnic area. But should it happen to rain there is certainly enough inside room, tents and other temporary covers for everybody to keep dry.”

The accommodation bookings for the Kuninkuusravit 2018 are managed by a travel operator Lapland Leisure Tours. The owner of the company, Heli Harju said, “At the moment we have some hotel rooms, houses, apartments and cabins available. Hopefully, everyone will get accommodation, but we recommend making reservations as soon as possible.”

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