What to Know About Thoroughbred Race Horses

The thoroughbred breed was actually created during the 17th and 18th centuries when mares from England were bred with Arabian stallions brought to the country. Later, the thoroughbreds were shipped to other countries including America, Australia, Japan, and Europe. Now close to 120,000 new thoroughbred foals are registered around the world each year.

In addition to being used as a racehorse, thoroughbreds are also a popular choice for dressage, foxhunting, polo, and jumping events. In some cases, the thoroughbred is crossed with another breed in order to create a horse with certain desired traits.

Due to the exertion that thoroughbreds give during their workouts and sports, they often experience medical troubles and injuries. The breed is also more likely to develop complications such as low fertility, lung bleeds, and small hearts compared to body size.

The thoroughbred breed, often called a purebred, can be identified by several distinct characteristics. They are typically a taller horse ranging from a little over 15 hands high up to 17 hands in height. They are usually seen in shades of brown, black, and gray. These colors include bay and chestnut. In rare cases, the horse may be seen in palomino or roan. While white is considered acceptable on the face and legs, it is not recognized by breeders as being an appropriate marking on the body. The body is reserved for one color only.

The ideal body of a thoroughbred has a short back with withers high near the neck base. The neck and legs are long and the body is slender. These horses have a short back and deep chest. The personality of a thoroughbred should be spirited.

For racing purposes, the date of age of the thoroughbred has been set by the calendar rather than the actual birth date. When racing in the Northern Hemisphere, the thoroughbreds gain a year of age at the first of each year in January. If in the Southern Hemisphere, the horses age a year in August.

Depending on the skill and popularity of the particular horse, buying a thoroughbred may be quite costly. In 2007, the average cost for a thoroughbred foal weaned from the mare was over $ 40,000. A one-year-old thoroughbred costs around $ 50,000 and two-year-old thoroughbreds averaged a cost of over $ 60,000. A thoroughbred mare averaged just over $ 70,000. Racing thoroughbreds with a good race record can cost over $ 1,000,000.

Thoroughbreds are considered a very valuable breed of horses in many sports. However, purchasing a thoroughbred is not something to take lightly. Only those experienced with handling, raising, and caring for the breed should own a horse of this type.

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