Thoroughbreds Racing

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

The Arabian played a major role in the development of the Thoroughbred (hunter type), which originated in England in the 1600s. All Thoroughbreds can be traced back to the lineage of three foundation sires.

The Darley Arab, Byerly Turk, and Godolphin Barb were imported to England for the purpose of increasing the speed of horses for sport racing. These sires were bred to royal mares to produce the characteristics that were introduced in 1733 to America by Thoroughbred imports.

The Thoroughbred is a lean and angular horse that carries a long neck and elegant head. Powerful hindquarters and a sloping shoulder help give the Thoroughbred speed and endurance.

Most Thoroughbreds stand approximately 16 hands and have solid coat colors such as:

  • Bay
  • Brown
  • Chestnut
  • Black
  • Gray

Thoroughbreds are fast and spirited, which makes them extremely suitable for racing, jumping, hunter riding, and improving genetic traits through crossbreeding.