Interesting Facts about the Thoroughbred

Interesting Facts about the Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred is one of the best-known horse breeds in the world. Even those of us who wouldn’t have the first idea of how to mount a horse, or what the difference between a halter and a bridle is, know about this pedigreed animal, thanks in large part to its domination of the world of horse racing.

But, beyond the wonderful excitement they provide for punters who enjoy horse racing sports betting NZ markets, what else do you know about Thoroughbreds? Take a look at the following facts, and see if any come as a surprise.

Just Three Stallions are to Thank

Every Thoroughbred on earth today can be traced back to three stallions that were made use of as the foundation stock for the breed:

  1. The Darley Arabian
  2. The Godolphin Barb, also sometimes known as the Godolphin Arabian
  3. The Byerly Turk

Kings Owned all the Foundation Mares

The Royal Mares, as they are known, were all owned by James I and Charles I, the kings of England. These are the mares that were bred to the foundation stallions in order to develop the Thoroughbred line.

Enlarged Hearts are Common to the Greats

Secretariat’s heart was between 2.5 and 3 times the size of a normal horse’s, and is estimated to have weighed 22 pounds.

They are World Record Holders

The Thoroughbred is incredibly well-represented when it comes to world records. Several have long-standing achievements, including Winning Brew, who managed to make the fastest speed ever achieved by a horse. The two-year old clocked 43.97 mph!

The most expensive horse to ever be sold at auction was also a Thoroughbred, an unnamed two-year old colt that had never appeared in a race. He fetched US$16 million.

No Secretariat II for the USA

In the United States of America, the Jockey Club oversees the naming of all the Thoroughbreds registered. They do not permit anyone to use names of some of the most famous horses again, including Secretariat.

Thoroughbreds Come in Many Colours

Although around 90% of the Thoroughbreds registered with the Jockey Club in the USA are different shades of brown or grey, they have been known to come in other colours. There is the very rare black Thoroughbred, and a similarly infrequently found white Thoroughbred too. And, although they are not colours recognised by the Club, there have also been buckskin, smoky black, cremello, spotted, palomino, prelino, and smokey cream Thoroughbreds.

They Were Created for Racing

There are horse breeds with uses that have changed over the years, and some were developed without a clear purpose. The Thoroughbred, however, has always been about racing.

Horse racing has been enjoyed since as far back as the 1100s, and the foundation for Thoroughbreds began in England in the 1700s. They were bred strictly for racing over the flat, and this shows in the breed still. They remain the premier racing horse variety in the world, even though they are also used for dressage and jumping competitions nowadays too.

About Doreen Cohen