Thoroughbred Horses - Kings of Racing
Thoroughbred horses were originally developed for racing competitions in the United Kingdom. As horse races became popular in the 17th and 18th century and with the royal support, breeders began their work for achieving the best kind of horse for these races.
Breeding was done by crossing some English mares with Arabian stallions. The mares came from various breeds such as the Irish hobby but even today’s Thoroughbreds can be traced back to only three Arab stallion ancestors.
The original Thoroughbreds were bred to compete when they were older but selective breeding was done to make it possible for them to develop faster and thus compete younger. This led to new racing records being set.
Due to their high quality and racing becoming popular elsewhere, Thoroughbreds quickly spread worldwide. As their popularity grew and more cross-breeding was done, strict guideline were introduced. If a horse was not a descendant of the three founder stallions, it could not be registered as a Thoroughbred. Artificial insemination was also banned as it was difficult to determine whether the stallion used was a true Thoroughbred in these cases.
These horses are primarily bred for racing. Due to their speed and agility they have also been used in showjumping and eventing. In America they are a popular choice for polo and western riding. As many Thoroughbreds have retired from racing after their prime years, they are also used in dressage and in recreational riding when older.
Thoroughbreds are characterised by a long neck and legs and high withers. Their back is often short and they vary in height from 15.2 to 17 hands. Thoroughbred horses can be of several colors and their nature is bold and spirited.
Potential buyers should always demand a full veterinary examination to be carried out. Due to their intense breeding for racing purposes, Thoroughbreds can suffer from orthopaedic problems and their bones develop fractures easier than other breeds.
They are also known to have foot problems as their hooves are smaller than usual. It is essential to find out about their breeding as this will prevent buyers from purchasing a horse with a history of genetic diseases in its family. A well-bred Thoroughbred is not only the king of racing but also a light mount for various other uses.
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