Popular Horse Breeds for Racing

Most Popular Horse Breeds for Racing Success 

Thoroughbred racing is often considered to be the most lucrative and the most popular form of horseracing, however there are plenty of other types of horseracing which require different breeds of horses as opposed to the Thoroughbred breed. Harness racing, endurance racing, and quarter horse racing require different breeds of horses, and while Thoroughbred racing definitely offers the most prestige and the largest prize pools, other forms of racing are still popular amongst both novice and veteran punters.


The term ‘thoroughbred’ is a largely misused term in the world of horse breeding, and purebred horses are often referred to as Thoroughbred even though this isn’t the correct terminology. It may sound confusing, but while all Thoroughbreds are purebreds, not all purebreds are Thoroughbreds! Purebred horses refer to any horse which is bred from two horses of the same breed, while Thoroughbred refers to a type of breed which originated in England during the 17th and 18th centuries. The characteristics of a Thoroughbred are what make it an ideal candidate for racing, but they are also used for other activities such as dressage, show jumping, and polo. An average Thoroughbred is 15-17 hands high, has a long neck, a deep chest, long legs, a lean body, and a certain boldness and strong spirit owing to the fact that it’s a hot-blooded breed.


While endurance racing isn’t as popular as Thoroughbred racing, you could still find excellent horse racing tips NZ for this form of racing. The Arabian breed is one of the oldest breeds in the world and there is evidence of their existence dating back to over 4,000 years ago. Having originated on the Arabian Peninsula, the early horses of this breed were used primarily as war horses and for long-distance treks across the harsh desert conditions. As such, it is believed that they developed their speed and stamina – for which they are still known today – under these harsh conditions.

The head of the Arabian horse is typically a wedge-shape with a wide forehead, their eyes and nostrils are large, and their muzzle is small. They have a long croup, high tail carriage, an arched neck, and Arabians are generally used for endurance riding and show jumping.


Standardbreds originated in 18th century North America when trotting races first began to take place with horses in harnesses, and the breed is still most well-known for its use in harness racing today. Several breeds contributed stock to the Standardbred breed, including Hackneys, Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Canadian Pacers, and Norfolk Trotters, and the breed was official formalised in 1879 when the National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders formed the Standardbred stud book.

There are two types of Standardbreds – trotters and pacers – and although they have slightly different bloodlines, all Standardbreds can be traced back to Hambletonian 10 who is the founding sire of the modern breed.

American Quarter Horses

The American Quarter Horse breed is one of the most versatile breeds and can be used for a variety of equestrian activities. They are often used as show horses, race horses, ranch horses, rodeo competitors, and are very popular as family horses particularly in the United States. A typical Quarter horse has a short head, straight profile, muscular body, broad chest, and well-rounded hindquarters. The name of the breed was derived from their use in quarter racing in which a race takes place over a distance of a quarter mile.

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