The first Elitloppet was run in 1952 under the name of Solvallas Jubileumslopp (approximately "Solvalla's Jubilee Race"). Winner the opening year was the German horse Permit. The following year, the event changed name to Elitloppet.
The doping affair in 2006
In Elitloppet 2006, French star trotter Jag de Bellouet won in a record time of 1:09,4 (km rate), with Italian Lets Go in second place. At a press conference a few weeks after the Elitloppet Day, it was announced that both horses had been disqualified due to positive doping tests. Jag de Bellouet and Lets Go tested positive for diclofenac and etacrynic acid, respectively. After the disqualifications, Swedish Conny Nobell was announced the official winner of the 2006 event. The general secretary in the Swedish Trotting Association (STC), Ulf Hörnberg, expressed that the double disqualifications was a "tragedy" for the event.
In 1952-1958 and in 1973, Elitloppet was decided through two heats followed by a race-off if not one and the same horse won both heats. In 1959-1961, when a longer distance was trotted, only a single race was run. Since 1962 (with the exception of 1973), a concept of two eliminations and one final has been used. The number of horses in the eliminations has varied from seven to twelve during these years, but there have always been eight trotters in the final.
The distance has, with the exception of the years 1959-1961, been in the interval of 1,580-1,640 meters. In 1959, the horses ran 3,200 meters, and the two following years, the distance was approximately 2,700 meters.
During the first ten years, 1952-1961, volt start was used in Elitloppet. From 1962 and on, a motorized starting gate has been used, changing the starting method from volt start to auto start.
The Elitloppet weekend
Horses with most wins
- 2 - Varenne (2001, 2002)
- 2 - Copiad (1994, 1995)
- 2 - Mack Lobell (1988, 1990)
- 2 - Ideal du Gazeau (1980, 1982)
- 2 - Timothy T. (1974, 1975)
- 2 - Eileen Eden (1968, 1970)
- 2 - Roquepine (1966, 1967)
- 2 - Gelinotte (1956, 1957)
Sires with at least two winning offsprings
- 2 - Quick Pay (The Onion, Victory Tilly)
- 2 - Alf Palema (Gidde Palema, Torvald Palema)
- 2 - Bulwark (Frances Bulwark, Carné)
- 2 - Epilog (Eidelstedter, Permit)
- 2 - Hoot Mon (Pack Hanover, Dart Hanover)
- 2 - Kerjacques (Eleazar, Jorky)
- 2 - Speedy Crown (Gum Ball, Moni Maker)
Drivers with most wins
- 6 - Stig H. Johansson (1984, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1997, 2000)
- 4 - Johannes Frömming (1962, 1965, 1968, 1970)
- 3 - Leopold Verroken (1976, 1977, 1981)
Countries, number of wins
- 21 - Sweden
- 20 - France
- 8 - Italy
- 5 - Germany combined with West Germany
- 3 - United States
- 2 - Norway
- 2 - Canada