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Thoroughbred - Horse Breed & Info

Characteristics of the Thoroughbred, neck and head while racing. Thoroughbred Horse Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below

The Thoroughbred horse developed because horsemen can’t refrain from racing their horses to see who is the fastest and the public adores watching and placing a wager, either in money or in adoration of a favorite.


From the time of man’s use of the horse as transportation, races have appeared in each society. In England in the 1600’s a few men brought stallions home for the Middle east to breed to local stock. These stallions, named for their owners were The Godolphin, The Byerly Turk and the Darley Arabian. Today’s Thoroughbred horse as a breed is the result -- horses that can carry weight and sustain speed over distance,

In America, racing was already imbedded in the hearts of the colonists and it is thought that America’s first recorded race took place in the late 1600’s on Long Island. Racing of pedigreed horses began in Maryland in the mid 1700’s.

By using success in racing as the prime test of ability and by breeding the best stallions and mares, it is no wonder with the centuries that have passed that thoroughbred racing has exploded across the globe and that breeding stock has continued to improve over the original foundation stock.

Thoroughbred horses began to arrive in America with the lst import from England of the stallion Bulle Rock, a son of the Darley Arabian. A steady stream of imports followed. The volume of Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States became greater than in and other country with the result being that American bloodlines were then exported world wide.

The legacy of the Thoroughbred as a race horse is extreme, yet Thoroughbred bloodlines and various individuals with prepotency of great characteristics have improved or helped found many, many other breeds now established globally. The serious breeding of the Thoroughbred horse has had vast significance and resulted in the continued improvement of horses in general.


The conformation of the pedigreed Thoroughbred insures the best of runners. They are capable in one stride of flying over more than twenty feet of ground at a speed of 40 or so miles an hour! The great springing power of the hind legs as they reach then straighten drives the horse forward while forelegs pull . The bone of the hind thigh is long, with long, strong muscles and the angle of the bone with the hip is wide.

The long neck of the Thoroughbred horse moves in rhythm with the forelegs, and this creates the long arc when the horse is actually airborne. The neck is long and lighter than is found in most other breeds.

The Thoroughbred is tall (perhaps a little over 16 hands as an average), possessing a very deep, well sloped shoulder and the girth for the heart is also very deep. The Thoroughbred is deep through the heart not only in conformation but in fighting spirit and the love of running and competing is inherent now in the breed’s nature.


A Thoroughbred horse is so well conformed and the heart and intelligence so much present that this breed excels in any wide number of disciplines: Dressage, Eventing, Jumping, Hunting, Steeplechasing and Endurance of course, Polo, and even barrel racing. With their stamina and temperament they do well in recreational riding, therapeutic horses, and as police horses.

A horse so well bred, so well tempered, so well conformed can accomplish most any task, even though they are unparalleled as race horses. The world abounds with the names of famous Thoroughbreds today and through the centuries and many books contain their stories and contributions.

Article © HorseShowCentral.com Photo © Tamara Bauer. Reproduction of any portion of this copyrighted website without written permission of the publisher is prohibited and subject to legal action.

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