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Top Five Racing Breeds


arabian horse1. Thoroughbred
Best known for its usage in horse racing, the thorough bred is a hotblooded horse known for its agility, speed and spirit. It was first developed in England where native mares were bred with imported Arabian stallions. Though used mainly for racing, they are also bred for show jumping, dressage, polo and fox hunting. They are the "go-to" breed for a number of other breeds as they provide a base for many new gene pools. They stand between 15 and 17 hands and are most often seen in bay, brown, chestnut, black and grey, but can also been seen in roan and palomino. It is interesting to know that any Thoroughbred born in the Northern Hemisphere has a birthdate of January first while those born in the Southern Hemisphere are given the date of August 1 to help standardize racing.

2. American Quarter Horse
With great adaptability and an even temperament, the American Quarter Horse is more than a show horse. They are used for trail riding and even by mounted police units. It is an exceedingly popular breed with a population of about 3 million. They are seen in rodeos, on ranches, and in show and pleasure events. The American Quarter Horse stands between 14 and 16 hands and comes in colors from black and brown to bay, chestnut, palomino, buckskin and grey. They were developed back in the 1700's by colonists and were the favorite of settlers moving west, and cowboys rounding up cattle.

3. Arabian Horse
Perhaps the best known breed of horse, the Arabian has a history shrouded in legend with little historical fact. It is known that they existed as far back as 5000 years ago and has been very carefully bred throughout its history. The Arabian is a horse with lean body that stands between 14 and 15 hands. They are used in a variety of shows including hunting, jumping, racing, dressage, trail riding and various working roles. It is interesting to note that only mares have been used historically for war and hunt, stallions were kept solely for stud.

4. Paint Horse
The Paint horse is descended from the mounts brought to the Americas by the Spanish conquistadors. They merged with the wild horses of the western plains and were even believed to be magical by some Native American tribes. They are a nimble and hard working breed that is easy going, intelligent and friendly. Be careful calling them Pintos, however, as most Paints are Pintos but not all Pintos are Pints. They come in two color classes, white with dark markings in a pattern called tobiano and dark with white markings which is known as overo.

5. Appaloosa
The horse that is believed to be a color; the Appaloosa though commonly seen in a color patterned coat can come in solids as well. They are a very versatile breed with great endurance and excellent disposition. Though they can be stubborn, they are also extremely intelligent. Developed by the Nez Perce Indians, they originate in the Northwest of America. They were selectively bred by the Nez Perce who became excellent horsemen with strong, fast and sure footed mounts. The short mane and tail were selectively bred so the horses would not get caught in the brush. Standing at 14.2 hands, this is a light breed used in a variety on contexts including showing and riding.


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