Horse racing is a sport that is steeped in history and tradition. There are some quirks in the sport that we love and do not stop to question for too long because they are simply part of the sport that we all know and love. As well as the traditions surrounding clothing and other social etiquette, there are also horse breeds that we traditionally associate with the races. In this guide we focus on horse breed and provide you with your ultimate horse breed guide.
American Quarter Horse
Quarter horses are renowned for their speed. A quarter horse holds the record for the fastest horse over any distance with an impressive top speed of 55mph. The quarter horse has been a popular breed for hundreds of years. The breed first came to prominence in colonial America. They were used for speed and were used as race horses very early in their existence.
In America, quarter horses traditionally race over eleven distances ranging from 220yards to 870yards.
This is the horse breed that bettors and spectators are most likely to be knowledgeable about as they are very popular when it comes to horse racing in the UK. Many of you will be familiar with The Triple Crown as a race into which only thoroughbreds can be entered.
The thoroughbred stems from the Roman occupation of Britain during which time three Arabian sires were crossed with British mares to produce what we now know as the thoroughbred breed. This breed of horse traditionally favours races that are close to a mile in length as they are able to pace themselves well over this distance.
This breed is known for its elegant looks and many of the world’s most well-loved and attractive horses are Arabians. This breed was originally bred on the Arabian peninsula for use in war. As you would expect, the horses are sturdy and hardy as they had to survive the harsh desert conditions whilst also engaging in combat. Having this heritage makes the horses excellent for racing and ensures that they are robust and resilient. Their hardiness makes Arabians popular in insurance racing and they are often used in multi-day events that see them run over distances that can reach upto 100 miles in length.
This breed wins the award for being the most difficult to pronounce, that’s for sure. The horses are used mainly in the Western USA, and are somewhat iconic in the region. They are very distinctive as they have a speckled coat that mixes brown and white together. In the UK, they are popular in fox hunting and for show jumping. In America, they are popular in the sports of roping and reining. However, they are also raced in the US and there is a club dedicated to the racing of the horses.
One of the first breeds to be used in horse racing, the Akhal Teke is an animal known for both its speed and endurance. They are similar to thoroughbreds, but are smaller and more nimble. They are often considered to be the ‘original’ racehorse.