We are familiar with thoroughbred horses in the USA because of their exclusive popularity in flat racing. However, Thoroughbreds that do not race often find careers as riding horses or driving horses. Some breeders usually breed them exclusively as riding horses. Sometimes, breeders also crossbreed them with other leading breeds to raise draft horses and sports horses. You can find out more about the best-performing Thoroughbreds of this season on TVG.com.
Defining features of Thoroughbreds
They are known for a long, lean neck, lean body, a deep chest and long flat muscles. Their unique muscular builds often contribute to their defining speed and agility. They have balanced, well-angled shoulders and powerful haunches. Most Thoroughbreds we see in the flat races are noticeable for their powerful built and athletic bodies.
Careers of Thoroughbred horses
Aside from their primary roles as racehorses, they also successfully participate in jumping, hunting, and dressage. Many perform as trail horses and yet others who work as pleasure driving horses. The off the track Thoroughbreds or OTTBs can add defining characters to other breeds by crossbreeding. For example – many breeders cross Arabian horses with Thoroughbreds. It gives rise to the Anglo-Arab breed. They are exclusive in Chuckwagon racing and regular riding.
Identifying colors and marks
People expect Thoroughbreds to look uniform since most indeed all of them come from one of the 3 famous Thoroughbred bloodlines. However, Thoroughbred genetics can be baffling. They come in all colors and patterns. Markings like blazes, stars, and socks are standard. Many breeders even selectively breed stallions and fillies to create such unique defining marks on their foals. The most common color of Thoroughbreds is undoubtedly bay or dark brown. People prefer to see a darker color in their Thoroughbreds. However, you might find the odd cremmelo or palomino among Thoroughbreds in flat racing as well.
Interesting facts about Thoroughbreds
They originated from either one of the 3 stallions back in the seventeenth and eighteenth century in England. If you have a Thoroughbred stallion, it is likely he is a successor of Godolphin Arabian, Darley Arabian or the Byerly Turk. They are the golden spawns of selective breeding of horses that started back in England about 300 years ago!
All Thoroughbreds born in the northern hemisphere share the same birthday – January 1st. All born in the southern hemisphere have their birthdays on 1st August. It was created by organizations taking care of Thoroughbred bloodlines. It just makes keeping track of their pedigrees a lot easier.
That is why many interested buyers shy away from buying horses that have actual birthdays close to 1st January. Any foal born on the 31st of December will have much lesser experience and training capacity compared to one born on the 2nd of January the same year, although both are likely to have their birthdays on the 1st of January. Technically, a one-day-old-yet-one-year-old will not have much maturity compared to an actual one-year-old horse.
Thoroughbreds like Laudanum and Lady-killer find their place in the Halls of fame just because of their winning performances, revolutionary contribution to horse racing and of course their natural love for speed. It has secured a place for thoroughbred horses in horse racing and equestrian sports forever.