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The Thoroughbred Horse began in England. First Racing Stock showed minimal speed, but plenty of endurance. These early mares were bred to Stallions of Barb, Arabian and Turkish descent in order to try and purposely increase the speed of the Thoroughbred. From 1689 until 1730, these 3 breeds were selectively line and in-bred to Thoroughbred Mares to improve upon the Thoroughbreds' speed. In 1733, a filly by Gondolphin Barb was imported to the USA, that was out of a British Thoroughbred mare.
The American Stud Book was first published in 1873, and was purchased by the Jockey Club in 1894, and continues to register American Thoroughbreds.
The Thoroughbred, being primarily a running/racing horse, is excellent in many other disciplines, such as Hunters, Jumpers, 3 Day Eventing, Dressage, Steeplechase, and Gymkhana games. The American Thoroughbred is notorious for their great heart & gameness in competition and keen scope and sense in negotiating obstacles and distances. The Thoroughbred is from 15.2 hands to 16.3 hands in height. Any color. Thoroughbreds have long sloping shoulders & muscles, short cannon bones, long forearms, great length from hip to hock. Generally considered a "hot" breed of horse, there are exceptions to every rule, however most Thoroughbreds do require a fairly experienced horseman.
Several famous Racing Thoroughbreds include the great Man 'O War, Secretariat (many of who's track records still have not been beaten), Northern Dancer, Cigar, Silver Charm.
The world famous Triple Crown racing series, held every year, starts with a mile and eighth at The Kentucky Derby in Kentucky, the first Saturday of May; followed by The Preakness Stakes running a mile in Maryland two weeks later; and finishes with The Belmont Stakes running a mile and a half in New York City three weeks later, usually the first Saturday of June.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|