Whether they're meant to look pretty in a pasture or bring home purses of prize money, every horse offers something unique. But even still, horseback riders, owners, and investors are willing to pay big bucks for certain kinds of horses. It's part of why the horse world is often associated with a luxurious lifestyle, and it's impossible to ignore the dollar signs. Some of the most expensive horse breeds in the world are worth more than the average family home.
Determining a horse's worth isn't an exact science, and there will always be deviations in what an individual is willing to spend. But when you look at the average prices, there are a few horse breeds that stand out as the most expensive.
Ending with the most costly horse ever sold, here's a look at some of the most expensive horse breeds in the world.
As one of the rarest horse breeds in the world, it's no wonder the Akhal-Teke also makes the list of the most expensive. It's the national horse of Turkmenistan, and there are thought to be less than 8,000 Akhal-Teke horses in the world.
Besides being an incredible endurance horse, the Akhal-Teke is best known for its beautiful coat. Take a look at one of these gorgeous horses, and you might mistake it for being metallic. A special hair structure creates an incredible shine that makes the Akhal-Teke stand out from any other horse breed.
The price for a full-blooded Akhal-Teke varies depending on breeding, location and training. On the international market, a serious buyer might spend $100,000 on a well-bred horse.
The Arabian horse is one of the oldest, and most popular, horse breeds. People from around the world recognize their unique facial structure and graceful carriage. Besides their physical traits, Arabians are also preferred for their willingness to work with humans. They typically respond well to training and have historically shown true loyalty toward people they care for.
Today, Arabians are a versatile horse breed that have both speed and endurance. They compete in a wide range of equestrian sports. The breed has also been used as a foundation to shape other horse breeds. The Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse have both been linked to Arabian bloodlines.
Thanks to their gorgeous looks and versatility, a well-bred Arabian horse could cost you anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000. That's more than a small house, but it's nothing compared to the 1.4 million Euro that an Arabian mare named Pepita sold for in 2015.
3. Dutch WarmBlood
If you're looking for a performance breed to bring home some serious prize money, a Dutch Warmblood could be your answer. As one of the most expensive horse breeds in the world, the Dutch Warmblood is one of the most successful competition breeds. Traced back to the Netherlands prior to World War II, this powerful horse is regaled for being both stylish and strong.
Most Dutch Warmblood horses are solid colored and their colors including black, bay, gray, and chestnut. Their physical traits are matched with easy temperaments that make them a joy to work with.
While a Dutch Warmblood named Totilas once sold for over $13 million, EquineNow lists saddle trained Dutch Warmbloods between $10,000 and $75,000.
Another expensive horse breed out of the Netherlands is the Friesian. Historical documents indicate the breed has been around since at least the 1200s. After centuries of breeding, these graceful horses are a common favorite among horse lovers.
The Friesian's glossy black coat and high-stepping gait are recognized all over the world. And while they have striking good looks, these horses are also valued for their carefully bred temperaments. They're typically willing to learn, intelligent, and friendly.
Rigorous breed standards and a high demand among serious equestrians mean well-bred Friesians don't come cheap. A foal with good conformation typically won't be less than $7,000. A show-ready Friesian could cost around $50,000. Meanwhile, a top-quality horse from a renowned breeder could put you back more than $100,000.
Best known for their incredible speed, Thoroughbreds hold more racing world records than any other horse breed. They're stars on the track, and they also succeed in other equestrian sports including jumping and dressage. Their fiery spirits can make them difficult horses for beginner riders, but for the experienced equestrian, a Thoroughbred horse can be a joy to ride and train.
Many of the world's most famous horses are Thoroughbreds. Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, was a Thoroughbred, and so is the latest Triple Crown winner, American Pharaoh. They've been bred for centuries to be explosively fast and agile. Those traits and the potential for prize money have always contributed to the breed's high price tag.
In fact, the most expensive horse to ever be sold at auction was a Thoroughbred. Fusaichi Pegasus was sold as a yearling for an incredible price that's believed to be between $60 million and $70 million. He went on to win the Kentucky Derby in 2000.
Few horses come close to the price of Fusaichi Pegasus, but a top-quality Thoroughbred with solid bloodlines could still cost several million dollars. If you're interested in having a Thoroughbred of your own, but don't have that millionaire status, you could adopt an OTTB for a few thousand or a well-trained horse for somewhere around $30,000.