About Sweden

Welcome to Sweden, Uppsala and Stockholm – a place for horse lovers
It is a pleasure for the local committee to organize the 11th ICEEP. Sweden is a country of horse lovers. Sweden has more horses per capita than any other country in the European Union and is, after Iceland, the most horse-dense country in Europe. Riding is the second largest sport among young women in Sweden.

Swedish horses
The two most common breeds are the Swedish Warmblood and the Standardbred trotter. The Warmblood has developed from use in the army and light agricultural work to an international sport horse. The trotters and harness sport has its roots among farmers, who often raced to church on Sundays.


Swedish warmblood Hanson WL and Olympic medallist Peder Fredricson. Together they were ranked number 1 at World Breeding’s ranking 2018. (Photo: Tomas Holcbecher). See more well-known Swedish horses here: https://swb.org/horse-of-fame-eng/

Swedish born Maharajah and international top driver Örjan Kihlström. Together they have won the Grand Prix de l’UET (2009), Prix de Belgique (2011), Prix de Paris (2011), the Olympia race (2013) and also Prix d'Amérique (2014) among many other events. (Photo: Wikimedia commons).

There are three horse breeds that originate from Sweden; the North Swedish draft horse, the Swedish Ardenner and the Gotlandsruss. The Gotlandsruss might be one of the worlds’ oldest breeds and 5000 year old remains of these horses have been found on the island of Gotland.


The North Swedish draft horse is used in forest and agricultural work. (Photo: Elin Nordlund).


The Gotlandsruss is of pony size and it is used mainly for riding, driving or harness racing. (Photo: Pernilla Jobs).

Historically, the wealth of Sweden is based on working horses, forestry, agriculture, mining, engineering and science. There are many examples of the critical position of the horse in ancient literature describing Swedish everyday life. The horse has been a loyal working companion, in the forest and in agriculture. There is an old tradition of carving wooden horses (Rudbeck, 1624) and using them as toys for children and more recently also as decorations. The most well-known wooden horses are from the county of Dalarna and ever since the New York World's Fair in 1939, the Dala horse (or Dalecarlian horse) is an established symbol of Sweden.


Dala horses. (Photo: Lena Holm)