What is a Thoroughbred Horse?

Thoroughbred Horse Racing

The thoroughbred is best known for its use in horse racing. They are considered to be “hot” blooded horses that are best known for their SPEED! While the thoroughbred is bred mainly for flat racing, they are used in a variety of other equestrian sports such as show jumping, eventing, dressage, polo, fox hunting, and pleasure riding. There are about 37,000 foals registered every year with the North American Jockey Club, making the thoroughbred one of the world’s most popular breed of horse.


The thoroughbred gets its early beginnings in England in the late 1100’s. This is when flat racing became prevalent. All modern thoroughbreds can trace their lineage back to three stallions: the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian. The first general stud book was first created in 1791. The breed was developed further when imported to the US after the American Revolution. As racing and breeding of thoroughbreds became more popular, famous match races were held to publicize the breed. After WW2, the center for thoroughbred racing and breeding became the state of Kentucky. Today Lexington, Kentucky remains the thoroughbred capitol of the world. While thoroughbreds and racing go hand in hand, the thoroughbred has also been instrumental in establishing other breeds such as the Standardbred, the American Quarter Horse, and the Morgan.


 A typical thoroughbred will stand between 15.2 and 17 hands. They come is a variety of colors but the most common colors are bay, dark bay, chestnut, black, or grey. The horse’s face and legs may have white markings, but typically the body does not. The thoroughbred usually has a well chiseled and refined head and long refine neck. They typically have high withers, a deep chest, and a short back. They also have lean and refined bones with long legs to be able to run at speed. They are often spirited in nature and bold in personality. While typically used for flat racing, the thoroughbred has been successful in many other equestrian disciplines such as show jumping, eventing, dressage, hunter, steeplechase, barrel racing, polo, and pleasure riding. In recent years, the thoroughbred has been cross bred into other breeds to create new breeds or enhance the current one. Truly the thoroughbred is a very versatile breed of horse that is built for SPEED!


So if you are considering any equestrian events that require a fast, agile, and spirited mount, look to the thoroughbred breed! To find the best saddle for your Thoroughbred, whether English or Western, visit SaddleOnline today!