Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Thoroughbred Horses

Basil is Thoroughbred and so this is another of the breeds that I know a bit about, they originated in England.  During the 17th and 18th centuries the English wanted to produce faster horses that were also elegant and admired throughout the world.  

All Thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees back to 3 Arab stallions (see last week's blog) the Byerley Turk who was imported in 1689, the Darley Arabian who arrived in 1705 and the Godolphin Arab who came to England in 1728.  The Thoroughbred was quickly exported around the world and is established as a racehorse.  Thoroughbreds in each country have been bred with slightly different strengths.  In England and Europe stamina has been as important as speed whereas in the U.S. shorter distance runners were favoured and in Australia and New Zealand the Thoroughbred has  become tougher.

This picture is of Persimmon a Thoroughbred horse bred and owned by Edward IV.  He won 7 of the 9 races he ran.  His sire is St Simon - who is also in Basil's bloodline - showing again how all of the English Thoroughbreds link together.


Height: 14.2 hh - 17.0 hh

Colour: Any colour, although Bay, Brown, Black and Chestnut are more common.
Conformation: Fine and intelligent heads with bright eyes.  The neck is sleek, elegant and arched and the withers are usually high.  They typically have a deep chest, sloping shoulders and a short body.  The body is lean and the back is strong.  A Thoroughbred horse has powerful quarters and long, strong legs.

Temperament: Can be highly strung and high spirited but bold.  They are considered to be 'hot blooded' horses like the Arab.

Thoroughbred horses tend to have smaller hooves with thin soles and walls which means they are often prone to sore feet and crumbly walls.  Certainly Basil has 'difficult' feet.  

Thoroughbred horses are mostly used for racing however, they are increasingly used in other disciplines such as show jumping, dressage, polo and eventing.  They are often crossed with other breeds to improve stamina and speed.  The Thoroughbred has also been influential in creating various breeds including many warmbloods and the Quarter horse.  

Worldwide there are about 195,000 active broodmares.  In Great Britain about 5,000 Thoroughbred foals are produced each year, in the US about 37,000 and in Australia 18,250.

Thoroughbreds can be difficult and certainly need riding in a more confident but sympathetic manner than many other breeds.  Many people dislike them and say that the breed is difficult and they would never have one.  However, Basil is my 2nd TB horse and I think they are just good fun!

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Until next time!


  1. They werent all arabians but the Turk had alot of influence. Now Known as the modern day Ahkal Teke. There is no way one breed could make an entirely different horse. If you look at the horses features on the Thoroughbred it all makes sense.

  2. Love Thoroughbred horses.They Are just perfect racing horse.Thank You for sharing these blog with pictures from history. https://goo.gl/N2P6JD