Tapio Perttunen
Professional driver & trainer

Tapio Perttunen is one of Finland’s best-known and most successful drivers and trainers of trotters. Perttunen was born in Pelkosenniemi in 1956, and he has a great list of victories; three Trotting King titles, one Trotting Queen title, two Breeder Crowns, victory in Suur-Hollola Race, and many other achievements. In 2014 Perttunen was the fifth driver in Finland to have won 5,000 races. Perttunen has driven over 45,000 races.

Perttunen, who is from Pelkosenniemi, Lapland, grew up in a home of trotters. His father had Finnish horse trotters, so trotting races were part of the boy’s everyday life from a young age. Perttunen drove his licence as soon as he turned 16. His first race was in 1973 in Sodankylä with the horse Ponnetar, with the result being fourth. The fourth start in Kurtakko brought the first of many wins. Later Perttunen travelled to southern Finland to train, and he is still on that journey. At the age of 25, Perttunen started his own stable, and at the same time, his mare Hipo won the Trotting Queen title. Perttunen moved his stable to several locations and eventually settled in Orimattila near Lahti. One can still find Perttunen in Orimattila, and on race days this smiling driver is often seen in Wahlstén’s store giving out tips for upcoming starts.