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10 Most Popular Racehorse Breeds In The World

Witnessing a racehorse run on a track can be a beautiful and majestic sight at the best of times, especially if it’s a particularly blustery day and you can see the wind whipping through their mane.

But not all horse breeds are born to race, and that is completely fine.

Racehorses must possess particular levels of stamina, flair, and energy that can’t often be replicated by your everyday workhorse.

So, whether you’re making a bet on the odds for 2022 preakness stakes or simply want to know more about popular racehorses in the world, this article has got you covered.

  • Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred has become the most prominent racehorse in the world!

These horses are hot-blooded and have unmatched agility that gives them a serious edge in any race. With notable features including long legs, a broad head, and a muscular and robust body, they have the power and ability to showcase their prowess in any race.

Thoroughbreds are often dark brown, black, or gray in color.

  • Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse is one of the oldest recognized horse breeds. They are champions of sprinting over short distances (usually a quarter of a mile or less.)

Known for their agility and speed, Quarter horses are also fiercely loyal and gentle. They are usually chestnut, gray, brown, or black in color.

The quarter horse is also used for trail riding, calf riding, and show jumping.

  • Arabian

Arabian horses originated on the Arabian peninsula 4,500 years ago.

Arabian horses have high stamina and a gentle disposition. They are fast learners and are equally as spirited, meaning they are suited (and well-matched) to the more confident rider. 

Arabian horses are often used in endurance riding, horse racing, trail riding, and dressage. Recognized coat colors include roan, bay, black, chestnut, and gray.

  • Andalusian

These beautiful racehorses hail from the Iberian peninsula. With an equally classic and elegant coat that comes in a variety of colors, they’re often in high demand for TV shows and movies.

Andalusians are docile and possess great intelligence that makes them easy to train. They are also spirited, making them an exceptional fit for more experienced riders.

  • Paint Horse

Paint horses originated in the USA. While they are well known for their beautiful color and distinctive white marking, they are also widely regarded for their intelligence.

Because of this, the Paint horse breed excels in a variety of competitions but is most commonly used in dressage training and as show horses in multiple performance competitions.

  • Appaloosa

Appaloosas are characterized by their distinctive coats that feature spotted markings.

The breed is part thoroughbred, Arabian, and quarter horse, which means it can be used as both a stock horse or simply for pleasure.

The breed is also a recognized choice for a variety of Western and English riding. Specifically, they are used in show jumping, cutting, and even fox hunting.

  • Standardbred 

These impressive racehorses have an excellent temperament which means they’re always on their best behavior.

Characterized by a well-built and muscular body structure, the standardbred is often used for fasted trotting and harness racing. In parts of the US, they have also been used in horse shows and for pleasure riding purposes.

You can find this breed with a chestnut, black, brown, or bay-colored coat.

  • Warmblood

Some horse breeds are cold-blooded while others are hot-blooded. Cross them together and you get the Warmblood horse.

The Warmblood racehorse breed is well known for their prowess, their superior stamina when it comes to sprinting, and their naturally bulkier bodies.

Initially intended for draft work, the Warmblood has since become a crucial part of many different horse events and races.

  • Morgan

Morgan’s make excellent companions when it comes to competitions and riding. Though they are shorter in stature than many other horses on this list, their consistent performance puts them among some of the greatest horse racing breeds in the world.

Morgan’s are excellent for saddle seat competitions. However, they are also eligible to compete in many other competitions.

  • Friesian

 This extraordinary breed hails from the Netherlands and is well known for its athletic bodies and elegance.

As mystical as their name may be, their appearance is just as appealing. Friesian horses have beautiful all-black coats that shine under the rays of the sun.

They are regularly used in competitions and shows all over the world. But they have the stamina and general capacity to participate in a multitude of races, too!


Hopefully, after reading this article, you are now familiar with some universally popular racehorse breeds.

Whether you’re a casual or devoted fan of the world of horse racing, it’s important to know the most popular breeds. This will make it easier for you to keep up with particular races or competitions as they occur. 

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