Columns Mauno Koivisto’s gift horse was not seen in the mouth, even though the companion brought to Finland was smaller than donated

The foreign policy scandal was averted when the papers were put in order despite the change of horse.


A series published in this column for some time (HS 12.5., HS 20.5., HS 3.6., HS 6.10.) The Finnish ambassador to Moscow started a horse parade about a possible parrot.

So it is high time to return to the horses, even temporarily. And not to any horses, but to Central Asian gift horses.

The horse donated by Turkmenistan to the British Prime Minister, in whose 1993 customs report the parrot appeared, was no exception. The previous year, President of the Republic Mauno Koivisto had received his own gift horse during his visit to Kazakhstan.

It was a handsome and brave donut horse. In the newspaper photos, Koivisto sat on its back.

A few A month later, it became known that the horse was on a train on its way to Finland.

The exact time of arrival was not known, so the then Lappeenranta city veterinarian Ossi Kemppa was asked to be available at night. He once was a border veterinarian who would approve the import.

One night the phone then rings. An ox carriage, including a horse and two Kazakh escorts, had arrived at the border.

The escorts had all the certificates with round stamps.

It was in fact, only one problem that Kemppainen, who was on the horse show judging panels, immediately noticed. The horse of the wagon was certainly not the magazine horse that Koivisto got in Kazakhstan.

This was clearly smaller than the original, and certainly not a breeding stallion.

“The forelegs were strongly in the saber and the goats were noticeably erect, the curved hocks in the hind legs were eye-catching,” Kemppainen recalls.

Had to decide quickly how to react. The danger was a foreign policy scandal. However, it seemed that the recipients from Helsinki had also noticed the same as Kemppainen and accepted the situation.

“The gift horse’s mouth is not looked at,” Kemppainen decided.

The papers were repaired. The horse went into quarantine. In time, it ended up at Ypäjä Equine College. Kemppainen later wrote a funny memoir about the book published by the Finnish Literary Society in 2013 From cow to leopard.

And it didn’t really bother that a little more crappy individual arrived. After all, the horse was not given to Koivisto but to the President of the Republic, and the institution had no plans for it.

And the most important thing in a gift is an idea.

The author is HS’s Moscow correspondent.


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