Horse Racing Beginner’s Guide: Different Types of Race Horses

Horse Racing Beginner’s Guide: Different Types of Race Horses


Horse Racing Beginner’s Guide: Different Types of Race Horses


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Horse racing dated about 700-40 BCE, a sport that has literally sustained throughout the ages and is one of the longest-running pastimes for spectators. This sport has drawn an incredible amount of interest and many people have acquainted with different styles of horse racing which most people have grown up from watching it at local tracks or on television.

Interested in horse racing? You might probably be here because you want to learn more since you are still starting out. No worries, this article will help you out on the basics of horse racing. Let’s start first on the different types of horses for races so that you can sort out what type of horse you need for your victory.


The most popular form of horse racing is Thoroughbred racing which many sport’s enthusiasts’ marvels on their speed, grace, and power. This is the biggest race which is only open to Thoroughbred horses. What sets a thoroughbred apart is the breeding itself which can be traced back to a small group of horses from the 17th and 18th century.

Thoroughbred generally begins racing when they reach 2 years of age and can sometimes race until their ages are nearing double digits, although you can retire them before that certain age to take advantage of their breeding with other racehorses. On their 3rd year of age, they tend to hit their full peak of physical maturity at this point and is now eligible for the most expensive and prestigious races. Consider joining them in grade 1 stakes races like Pegasus World Cup Championship.

Characteristics of a Thoroughbred

With their physical appearance of having a long neck, deep chest, lean body, and long legs, thoroughbred is average with 15 and 17 hands high. They are known for their strength, speed and athleticism, added with their spirit and boldness due to their hot-blooded nature.


One of the oldest breeds, the Arabian breeds are known to have existed for over 4,000 years which has originated at the Arabian Peninsula with its main purpose as war horses in the early era.

This breed was used for both long-distance treks to faraway lands in harsh desert conditions, with their ability to invade enemy camps swiftly. Because of this, it’s believed that they developed their speed and stamina during this period and is looked up to till this day.

Characteristics of Arabian

The Arabian horse breed has several distinguishing features, such as their wedge-shaped head with a wide forehead and large eyes and nostrils with smalls muzzle, a long croup high tail carriage, and an arched neck. Arabians are considered as a versatile breed that can compete in several forms of equestrian activity due to their dominance in endurance riding because of their strength and stamina.


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Standardbred was first developed in North America during the 18th century where trotting races first began to take place with harnesses on horses, and up until this day, this breed is still best-known for its use in the harness racing.

There are several types of horses which contributed to the stock to this breed. This includes the Morgans, Hackneys, Canadian Pacers, Norfolk Trotters, and Thoroughbreds. In 1870, this breed was officially formalized when the Standard stud book was formed by the National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders.

Characteristics of a Standardbred

This type of breed is quieter and is more tolerant of mistakes than the hot-blooded Thoroughbreds. You may find this type of horse accustomed to standing patiently in cross ties for hours and can be left satisfied on the premises alone, you can say that they have exceptional ground manners.

Additionally, these horses are durable with exceptional endurance, not only that, this type of horse excel on trails and is not spooked out easily. With their muscular and longer bodies, they are considered to be easy to train and is very people oriented.

American Quarter Horse

This breed is used for a variety of equestrian activities, which can also be show horses, ranch horses, racehorses, and rodeo competitors. The American Quarter Horse is also popular as family horses and is the most popular horse breed in the United States.

If you’re wondering where it got its name then here it is, it got its name from being used competitively in quarter horse racing, which usually takes place over distances if a quarter of a mile.

Characteristics of the American Quarter

An average Quarter Horse has a short head, muscular body and a straight profile with a broad chest and a rounded and powerful hindquarter. This breed stands somewhere between 14 and 16 hands and comes in nearly all colors with sorrel, a brownish red color, as its most common color.


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As a beginner, you surely would want to know more to the best of your ability about horse racing, right? Thus, researching is essential for you, why not try visiting sites about racing as a way of reference? In doing this, you might start setting up your route in horse racing, from horses to the different races itself.

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