Thoroughbred

Family: EquidaeThoroughbred, Picture of a ThoroughbredEquus caballusPhoto Wiki-Commons: Courtesy USDA image by Bill Tarpenning
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My TB can jump 1.35m easily!! TBs' are amazing  Anonymous

   The Thoroughbred is the fastest horse in the world and dominates the horse racing industry!

The Thoroughbred evolved in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries, due to an interest in racing. The Thoroughbred pedigree can be traced back to the bloodlines of the three key Arabian stallions, none of which ever raced. Most Thoroughbred genes are derived from only 31 original ancestors, and all descend from these three stallions.

Thoroughbreds are extremely athletic and energetic. They are the most popular breed for sport horse competition and they dominate the horse racing industry. They are also top competitors in show jumping, dressage, and eventing. They tend to be "hot" horses, meaning they are energetic. They can be a lot to handle, so they are generally not good horses for beginners.

The Thoroughbreds are long and sleek, with long legs. They have a fine chiseled head and a straight profile, lacking the Arabian dish of their ancestors. Their bloodlines have been crossed with many other warmbloods to create new breeds as well as improve existing ones. Some of the breeds they have influenced include the Quarter Horse, Standardbred, and the Anglo-Arabian horse.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Perissodactyla
  • Family: Equidae
  • Genus: Equus
  • Species: caballus
2012 Kentucky Derby

Horse Breeds


The Thoroughbred is a light horse breed. These light horses are also referred to as a warmblood or 'hot-blooded' horse. Light horse breeds generally weigh under 1,500 pounds. They are typically used as riding horses for leisure and trail riding. Being agile and swift, many are also used on the racetrack, in the show ring, and for work on the ranch.
Light horses are grouped in a couple of different ways, one being the continent or country where they originated from. They are also grouped according to training, classified as either a stock type, hunter type (sport horse), saddle type, or 'other'. A body type is generally attributed to each class, with the 'other' classification being a bit of an odd ball. It includes those that are color breeds or those that may fit a body type of one of the training classes, but not be used for that type of training. The 'other' types can also include those that may fit into more than one of the type groups.
The horse class the Thoroughbred fits into is the 'Hunter' type class.

Horse Backgrounds


The Thoroughbred evolved in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries where there was a strong interest in horse racing. The British had been breeding ‘running horses' for some time and King Henry VIII founded the first royal racing stables.
The Thoroughbred breed has three founding Arabian stallions, none of whom ever raced! These three principle Thoroughbred pedigree bloodlines include:

  • Byerly Turk - The Byerly Turk stood stud in County Durham and founded the first of the principle bloodlines.
  • Darley Arabian - The Darley Arabian was bought in Syria and brought to the owner's home in East Yorkshire. He was mated with the mare Betty Leeds and produced the first great racehorse, Flying Childers, and Bartlett's Childers whose descendent Eclipse founded the second bloodline.
  • Godolphin Arabian - The Godolphin Arabian was brought to England in 1728 by Lord Godolphin of Cambridgeshire. He was grandsire to Matchem who leads the third line.

All modern Thoroughbreds descend from these three stallions in the male line and 81% of Thoroughbred genes are derived from 31 original ancestors.

Description


Thoroughbreds are usually around 16 hands and the principal colors are brown, bay, chestnut, and black. They have a fine head with a straight profile that does not display the Arabian dish of their ancestors. They are long and sleek, with long legs. They key to their swiftness is the long distance between the hind hip and hock that allows for maximum thrust when galloping and the depth of the girth that allows for maximum lung expansion.
The modern Thoroughbred is bred to mature at an early age because the prime racing years are at 2 and 3 years old. All horses who run in the Triple Crown, composed of the Preakness, the Belmont, and the Kentucky Derby, are 3 year old Thoroughbreds.

Horse Care and Feeding


Thoroughbreds tend to have a fast metabolism so they require more feed for their size than other horses to keep at a good weight.

Horse Training and Activities


Thoroughbreds are extremely athletic and energetic, causing them to be the most popular breed for sport horse competition. They dominate the racing industry, and are top competitors in show jumping, dressage, and eventing. They tend to be "hot" horses, meaning they are energetic and can be a lot to handle so they are generally not good horses for beginners.

Common Health Problems


The Thoroughbred is physically tested to the utmost in horse racing. The results of this are high accident rates as well as other health problems. Some complications they are prone to are constipation, bleeding lungs, a small heart and hooves that are small for the size of their bodies, as well as low fertility.

Availability


The Thoroughbred is readily available throughout most of the world. The most expensive horses in the world are highly competitive Thoroughbreds, usually racehorses, but they can be found very reasonably priced for the common owner.
Thoroughbreds can be obtained at a low price at auctions for ex-racehorses, but these horses "off the track" need a lot of retraining for them to be good pleasure horses or competitors in other disciplines. They may also have injuries from racing at a young age.
If you are not prepared to retrain an "off the track" Thoroughbred, a Thoroughbred already trained for the discipline you want can be found reasonably through classified ads. Again they vary in price depending on training, bloodlines, and performance in competition.

References


Maria Costantino, The Handbook of Horse Breeds, Barns and Noble, 2004
"Thoroughbred", Wikipedia, referenced online 2008 Author: Sandra Lloyd

Lastest Animal Stories on Thoroughbred

Anonymous - 2012-01-23
My TB can jump 1.35m easily!! TBs' are amazing

  • Olivia - 2012-01-27
    wow, mine con only jump one meter!
  • tyequiel - 2014-02-25
    Hey you're right.
Reply
Anonymous - 2012-04-17
Race horses are the fastest horses in the world.
Zenyyata, Secretariat, Sebiscuit and Man of War.

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-21
    Yes they are! and I think Seabiscuit still holds the record:)
Reply
Michelle Byrd - 2013-11-15
I've just adopted a retired 7yr old gelding thoroughbred- just retired in Oct 2013. What I need to know is how do I retrain him to be a regular show, trail, and everyday riding horse? I also need to know how to change his diet to be fed twice a day and thrifty

 

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    It sounds like you need some in-depth help with both training and feeding of your new thoroughbred. I found this site, Training Off-the-Track-Thoroughbreds, which looks like it has help with both of those issues. Hope it helps.
Reply
Olivia - 2012-01-27
Could someone please tell me if TBs(thoroughbreds) or WBs (warmbloods) are better show jumpers, and who are better all-rounders? Thank-you, Olivia

  • Ms. Jeffi - 2012-01-27
    I think WBs are slightly better jumpers but they both make good all rounders. This is just from my own experiences though...
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-27
    If I understand the info correctly the throughbreds are bred from defined warmbloods for specific sport whether racing or jumping so I would go on the basis of what the actual pony is bred for. Thoughbreds are normally bred for a sport. All rounders in handling riding personality is dependent on ancestry and breeding. Easier to judge by the parental linage. Hope this helps.
  • Anonymous - 2012-01-28
    WBs=jumpers TBs=all-rounders
  • ed - 2012-02-15
    I am not sure on on who might be the better jumper but I now my throughbred trusts me and he would jump any thing I would ask him to and he would cross any river. I would hope I would know his limits.
  • shaby - 2012-08-20
    this is my opinion is that wb are better at show jumping and tbs are better at rounder
  • Anonymous - 2013-04-27
    TBs are often crossed with Irish Draughts to make Irish Sport Horses which are excellent all rounders and fantastic jumpers.
Reply
Tina - 2012-09-17
Can anyone confirm, that if a Thoroughbred Stallion is gelded at age 7, that he will always have his stallion bad habits- he is now 8 and being very pushy, taking off, fighting w/ other horses, badly enough to have one swift kick to another horse and killed it. Not a good option to rescue for a teenage experienced rider??

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-18
    Memories - ah those memories.  Most say it would take a year or so for the stallion to calm a bit but many say, he just won't.  He was mature and was a stalion and those behaviors have become part of his personality.  It is possible he may calm down but at 7 - he was a mature male and he will most likely retain the behaviors. 
  • Keeva - 2013-03-01
    Yes most stallions have it in their head from a very young age that there the ringleaderso best be geldedat 2-3 years old.
Reply

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