Primarily known for racing, Thoroughbred stallions are also popular horses for dressage, jumping, and hunting. These horses are the breed featured in races like the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. Thoroughbred horses have a significant amount of Arabian blood in their background, and these hot-blooded horses are known for their spirit, agility, and speed. Thoroughbreds can run at speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour.
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Name - Thoroughbred
With long, slim legs, muscular hindquarters, and short backs, Thoroughbreds are bred for speed and agility, making them amazing racehorses. Thoroughbred horses are usually between 15 and 17 hands in height and weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds. Thoroughbreds can be found in chestnut, black, bay, roan, brown, Palomino, and white. White markings are permitted below the knee and on the face. Their heads are refined with alert eyes and flat foreheads.
Although many other registered breeds of horses allow conception of foals by way of artificial insemination or embryo transfer, registered Thoroughbreds must be conceived by way of "live cover" through the natural mating of a stallion and a mare. Thoroughbred stallions can breed by the time they are three years of age.
Thoroughbreds are intelligent and curious, taking great interest in their surroundings. They are usually hard working and can occasionally be nervous. Because they tend to be spirited and sensitive, Thoroughbreds are suited for more experienced riders rather than beginners.
In the 17th century, three Arabian stallions were brought to Great Britain and became the foundation sires of the entire Thoroughbred breed. These stallions were bred to British mares, most likely of Scottish Galloway descent. Other important stallions of Turk and Barb blood helped to create the Thoroughbred horse. Stallions and mares were selectively bred with speed and strength as the primary considerations. When the first settlers arrived in the Americas, Thoroughbred horses were not far behind. In the latter part of the 1800s, a Thoroughbred registry was created in the United States to help breeders manage their horses' pedigrees. Thoroughbred racing has contributed significantly to equine veterinary science, since these horses can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In North America alone, there are over 230,000 registered Thoroughbreds. However, they are also common in the United Kingdom and in the Middle East.