Are Quarter Horses Faster Than Thoroughbreds

Daniel Brown
• Thursday, 08 October, 2020
• 8 min read

They will quickly reach a high top speed, and they are also the fastest breed when it comes to acceleration. But each horse is different and extensive training also plays a big role.

quarter horses jumping horse faster facts than thoroughbreds morten storgaard april
(Source: animalhow.com)


When we’re talking about the quarter horses that are billed for working with cattle they aren’t a little smaller and more robust. Quarter horses will typically beat thoroughbreds on shorter distances.

Quarter horses are often referred to as the fastest horse breed, and they are built for high acceleration. This is primarily because they are wonderful at accelerating really fast, right from the start.

According to a study that was done by the US National Library of Medicine, the quarter horses will generally run faster at several parts of a race: It’s important to mention here that this test was performed with a standing start.

For the test also showed that during each phase of the race the quarter horses were still beating the thoroughbred. Even when we compare them to Arabians and thoroughbreds which are typically known for being excellent racehorses as well.

This is very impressive when we look at how many horse breeds we find on the racetracks. They have been bred especially to become great at working with cattle as well as for racing short distances really well.

horse quarter thoroughbred vs races
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Therefore, we find two lines of quarter horse types, as we mentioned earlier in the article. Another important thing to point out is that quarter horses are best over shorter distances.

They can do an almost explosive start from the standstill, and they will quickly reach a very high top speed. Quarter horses are typically a little heavier and do well for a spring where thoroughbreds are great over longer distances.

QuarterHorsesThoroughbreds Weight 1,075 pounds (488 kg)1,000 pounds (450 kg) Height 14.2-16 hands (57-64”)15-17 hands (60-68”) Speed Record 55 mph (88,5 km/h)43.97 mph (70,76 km/h) Quarter horses have shorter legs that are a little more compact and muscular than thoroughbreds Quarter horses have broader shoulders Quarter horses have a more muscular hindquarter which is an advantage when it comes to sprinting and acceleration. That makes the quarter horses the fastest horse in a shorter race.

The quarter horses are also excellent at rodeo runs and barrel racing due to their very muscular hindquarters. This is also a great feature with you need to catch cattle that will try to get away by changing direction all the time.

Where the quarter horse was made for working with cattle and sprinting they have bigger muscles and are a little heavier. That being said, you cannot win a race on with the best horse genetically if you haven’t trained it perfectly.

horse quarter horses thoroughbred breeds breed wisegeek spirit
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

So, training has a lot to do with the equation as well when it comes to producing a winning horse for the racetracks. Originally bred in Europe, the thoroughbred has bloodlines that reach back to the Arabian stallion.

This genetic makeup contributes to the thoroughbred's faster speed, which tops out at about 40 miles per hour. The American Quarter horse, bred in early colonial days during the latter half of the 18th century, reaches a top speed of about 55 miles per hour, according to ScienceDaily.com.

In fact, the quarter horse was bred for this very purpose -- to go faster than the thoroughbred, and over a shorter distance. Because of the quarter horse's quick acceleration, race officials start timing quarter horses right out of the gate, while they start timing thoroughbreds after the horses are a few strides ahead of the gate.

He also mentions the record-breaking thoroughbred speed reached by Secretariat at Churchill Downs, Kentucky. On the other hand, an American Quarter Horse on average and is slightly shorter, standing at 56 to 64 inches.

The development of quarter horses usually results in a broad chest, a short head, and a chunky, muscular appearance. Both these horses have solid-colored fur with white markings on the face and below the knees.

horses horse quarter thoroughbred vs american comparison petbreeds
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

For this very reason, an American Quarter Horse is a popular breed for short distance races. They are capable of gaining momentum and increasing their speed continually as the race progresses.

Even if a Thoroughbred had a bad start, there is a high possibility that they will be able to speed up and catch up quickly. In Thoroughbred racing, the horses run out of the gate, but they have a “run-up”, which is the distance before timing begins.

This run-up distance gives the horses a chance to gain some speed before the timing actually begins. This means that the horse, as well as jockey teams, need to be ready to sprint as soon as the gates open, and the timer starts.

When it comes to personality, both horses are warm-blooded breeds, which means that they have been bred for mostly riding and racing. They are often mellow, calm, and collected, and can adapt easily to new environments, new owners, and trainers.

On the other hand, Thoroughbred breed horses are known to be extremely hot-blooded, which is why they are not recommended for anyone who is not an expert. In fact, Quarter horses are native horses and have been around since the 17th century, making them one of the oldest breeds in the US.

fastest land animals quarter horse facts wild know fast should breed american hour per kilometers miles
(Source: www.wild-facts.com)

Meanwhile, Thoroughbred horses were bred for their agility, speed, and athleticism. They are a result of cross-breeding between native mares of England and the stallions imported from Arabian, Barb, and Turbofan breeds.

While Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses may look very similar at first glance, they do have important differences that distinguish them from each other not only in the racetracks, but in the way they are approached and trained. Their difference in build gives them unique advantages that make them such amazing racing horses across the globe.

In the case of a Thoroughbred and a Quarter horse, they do look pretty similar. Both horses are excellent racers, but QuarterHorses tend to do better in shorter quarter -mile races.

Thoroughbred horses, on the other hand, are experts in winning longer races of a mile or more. It is only if you notice closely that you’ll be able to spot a few differing points.

Trait Thoroughbred Quarter Horse Height62 to 68 inches56 to 64 inchesWeight800lbs to 1200lbs1200lbs on averageOverall buildAthletic and lean look Short head, muscular body, broad Chester is a very minor difference in the heights and weights of the two horses. Both horse breeds come in shades of browns, black, and gray.

racing barrel horses head fast quarter headshot mail air horse brother smaller race jess perry mr stallions stallion 8x10 stud
(Source: byairmailquarterhorse.com)

Both the horses have a solid colored body with white marks on their face and below their knees. The Quarter horses tend to live a couple of years longer than the Thoroughbreds.

They are both a common breed in activities that involve racing, jumping, dressage, etc. While most other horses take time to speed up, Quarter horses start at the maximum.

You can hope that a Thoroughbred will win a race even if it had a bad start. If you want a horse for polo games or simply for riding purposes, these minor differences don’t matter.

After that, the two breeds aren’t left with many differences in terms of speed and performance. Thoroughbreds, however, start slower but have the ability to win longer races as they don’t slow over time.

Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses are completely opposite when it comes to personality traits. On the other hand, Thoroughbred horses are not recommended for anyone below an expert level.

horse thoroughbred quarter horses arabian american mustang types breeds thoroughbreds spanish racing standardbreds odd national guide celebrate there ungulates toed
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You will have to work hard to build a trustworthy relationship before the horse allows you to ride it. One major factor to consider before making this decision is regarding their training.

You will have to dedicate double the time to train either of the horses separately. But, the fair few people who do take the risk claim that it isn’t that hard.

There aren’t a lot of differences in the way these breeds perceive instructions. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to manipulate both the breeds on similar instructions.

Since they are racing horses, their lungs must always be in perfect condition to minimize further health risks. They are required to get relevant vaccinations in the early years to prevent any risks in the future.

Regular running further strengthens the lungs of either of the horse breeds. To prevent this terrible condition that may lead to anemia, you should use horse fly repellents.

horse thoroughbred thoroughbreds breeding fastest thorough racing race breeds
(Source: ozpunters.com.au)

If insects or pests have been bugging your horse, I’d highly recommend you to try Farnham SWAT fly ointment. Dental overgrowth, fractures, swelling, and other issues can gradually grow in a horse’s mouth.

Consult an equine dentist if you notice even the slightest dental problem. The Quarter horse originates from the USA whereas the Thoroughbreds belong to England.

However, they are still very different from the Thoroughbreds due to the additional features they inherited from other horse lines. A cross between the native mares of England and imported stallions of Arabian, Turbofan, and Barb breeds gave rise to the Thoroughbreds.

American QuarterHorses are and always have been a popular breed in short distance racing. QuarterHorses have a maximum speed of 55 mph which is considerably fasterthanThoroughbreds.

However, Thoroughbreds are more likely to catch up in long-distance racing as they have enough reserve energy to sprint in the end. Most American QuarterHorses these days carry Thoroughbred bloodlines which is why both horses share a lot of similarities with each other.

horse quarter zan parr bar horses american aqha fame stallion cutting hall sire legends three quarterhorse inductees par breed 1987
(Source: movinga.blogspot.com)

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