COMMON HORSE BREEDS
Photo supplied by the Brentwood Lodge / Standardbred Pleasure &
Performance Horse Ass. of Victoria ©
Photo taken by Julie Wilson Equestrian Photography ©
The English Thoroughbred Messenger, foaled in 1780, was the foundation sire for all
Standardbred horses, even though he only raced at a gallop. In May 1788 he was exported to
Philadelphia, USA where he stood at stud for twenty years. Another important influence to
the breed was the Morgan Horse and the Clays, a descendant of a Barb stallion imported
from Tripoli in 1820. Over the years the characteristic gait developed and most
Standardbreds prefer the trot or pace over the gallop. The appearance of the breed is not
as refined as the Thoroughbred.
During the last two centuries harness racing became very popular and many countries
imported Standardbred Horses to improve their own trotters and pacers. In 1871 the first
register for trotters as published and eight years later the term Standardbred was
introduced. Horses to be registered had to measure up to a "standard", being
able to run 1 mile (1.6km) in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. As the breed became faster the
time was reduced. Standardbreds race either at a trot which is a diagonal pace or at a
pace which is a lateral gait and slightly faster than the trot.
Head: not well refined head, sensible expression
Shoulders: long, sloping
Body: powerful, long body; high croup
Legs: fairly short
Color: all solid colors, predominantly bay, brown, black and
Height: 14 to 16hh
Weight: approximately 800 to 1000 pounds
Qualities: great trotters and pacers
The Standardbred is extremely popular and successful in harness racing. Most pacing race
horses wear hobbles to encourage them to maintain the lateral gait. They are also good
all-round riding horses.
|This colored stallion is one of the
rare colored Standardbreds. Only about 165 breeding stock are available world wide.
Photo supplied by the Standardbred Pleasure & Performance Horse Ass. of