When we think of the horse, it’s no doubt one of the first things we think of is them galloping through an open field with the wind blowing through their mane and the sound of hoofbeats on the ground. In many equestrian disciplines, we have a need for speed: a horse that can carry us to the finish line as quickly as possible, winning the ribbon and being the time to beat. With over 300 breeds to choose from, who is the fastest of them all?
Here are four of the fastest horse breeds in the entire world...
Long-legged and athletically built, the Thoroughbred is the horse for the track. They can hold their speed for quite a long distance. Thoroughbreds racing in the Kentucky Derby usually hold their speed of around 38mph for 10 furlongs (1.25 miles).
Although they did not naturally become the fastest horse in the world, it took over 300 years to perfect the breed.
The Thoroughbred can be dated back to originating in England to three foundation sires – the Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian. Being so agile, the athleticism of the Thoroughbred can be found in many disciplines such as jumping, dressage, and even barrel racing.
American Quarter Horse
The Quarter Horse got its name from being the fastest horse in a quarter of a mile. Built like a brick house, this breed has been clocked at 55mph for a short distance.
Quarter Horses are versatile and can be used in many corners, but they are mainly used in the western world where the most amount of speed in short distance wins the check, such as running the standard barrel pattern in 16 seconds. Being so stocky and fast, these horses can maneuver turns quickly or stop on a dime, making them a much-needed resource on a ranch to sort cattle.
The first thought that comes to mind when the Arabian is brought up in conversation is their beauty, but their speed should be too, especially with a record of 40mph. The Arabian is one of the world’s oldest breeds as well, originating in the Middle East to Egypt areas of the globe, they were used in battle because of their endurance and speed capabilities. Today, this breed is still used for their speed over great amount of distance. If endurance racing is the game, the Arabian is the teammate to have. After all, the Arabian is the backbone of the Thoroughbred pedigree.
The sometimes-over-looked breed the Standardbred also makes the list. Mainly used in harness racing pulling carts, this breed is the fastest at the second gear – the trot. The record speed is held at trotting one mile in 58 seconds, making a 30mph trot. The pedigree of the breed can be traced back to having Thoroughbred input. At the beginning of the breed's foundation and to make the cut to be registered as a Standardbred, the horse had to hold a certain speed over a mile at the trot.
While there are so many other breeds to compete with, it is no doubt that the Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian, and Standardbred will lead the race. All excelling in certain disciplines, these horses are among the fastest breeds in the world. What do you think the fifth fastest breed is? Let us know in the comments below!
About the Author
Dani Buckley is a small-town resident in Montana. She is a veterinary technician manager and mom of eight four-legged kids – 5 dogs, 1 cat, and 2 horses. When she moved back home to Montana, her horses and her dogs moved with her (Carbon and Milo). The pack grew by three when she moved in with her boyfriend, Cody. Altogether there is a German Shepard (Lupay), a Border Collie (Missy), a Blue Heeler (Taz) and her two adorable mutts.
Horse Courses by Elaine Heney
- Listening to the Horse - The Documentary by Elaine Heney & Grey Pony Films
- Shoulder In & Out Training for better balance, bend & topline development with your horse
- Over 110+ Polework Exercises & Challenges to Download
- Dancing at Liberty & Creating Connection with Your Horse (11 lessons) - Grey Pony Films
Her horses are her free time passion – Squaw and Tulsa. Dani has owned Squaw for 17 years and this mare has made 2 trips across the country with Dani! Squaw is a retired rodeo and cow horse. Her other mare, Tulsa, is an upcoming ranch horse. The girls have an unmatched personality and bond with Dani. She has been around horses her entire life and rodeoed throughout highschool and beyond. Now, she enjoys riding on the ranch, working cattle and trail riding.