10 Fastest Horse Breeds in the World

For more than 5,000 years, the only way for people to move across land faster than walking speed was on horses. As a result, they have revolutionized warfare, hunting, transportation, agriculture, trade, and leisure activities.

Horseback riding was the fastest land travel mode for most of human history. Horses have advantages when moving people and their belongings; they can run quickly and far. They are the ideal animals to transport people and goods worldwide because of their incredible speed and endurance.

Although some horses were bred specifically for speed, horses were born to run.

10. Morgan

Speed: 20 miles per hour
 Height: 14.1 to 15.2 hands high (56.4 to 60.8 inches)
Weight: approx. 1,000 pounds
 Country of Origin: United States of America
 Lifespan: 20 to 30 years

Morganphoto source: pickywallpapers.com

Due to their adaptability, Morgan horses enjoyed enormous popularity in the 10th century and were once the only breed used for harness racing. They now participate in various activities, including cross-country riding, Western pleasure, cutting, and show jumping.

Did You Know:

There were nearly 90,000 registered Morgans in 2015. They can be found in all 50 states of the United States, as well as over 20 other countries.

9. Friesian

Speed: 30 miles per hour
 Height: 14.2 to 17 hands high (58 to 68 inches)
Weight: approx. 1,200 to 1,400 pounds
 Country of Origin: Netherlands
 Lifespan: approx. 16 years

Friesianphoto source: deephollowranch.com

Friesian horses are a rare and beautiful breed. Gentle and elegant, they adore those who come into contact with them. They are best known for their gleaming black coat.

This agile and quick breed from the Netherlands can trot and is well-suited for harness racing due to its powerful hindquarters. Other disciplines in which Friesians excel include dressage, pleasure driving, fox hunting, and show jumping.

Did You Know:

The Friesian breed had a long history of combat use. In fact, knights would ride in on them because of their nobility and size, and King Louis II of Hungary would also ride this breed into battle in the 1500s.

8. Standardbred

Speed: 30 miles per hour
 Height: 15 to 16 hands high (60 to 64 inches)
Weight: 900 to 1,000 pounds
 Country of Origin: United States of America
 Lifespan: 25 years

Standardbredphoto source: virginiahorseracing.com

The muscles of Standardbred horses are strong. They have a body that is longer than average and strong shoulders supported by sturdy legs. However, given that it can keep trotting or pacing, the Standardbred is best known for its abilities in harness racing.

Did You Know:

Standardbreds are typically only seen in bay and chestnut colors.

7. Mustang

Speed: 25-30 miles per hour
 Height: 14 to 15 hands high (56 to 60 inches)
Weight: approx. 800 pounds
 Country of Origin: Spain
 Lifespan: approx. 25 to 40 years

Mustangphoto source: cdn.5280.com

The Iberian or Spanish horses was introduced to North, Central, and South America during the Colonial Era, primarily in the 16th century, and are the ancestors of the mustang.

This breed’s name, which translates as “ownerless beast,” contributes to the perception that it is a wild and free horse.

Due to its wild heritage, the mustang is renowned for being extremely hardy and surefooted. Additionally, due to their ability to traverse terrain that other breeds might find challenging, these characteristics make mustangs perfect for use as working and trail horses.

Did You Know:

A person must demonstrate that they can adequately care for the horse in some way to be allowed to own a Mustang that the US Government has captured and tamed.

6. Akhal-Teke

Speed: 35 miles per hour
 Height: 14 to 16 hands high (56 to 64 inches)
Weight: 900 to 1,000 pounds
 Country of Origin: Turkmenistan
 Lifespan: 20 years

Akhal-Tekephoto source: deephollowranch.com

An oriental horse breed called Akhal-Teke first appeared in Turkmenistan’s Karakum desert. The breed was from the Teke tribe in the Akhal oasis line, hence the name “Akhal-Teke.”

The Akhal-Teke race’s horses are exceptional in terms of appearance, personality, and prowess. Their bodies are long and sleek, and they have almond-shaped eyes and very fair skin.

They appear in all solid colors but are most frequently cream or palomino. Their distinct metallic sheen distinguishes them.

Did You Know:

Akhal-Teke is one of the rarest breeds known to have persisted through the ages, with an estimated population of fewer than 6,000 horses worldwide, most of which are in Turkmenistan.

5. Arabian

Speed: 40 miles per hour
 Height: 14.1 to 15.1 hands high (57 to 61 inches)
Weight: 800 to 1,000 pounds
 Country of Origin: Middle East
 Lifespan: 25 to 30 years

Arabianphoto source: simplehorselife.com

Arabians are one of only three hot-blooded horse breeds in existence. They are known for their quickness, endurance, and spirited personalities.

Arabians, originating in the Middle East and Egypt, are among the world’s oldest horse breeds and can reach speeds of up to 40 mph.

These light and agile creatures, ridden by historical figures such as Napoleon and Alexander the Great, can conserve energy to run longer distances and were used in the war in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Rome.

Did You Know:

Royals and other members of the aristocracy used to favor gray horses frequently. As a result, the WAHO estimates that 402,249 of the population of living Arabian horses are gray (2014 data). Bay, chestnut, black, and roan are acceptable colors, though the latter is less typical.

4. Andalusian

Speed: 50 miles per hour
 Height: approx. 15.1 ½ hands high (61.5 inches)
Weight: approx. 1,100 pounds
 Country of Origin: Spain
 Lifespan: approx. 25 years

Andalusianphoto source: thesprucepets.com

In the region of Andalusia, from which it derives its name, the Andalusian is descended from Iberian horses bred in Spain and Portugal. The Andalusian is closely related to the Lusitano, which was given that name after Portugal’s former name of Lusitania. It is also known as the Pure Spanish Horse (PSE) or PRE.

Because of its naturally elevated, elegant movement, the Andalusian is popular. The breed’s compact body and extensive flexion of the leg joints result in a lively, forward-moving mount. These horses naturally learn collection, and their intelligence allows them to learn complex moves quickly and easily.

Did You Know:

One of the Andalusian breed’s earliest uses was in bullfighting. Although the sport is forbidden in most nations, it is still a centuries-old tradition in Spain.

3. Appaloosa

Speed: 55 miles per hour
 Height: 14.2 to 16 hands high (57 to 64 inches)
Weight: 1,000 to 1,100 pounds
 Country of Origin: Spain to North America
 Lifespan: approx. 30 years

Appaloosaphoto source: wehco.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com

The Appaloosa, one of the world’s swiftest horse breeds, was initially created by the Nez Perce people of the Pacific Northwest from a stock of horses that the Spanish had brought to the Americas in the early 16th century.

It stands out for having distinct leopard-like spots all over its body. This breed can be used for English sports like show jumping, fox hunting, and eventing, but it excels at traditional western pursuits like reining, cutting, and roping.

Did You Know:

Governor Cecil Andrus of Idaho signed a bill designating the Appaloosa as the state horse in 1975. As a result, Idaho was the first state to offer a personalized license plate with the state horse.

2. American Quarter Horse

Speed: 55 miles per hour (short distance)
 Height: 14.3 to 16 hands high (57 to 64 inches)
Weight: 950 to 1,200 pounds
 Country of Origin: United States of America
 Lifespan: 25 to 35 years

American Quarter Horsephoto source: deephollowranch.com

The American Quarter horse is the fastest breed over short distances, reaching speeds of up to 55 mph over the quarter mile that gave the animal its name.

The colonial Americans who brought English horses to Virginia in the 1600s crossed Spanish-born Native American horses to create the breed. The average Quarter horse is quick and muscular.

Did You Know:

The American Quarter Horse Association now has more than 6 million horses registered, making them the most well-known breed of horse in the world.

1. Thoroughbred

Speed: 45 miles per hour (long distance)
 Height: approx. 16 hands high (64 inches)
Weight: 900 to 1,400 pounds
 Country of Origin: England
 Lifespan: 25 to 35 years

Thoroughbredphoto source: cdn-fastly.petguide.com

The Thoroughbred is generally considered the fastest horse breed in the world over longer distances. They are tall, slim, and incredibly athletic.

It evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries by breeding native English mares with imported Arabian, Barb, and Turkoman stallions, reaching top speeds of about 40 to 45 miles per hour.

The horse was later exported to other parts of the world, serving as the foundation for numerous other breeds. Thoroughbreds are particularly good at horse racing but also excel in other riding sports like dressage, polo, show jumping, and hunting.

Did You Know:

With a top speed of 43.97 mph, the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes a Thoroughbred by the name of Winning Brew as the fastest horse ever. Other breeds, though, have been recorded traveling farther in a shorter amount of time.

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