Europe - England

Photo supplied by the Thoroughbred Breeder's Victoria

The early origin of the Thoroughbred is largely unknown. Horses that changed their owners also changed their names. During the last quarter of the 17th to the first quarter of the 18th century English noble men and their agents bought eastern stallions and crossed them with a variety of English pedigree mares to create an outstanding racehorse. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I founded famous studs when they imported horses from Italy and Spain to cross with English breeds. Records from the 17th century show that Barb, Barbary, Arabian and Galloway Horses, who were famous racing breeds of their time formed the basis for the modern Thoroughbred. It's well sloped shoulders, powerful hindquarters and long legs coupled with courage and stamina make the Thoroughbred the ultimate race horse. The breed was first mentioned in the General Stud Book, Volume I in 1808.

handsome; refined, elegant outline
Head: refined, intelligent head; large eyes; large nostrils
Neck: elegant
Shoulders: well sloped
Body: short, strong body; great depth through girth giving plenty of room for heart and lungs; strong muscular hindquarters
Legs: long, hard, clean cut limbs, minimum of 20cm (8inches) of bone below knee
Tail: well set
Color: all solid colors, most common are bay, chestnut and brown also grey, black and roan; white markings are acceptable
Height: 14.2 to over 17hh, average 16 to 16.2hh
Temperament: kind, spirited
Qualities: great courage; stamina; easy, ground covering stride at gallop

The beautiful Thoroughbred is an ideal racehorse and very popular in that sport. The breed is also well suited for three-day events and hunting.