To speak of the thoroughbred horse, I first want to refer to its name. And there are some doubts about its name and how to write it.
When we talk about purebred we are referring to the selected breed in England. In the world of the horse this race is so well-known that it is not necessary to mention that it is English, generally this is implied.
On the other hand the correct way to write is pure blood and not with separate terms, i.e. pure blood. This is stated in the Dictionary of the Spanish Language.
However, we will see how this famous horse breed was selected, its origins and its main characteristics.
Origins of the thoroughbred horse
The passion of the English for horse racing is well known. This passion, which dates back many centuries, was renewed with the idea of creating a breed of galloping, fast and resistant horses.
This is how in the middle of the 17th century they began to set their characteristics in a systematic and orderly way.
However, it is in the early 18th century that three English racing mares are crossed with three stallions of Arab origin (Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Arabian), giving rise to the selection that produced the current thoroughbred.
From these three stallions descend all modern thoroughbreds in direct male line. However, it should be noted that the characters of the breed were also influenced, by about 500 stallions of oriental origin, in the period from the early eighteenth century to the creation of the Stud Book a 1791.
Another interesting fact is that of the hundred mares inscribed in the original Stud Book, about forty have perpetuated their female direct offspring to the present day. This group of mares is called Royal Mars and is the result of rigorous selection through continuous crossing with oriental stallions.
The body that maintains and updates the Stud Book is the jockey Club, Founded in England in 1750. This institution is present in many countries where horse racing (Turf) is a predominant equestrian sport.
Characteristics of the thoroughbred horse
In general, the thoroughbred is a horse of dolichomorphic type (light complexion and long, thin limbs), but within the same breed there are some small physical differences, enough to specify three types:
- Stayer: The smallest and most shrunken, with a good bottom.
- Intermediate: Oblique rump, sloping back and less elongated back, suitable for obstacle courses and jumping
- Sprinter: The tallest and longest, with a speed higher than the others.
The height at the withers is between 160-170 cm (although slightly higher or lower specimens could also be found). Its weight ranges from 450 to 550 kg.
the coats more usual they are: chestnut, dark brown, sorrel, toasted chestnut, black and thrush.
As for the distinctive spots, the snowflake and the cord on the forehead, as well as the road at the extremities are common.
They have a small head, with a straight profile and short ears. His eyes are large and lively. The neck is wide, straight or slightly arched and firmly attached to the trunk. The cross is well pronounced.
The back is muscular and not too elongated. The rump may be straight or slightly oblique with a high insertion tail.
The rib cage is wide and the back is sloping and well muscled. The abdomen slightly gathered.
As for the limbs, they are long, well-formed and with wide joints. The rods short and thin, and the hulls rather small and round.
Purebred skin is very thin, as is its fur, manes and tail.
His natural demeanor is lively, energetic and daring. It requires an expert rider / amazon because it is not an easy horse, but, well tamed it will be a loyal and obedient horse, and will give everything of itself in any equestrian discipline.
This temperament is exploited in various equestrian sports, for example, horse racing, as it makes them maintain explosive behaviors.
Development and functionality
One of the most peculiar features of purebred is that it develops earlier than other breeds. That’s why they start their sports careers at an early age.
While in most breeds development occurs at the age of three, in purebreds a two-year-old horse already begins to compete over short distances (800 to 1000 m). In any case, it must be considered that the thoroughbred foal will complete 98% of its development at the age of three, the age at which the most famous galloping horse races .
A four-year-old horse is already considered “mature” by the racetrack. It is at the best of its bottom capacity, but its speed is slowing down.
It is the ideal breed for horse racing, as its speed can reach 70 km / h. However, Thoroughbred has also proven to be a multifunctional sport horse, getting very good results in full competition, dressage and jumping. It is also great for hunting. In cowboy dressage his “spark” is highly valued.
Raised and loved all over the world, the thoroughbred is the horse most used as a breeder of other breeds.
Famous thoroughbred specimens
The thoroughbred breed has given many famous specimens both in terms of reproduction and / or sports. This fame allowed her price be extremely high, costing, in some cases, more than $ 100 million. Let’s name a few.
At the reproductive level, in addition to the three stallions that originated the breed, and that we mentioned at the beginning of this article, are:
- Herod (1758), fourth-generation descendant of Byerly Turk
- Eclipse (1764), also descends in fourth generation Darley Arabian
- Matchem (1748), grandson of Godolphin Arabian
As for thoroughbred famous for their triumphs on the turf and of course also for their reproductive legacy, we can name some horses and mares, such as: Justify, Dundeel, Goldsmith, Secretariat, Frankel, Cigar, Seabiscuit, Citation, Man O ‘wear, Luffian, among many more. Each with stories of effort and success, not all endowed with a spectacular constitution, but with a great heart and talent.