Thoroughbred Horse Height: How Tall are Them?

Thoroughbred is undoubtedly one of the most famous racing horse breeds. Over the years, the strong, tall, and hot-blooded stallions have been trained and redesigned to fit the sport’s requirements. Consequently, the thoroughbred horse height has increased considerably.

So, how high are they now? How much has their height changed? And how does that affect the races? Let’s find out in this article!


Thoroughbred Horse Height: How Tall are Them?

The Thoroughbred we know today originated from England in the 17th and 18th centuries. At the time, native mares’ average height was only about 13.3 hands or 135 cm. The three main breeds of mares involved in the creation of today Thoroughbred were the Byerly Turk, the Darley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian.

Thanks to selective crossbreeding, our ancestors were able to create bigger and stronger horses. Besides, the special care and training Thoroughbred horses received also played an important role in making them taller. By the 19th century, their height increased to around 15.3 hands or 155.5 cm.

Nowadays, a 15.3 hand heigh thoroughbred horse is nothing special. Their average height ranges from 15 hands to 17 hands meaning 60 to 68 inches or 152 cm to 173 cm. With their powerful bodies and legs, they can run as fast as 40 miles per hour.

>>> Discover more: Average weight of Thoroughbred Horse

What Height Is Best For Racing?

Although many buyers prefer taller horses due to their strong and handsome outlook, height is not considered to be everything. Horses at 17 hands and above mature later than smaller ones. They also have more problems with their bones due to their heavier body mass.

Nevertheless, thoroughbred’s average height at around 16 hands is still considered to be ideal for horse racing. They have both adequate limp length and lighter body mass allowing them to run faster. Sometimes, higher thoroughbreds are used for jumping shows or hunter competitions.

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Along with their limp length, the distance between their hocks and hind hips contributes greatly to their speed. The long gap allows thoroughbreds to get maximum thrust when they gallop. Their physique proportion is the ultimate creation for speed.

Notices For Thoroughbred Owners And Trainers

If you want a thoroughbred horse, there are more than height and physique features that you should look for. You should also learn their behaviors, their characters to see what type of races and training are suitable for them.

It is also recommended that trainers should not be overconfident in their horses’ strength. There have been many cases when horses experience long-term health problems due to excessive training.


Thoroughbred horse height is now in their prime at 15 hands to 17 hands. There is no need to increase this number in the future as the bigger horses grow slower and have more joint issues. Thoroughbreds at their average height are already ideal for horse racing.

Nonetheless, the horses’ trainers and owners should still consider their character and health while training them. They are an intelligent and loyal breed that deserves good care.

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