A total of 164 reindeer are expected to compete in the race. The PoroCup championship, held 16 times so far in Rovaniemi, has more than 50 years of history.
The PoroCup 2018 (reindeer race) will take place on Feb 24–25 on the Mäntyvaara racing track about eight kilometres off downtown Rovaniemi.
A total of 164 reindeer from across the country are expected to compete in the race in two categories: experienced and fast, and freshers, said the organisers. Eighty experienced reindeer will contest in the first category and 84 in the second.
“This time no reindeer are coming from outside of Finland due to the risk of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) as per the directives of the European Union”, Marja Anttonen, advisor to Reindeer Herders’ Association, told the Daily Finland, adding that the EU has imposed the ban on movement of reindeer from one country to another to contain spreading of CWD.
She said every year a few reindeer would come from Sweden or Norway, but this year only local reindeer will participate in the race.
“We have completed all preparations to successfully hold the reindeer race like the previous year,” said Anttonen.
A large number of visitors are expected to gather to watch the race.
The PoroCup championship, held 16 times so far in Rovaniemi, has more than 50 years of history, upholding the spirit of the Lappish people. This is not only a race, but also a representation of the Lappish culture and people of all ages do enjoy it, the organisers observed.
The PoroCup series is one of the world’s rare reindeer races and has been highly popular in the Arctic throughout its history.
A ticket to the race costs five euros for an adult while the entry is free for children under 16. The subscribers of the Finnish language daily newspaper Lapin Kansa will get free entry. They will have to show their subscription cards to get the privilege.
There will be free bus transportation from the city centre to Mäntyvaara on Sunday at 11:00.
More information about the event can be found on Visit Rovaniemi's web page.
The PoroCup championship comprises five preliminary rounds and the finale. The first round was held at Nuoritta on January 17–18, the second in Rovaniemi on February 24–25, the third at Äkäslompolo on March 2–4, the fourth round in Kuusamo on March 10–11, the fifth in Salla on March 17–18, and the finale in Inari on March 31–April 1.
Another such event, the Reindeer Sprint Race, will be held in the Koskikatu Street of Rovaniemi on March 23.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report