Horse Breeds

What are the Best Horse Breeds for Racing? A Guide to the Different Types of Race Horses

When it comes to horse racing, most people consider only Thoroughbred racing. But there are actually a number of other popular forms of horse racing. If you're looking at this sport from a betting perspective, you might also want to consider harness racing, endurance racing and quarter horse racing. These horse race types involve other breeds than Thoroughbreds. Standardbreds, Arabians and American Quarter Horses and other breeds also involved in horse racing. You don't need to know too much about the different types of horse breeds, if you want to enjoy betting and we've got to say that the majority of people who enjoy the sport know nothing at all. However, a little bit of knowledge is not going to be wasted, so we've decided to give you some information on the four main horse racing breeds. So, there you have it. These are the most common breeds of horse when it comes to equestrian events.

Thoroughbreds race in the biggest races in the world

All the big horse races in the world are open only to Thoroughbred horses. There are lots of other forms of racing, but in terms of glamour, profile and popularity, nothing comes close. There's also nothing that can rival it in terms of betting interest either. What is meant by the term Thoroughbred? It's often misused, in that a purebred horse is often referred to as a Thoroughbred. But this is, in fact, an inaccurate use of the term. All Thoroughbreds are pure bred, but not all pure breds are Thoroughbreds. Any horse that's bred from two horses of the same breed can be referred to as a purebred. Whereas, a Thoroughbred is actually a specific breed of horse that was developed in England, during the 17th and 18th centuries. There are certain characteristics of a Thoroughbred that make it the perfect horse for racing and other equestrian sports such as eventing, show jumping, dressage, rodeo, polo and show hunting. On average, it will be between 15 and 17 hands high, with a long neck, deep chest, long legs and a lean body. It's known to be a hot-blooded breed, with a certain spirit and boldness.

The history of the Thoroughbred breed

The Thoroughbred breed was developed by the crossbreeding of native mares with stallions that had been imported from overseas for the purpose of breeding racehorses. Any modern Thoroughbred horse can be traced back to three stallions from the best farms. In the early days of the breed they were bred and raced by just a few wealthy people. However, over the years they have been exported to other parts of the world and the breed has spread.

Arabians – one of the oldest breeds in the world

There is evidence of this breed of horse existing more than 4,000 years ago. It originated on the Arabian Peninsula and was primarily used as a war horse. The desert conditions they were used in were harsh, and they had to travel long distances to help conquer faraway lands and invade enemy camps quickly. It is thought that this led to them developing the speed and stamina for which they are known today. It was trading that led to the breed spreading around the world. A number of the Arabians characteristics were also very popular at the time, and the horses were bought for the purposes of trying to improve other breeds. It is this that led to many other breeds having Arabian bloodlines in their history. The distinguishing features of an Arabian horse are its wedge-shaped head and wide forehead. Its muzzle is small but its eyes and nostrils are large. Often grey, bay, chestnut or black in color, they have a high tail carriage, an arched neck and a long croup. Arabians compete in a number of different equestrian events but they are best suited for endurance riding because of their strength and stamina as well as being commonly used for show jumping and other such events.

Standardbreds were first developed in North America during the 18th century

This breed of horse was first developed when the first trotting races began in the 18th century. It's still best know for its use in harness racing today. They are well suited for this type of sport due to their powerful shoulders and hindquarters. A number of different types of horse have contributed to making the Standardbred breed including Hackneys, Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Canadian Pacers and Norfolk Trotters. It became a formal breed in 1879. At which time the National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders formed the Standardbred stud book. This breed of horse is a little more muscular than Thoroughbreds and tend to have longer bodies. Trainers consider them easy to train and they are very people oriented. Basically, Standardbreds fall into one of two categories. Trotters and pacers. Each have slightly different bloodlines, but both can be traced back to Hambletonian, the founding sire of the modern Standardbred breed. This breed of horse is best suited for harness racing but also takes part in Hunt Seat racing, pleasure riding, horse shows, show jumping, trail riding, horse-drawn carriages, reining and cattle work.

Horse in the snow

A horse breed used for a variety of equestrian activities – the American Quarter Horse

This breed of horse takes part in a variety of equestrian events. They can be show horses, race horses, ranch horses and rodeo competitors. In the US, they are also very popular as family horses. It got its name because it was used primarily in quarter horse racing. This type of event takes place over distances of a quarter of a mile. This breed is will suited because of its ability to spring over short distances. Typically, this type of horse will have a short had, a straight profile, muscular body, broad chest and rounded and powerful hindquarters. Standing between 14 and 16 hands it can be found in almost any color. Although the most common color is sorrel, followed by bay, black and brown.