There are currently over 350 horse breeds in the world, and there are probably some horse breeds that are still unknown. But how did they become their own breed? There have to be some horse breeds that must have existed in ancient eras. Let’s take a look at the history of horse breeding. We’ll explain how ancient breeds acted as the foundation for many of the modern horse breeds we see today.

History of Horse Breeding

Horses have been bred and domesticated for as far back as history can go. The first known culture to breed horses were the Bedouins of the Middle East that would breed Arabian Horses. Here are some more historical facts about horse breeding.

The war horse

These types of horses were known to take charge and take their soldiers to battle.

    • The Arabian Horse: One of the first horse breeds to be bred for a purpose. With their incredible endurance to desert weather and large lung capacities, this horse was used to ride into war battles and was used by Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and George Washington to ride into their victories.
    • The Shire Horse: Possibly a descendant of the Great Horse, this Medieval English horse had a high endurance due to the fact that it had to to carry men that were wearing 400-pound armor into battle.
    • Caspian: This breed can be dated back to at least 3,000 BC and was known for pulling the chariots of the Persian Kings of that era. There are even paintings that prove the horse was around during that era.

The elite thoroughbred

When you say the word “thoroughbred,” it automatically says that it is a pristine breed of animal. The history of the thoroughbred horse dates back to 18th Century England, where three stallions served as the foundation for the thoroughbred horse. Horses from the Oriental group, (Arabians, Turks, and Barbs native to the Middle East), mated with English horses. Thus, the thoroughbred horse was born.

Thoroughbreds are known for a strong stride length, which is an average of 20 feet. This makes them perfect for horse racing. They have remarkable speed as well, with an average speed of 40mph. A thoroughbred’s heart can circulate 784 gallons of blood per minute, which helps when it races. This makes the horse get the required oxygen it needs when its running. The thoroughbred horse is the true racer of horses.

Horse breeding farms

Horse breeding farms have been in the United States since the Civil War. Many of them were thoroughbred horse farms that bred for races and were located here in Kentucky, the home of the Kentucky Derby.

One of the farms that has bred the most winners of the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown is the Calumet Farm. The owner was William Monroe Wright, who was an entrepreneur of Calumet Baking Powder. He set his sights on breeding horses in his new farm in Lexington, KY, with a focus on was the Standardbred. This breed is an American breed known for racing and having a great trot and pace. Since the farm started, it has had two Triple Crown winners and eight Kentucky Derby winners. It is safe to say that they know how to breed winners.

See the Horses Run

See the thoroughbred and other horse breeds race in person when you visit Ellis Park Racing. Great races, great food, great horses. Visit us today!