North America

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.

powerfully built
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 chestnut
Height: 14 to 16hh
Weight: approximately 800 to 1000 pounds
Temperament: kind
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.  rare coloured standardbred
Photo supplied by the Standardbred Pleasure & Performance Horse Ass. of Victoria