Thoroughbreds have bad hooves

English blood

They are slim, elegant and the fastest horses ever: English thoroughbreds. The sensitive horses are primarily bred for racing, but many have a second career as endurance, show jumping or eventing horses. English thoroughbreds are real high-performance athletes and have to be used to their full potential.

Thoroughbred: the born gallop

The crown of horse breeding. This is the English thoroughbred, at least if you ask breeders and lovers. The fast, powerful four-legged friends can gallop up to 70 kilometers per hour in individual cases - an absolute record in the horse world. The breeding is accordingly fully geared towards horse racing. Two xx in the papers behind his name indicate a horse as English thoroughbred.

The horse racing horse is called “thoroughbred” in English - that is, bred throughout and “pur sang” in French - pure blood. The terms actually hit the nail on the head, because today's thoroughbreds have been pure bred for around 30 generations. The pedigrees on the maternal side of every thoroughbred can be traced back to the 17th century, since stud books of this breed, unlike many warm-blooded breeds, have been around for a long time.


The height of the English thoroughbreds is usually between 152 and 173 cm.


There are numerous browns and foxes, but also black horses. Mold are rarer, there are no piebalds.

Physique: lean and muscular

Thoroughbreds have a light, harmonious but muscular build with long legs. The noble head has large eyes and very small ears, and its neck is slender and set low. It ends in a sloping shoulder and a pronounced withers. The chest is broad, the back long and the hindquarters strong with a long croup. The limbs are dry and slim and have prominent joints. Thoroughbreds are often cuffed softly.

They have fine long hair and often quite thin fur. Their corridors are expansive, long and flat and have a lot of thrust. The trot is elastic.

Character: Spirited and intelligent

Some fans celebrate the strong nerves of their four-legged friends on the racetrack, for others, English thoroughbreds are primarily nervous horses who stand out with their jumpiness and horror.

No matter how one interprets the behavior, the breed is undoubtedly very spirited and intelligent. The horses are extremely willing to perform, persevering and can develop fiery character traits. That makes them not a horse for beginners or returnees. Thoroughbreds need experienced and understanding horse people by their side, who convey security. Then they show their friendly, affectionate and people-related side.

Use: Bred for racing

English thoroughbreds are bred for the racetrack. For many, training begins at the age of 1.5 years. With two you will run the first races and with three you will have the lavish races. A distinction is made between standing for longer distances and sprinting for short distances. There are also specialists in steeplechases, races with obstacles.

If thoroughbreds leave racing due to injury or if they weren't fast enough from the start, they are usually sold and “retrained” - their hardness and endurance make them extremely interesting eventing horses. But they can also feel at home in jumping and dressage.

Thoroughbreds have also been used as refiners in the breeding of various warm-blooded breeds for centuries.

Attitude and Diseases

English thoroughbreds are high-performance horses that need exercise and activity. They are considered poor feed converters and it is not uncommon for the horses to receive a lot of oats outside of the racetrack. They often have flat and problematic hooves with low heels.

Three forefathers founded thoroughbred breeding

  • The breed originated in Great Britain, where in the late 17th century domestic mares were paired with imported stallions of oriental origin from the royal stud.
  • The three progenitors of the English thoroughbred are Byerley Turk, probably an Akhal-Teke, Darley Arabian, an Arab thoroughbred, and Godolphin Barb or Godolphin Arabian, probably a Berber. The offspring of these stallions turned out to be extremely fast - so that breeding was systematized on their basis.
  • Darley Arabian is the father of the legendary racehorse Eclipse and the forefather of around 95 percent of all English thoroughbreds living today. On the maternal side, the breed representatives can be traced back to around 30 ancestral mothers.
  • In 1793 the animals were summarized in the General Stut Book, which was closed at the beginning of the 18th century. If a horse is to be entered in the book today, it must have at least eight generations of pure thoroughbreds as ancestors. All other horses are considered half-bloods, even if their whole blood content is close to 100 percent. In the 19th century an attempt was made to open it by crossing thoroughbred Arabs, but the horses became too slow and the book closed again.
  • Racing performance has been relevant to breeding since the 19th century - it was determined in the so-called derbies.
  • There are around 200,000 broodmares worldwide, 2000 of them in Germany. All national breeding associations keep their own stud book. By the way: The breeding of English thoroughbreds takes place exclusively through natural jumping to this day.