10 Fastest Horse Breeds in the World [UPDATED RANKINGS]

Throughout most of history, horse breeds were judged on their usability in farming, warfare, pulling carts, etc. These days, horse breeds are often judged on horse racing, show jumping and dressage—all sports for our own entertainment

Speaking of races, the Winning Brew, a Thoroughbred set the record of the fastest race ever with a speed of 76.7 km/h over two furlongs at the Penn National Race Course, Pennsylvania.

Interesting, right? Well, wait till you read our list of the fastest horses on the planet.

Top 10 Fastest Horse Breeds in the World

Buckle up, or better yet—saddle up, as this is going to be an interesting ride.

Listed below are ten of the fastest horse breeds in the world.

1. Thoroughbred

Bloodlines: Size And The Thoroughbred - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

The first breed in our fastest horse breed list is the Thoroughbred.

Speed: 44 mph

Weight: 1000 pounds

Height: 16 hh

Type: Hot Blood

Country of origin: England

The Thoroughbred breed is a result of a mixture of the Darley Arabian, the Byerly Turk and the Godolphin Arabian horses. They were first discovered in the 11th century by European soldiers who used them as a mode of travel.

A Thoroughbred’s strong, back legs contribute the most in their speed. Their speed increases as their wallops increase. Thoroughbreds are very active and highly intelligent. And are most commonly used as race horses, owing to their fast speeds.

2. American Quarter Horse

American Quarter Horse - Wikipedia

The second breed on our list is best known to excel at sprinting short distances.

Speed: Up to 55 mph

Weight: 950 to 1200 pounds

Height: 14.6 to 16 hands (or about 57 to 63 inches)

Type: American Warmblood

Country of origin: America

American Quarter Horses were originally bred from Hot Bloods in America. Originated in the 17th century, the American Quarter Horses were initially used by English settlers for trade and travel.

Their strong muscles and heavy chest contribute to their insane speed. Having dense legs makes them excellent runners and their wide eyes make them alert to their surroundings.

American Quarter Horses are usually very calm and intelligent. Their gentle nature helps in training them easily. These horses are mainly used as race horses or show horses for jumping.

3. Standardbred

Standardbred Horse Info, Origin, History, Pictures

The Standardbred are a popular breed of horses known for being excellent harness racers.

Speed: Up to 30 mph

Weight: 900 to 1000 pounds

Height: 16 hh

Type: Warm blood

Country of origin: USA

The Standardbred horses are an interesting breed because of their rich lineage. These horses originated through breeding Narragansett Pacer, Canadian Pacer, Thoroughbred, Norfolk Trotter, Hackney, and Morgan.

These horses have firm legs and broad shoulders that make them excellent runners and contribute the most in their high speed.

Standardbred horses are very calm and they welcome human companionship. Owingin to their nice personality, these horses are a treat to train. This breed is known for its participation in harness races because these horses can easily carry the trot weights for long periods.

4. Arabian

Next up in our list is the Arabian horse.

Speed: 40 mph

Weight: 800 to 1000 pounds

Height: 14.3 hh

Type: Hot Blood

Country of origin:  Arabia (commonly found in the Middle East)

The Arabian horses are popularly known to be the oldest purebreds. And, therefore, this breed is responsible for being the foundation breed for several other horse breeds known to us, today.

These horses have been in existence since 3000 years. At first, they were used in robberies due to their stealthy nature. But, in modern times, people have started using these horses in racing and for traveling.

The Arabian horses have long necks and strong legs which makes them naturally great racing horses.

Arabians are very active and respond well to human interaction. You can learn more about them in this article.

5. Appaloosa

The Appaloosa are best known for their colorful spotted coat pattern.

Speed: Up to 41 mph

Weight: 1000 to 1100 pounds

Height: 16 hh

Type: Warm bloods

Country of origin: North America

The Appaloosa were bred from the infusion of Quarter horses and Thoroughbreds. First discovered in the 15th century, the Appaloosa horses were bred by the Nez Perce tribe for use in war.

These horses have a muscular build with strong legs and necks.

Appaloosas are graceful and intelligent horses and bond well with their masters

Beside horse racing, the Appaloosa horses are most commonly used for eventing, fox hunting, and show jumping.

6. Andalusians

Canadian Society for the Andalusian Horse | Horse Journals

Next up is the Pure Spanish Horse

Speed: up to 50 mph

Weight: 1100 pounds

Height: Up to 15.5 hh

Type: Warm Blooded

Country of origin: Spain

Andalusians are purebred Spanish horses. They were found in the 15th century and were used in trading and travelling, at the time. Owing to their long necks and deep chests, these horses are great when it comes to running at high speeds.

Andalusian horses are gentle and friendly with everyone and are commonly used for long distance racing, show jumping, and dressage.

7. Akhal-Teke

Breed Breakdown - 8 Akhal Teke Horse Facts | EQUINE THEORY

Also known as Golden Horses, Akhal Teke are the seventh fastest horse species in the world.

Speed: Upto 45 mph

Weight: 1000 pounds

Height: 14.5 to 16 hands or 1.5 metres to 1.6 metres

Type: Hot Blooded

Country of origin: Turkmenistan

Akhal Teke horses are purebred. They were used by tribes of Turkmenistan for raiding villages. These horses were also responsible to portray as a status symbol by their owners. The Akhal Teke horses are most popular for their sheen coat of fur, and their uniquely built bodies with hollows and muscular legs help them in carrying huge weights.

Akhal Tekes are very quick to learn and are highly intelligent. These horses are normally sensitive to their surroundings. Moreover, they are able to maintain a strong bond with their owners which has earned them the title of ‘one rider’ horses.

The Akhal Tekes are among the best when it comes to dressage, endurance riding, and show jumping.

8. American Miniature Horse

Miniature horse - Wikipedia

American Miniature Horse comes eight in our list.

Speed: Up to 18 miles per hour

Weight: 150 to 300 pounds

Height: 34 inches (at max)

Type: Cold Blooded

Country of origin: Europe

Bred through selective breeding, the American Miniature horses were first discovered in Europe in 1756. They had strong legs. So, despite being short, they ran faster than other horses of the same size.

At first, the European novelty kept them as pets. But, eventually, Americans imported them and took the responsibility of their selective breeding.

American Miniatures are friendly and gentle with their owners. They are best for carrying heavy loads since they have strong backs.

9. Black Forest

Horse breed: Black Forest

Next up in the world’s fastest horses list is the Black Forest, which is an endangered German breed.

Speed: Up to 14 miles per hour.

Weight: 1100-1300 pounds

Height: 150 to 160 cm.

Type: Cold Blooded.

Country of origin: Germany.

The Black Forest horses are selectively bred. They were first seen in the 15th century. At the time, these horses were extensively used for travelling, agriculture, and farming.

Their broad hooves and short necks make them excellent runners.

Black forests are very low maintenance and gentle. In addition to this, they have a very calm personality. These horses have the ability to carry heavy weights, which is why they are still used in the agriculture industry.

They are also very popular for riding.

10. Selle Francais

Selle Francais Horse Info, Origin, History, Pictures

The last horse breed in this list is the Selle Francais.

Speed: 15 miles per hour

Weight: 1300 pounds

Height: 15.1 to 17.3 hands, or 150 to 180 cm

Type: Warm Blood

Country of origin: France

It was bred by breeding of various French horses. The Selle Fancais horses were bred in 1958 for sport participation, Since, at the time, horses in general were being replaced by machines and people wanted to use them for entertainment.

Selle Francais horses have a strong face profile and muscular legs. They are quick to learn, owing to their high intellect, and easy going. Their most common use is in sports and dressage.

FAQs About the Fastest Horse Breeds in the World

Most of these species have a lot of features in common. So, to distinguish between all the horse species mentioned above, we have assembled a series of FAQs.

What is the fastest horse in the world?

The fastest breed in the world is the Thoroughbred. This is why the majority of the horses in the horse racing industry includes Thoroughbreds. Also, the fastest horse in the world, Winning Brew, was a Thoroughbred with a speed of 43.97 miles per hour for which the Guinness World holds a record.

Thoroughbreds are very active and have a fiery personality. These wonderful species are full of energy, thus, difficult to train. They came into being after the emulsion of the world’s fastest species such as the Arabian and Turk horses.

Moreover, they have a tall and agile body which allows them to jump the highest and further, increases their speed which is why Thoroughbreds are best for racing and show jumping.

What is the strongest and fastest horse?

Draft breeds such as the Belgian Draft Horse are the strongest in the world. They stand up to 17 hands which makes them a large breed of horses. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are kind and gentle with their owners and the farming sector uses them. Furthermore, people who travel by carriages also use them since they are able to pull a weight of 8000 lbs.

When it comes to racing and high speeds:

The fastest horse to cover short distances is the American Quarter horse, because of its enhanced breathing system. While the fastest to cover medium lengths is the Thoroughbred, due to its incredibly strong legs. Finally, the fastest horse to cover long distance areas is the Arabian which has its body built in the desert accustoms it to travel long distances and it has firm hooves.

Which country horse is best?

American Quarter is the best country horse because of its remarkable speed and capability to carry heavy objects. In addition to this, its fast pace gives it an absolute advantage over other species.

Who was the biggest race horse?

Holly Roller was the biggest racehorse ever, with its height reaching up to 18.1 hands and weighing around 1800 pounds. Although Holly Roller was a Thoroughbred and secured 12 wins in its first 25 matches.

It was born in November 1992, in Australia. At first, Holly Roller was unable to stand after birth. Finally, when it did, it was hovering at five feet. In addition to this, its trainers had to design a custom made horse shoe because of its unusual height. 

What is the slowest horse in the world?

The slowest horse in the world is Kingman. It is a Thoroughbred species born in 2011 and is a retired horse. Khalid Abdullah owns it, and John Gosden was responsible for training it. Its speed is around 44 miles per hour.

Now that we’re at the end of the article, let us know which one of these fastest horse breeds was the most fascinating to you?

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