The Pure Blood Horses are a breed developed in England in the 18th century. It is true that, sometimes, the denomination “thoroughbred” is used to speak of any horse with a pedigree, those that do not have any type of crossing with other races in their ancestors.
They are highly valued horses and employees in the world of horse racing because they stand out in their speed, agility and spirit. Despite being primarily bred for racing, they can also be used in other types of equine sports due to their athlete characteristics.
Do you want to know more about this breed?
There are many purebred racehorses that have gone down in history over time. Good examples of this are: Seabiscuit who won the Triple Crown in 1937; Ruffian, which since the 70s is considered the best racing pot in history due to its high speed and its height of 170 cm. And if we look at a more current era we can talk about Frankel who before retiring in 2012 won the 14 races he had played.
Over the years, the names of Pure Blood Horses that are incorporated into the lists of winners are increasing. All thanks to those qualities so appreciated in the breed.
As they are?
The Pure Blood Horses usually have a height between 155 cm and 180 cm and weigh around 500 kg. As you can see the variation in size can be quite important from some Pure Blood to others, they can also be different even in appearance. We commented at the beginning that Ruffian had a height of 170 cm, for example. This is because the race does not end up having a very specific standard. Of course, their bodies are always well proportioned and are beautiful to look at, elegant.
The horses of this breed are bred to run gallop with a saddle. Depending on their height and size, they are trained for some of the different types of races, although there is usually a predilection for the highest. For example, those more muscular and shorter specimens are more suitable for short distances (sprinters), while larger and long-legged animals are often used for larger distances (more than one mile). Although it is true that it is also important to know on which surfaces, each specimen is better.
Therefore, this breed of horses can be divided between sprinters or fondistas and horses for grass or horses for sand.
When they are still foals, some experts can observe their potential based on the shape of their legs, how they walk, their general morphology and intelligence.
When the horses reach the age of their training starts. The moment of greatest performance of these equines is between the age range of 3 and 5 years. This does not mean that it is the norm, there have been and there are cases in which they begin their journey in the world of racing at two years or end after 10.
Let’s talk a little about its morphological characteristics, although considering that they can have many variations from one copy of the breed to another. They have a long and slender body, straight profile, with a very strong kidney that provides a great power in galloping.
The head seems to be always alert because of how stylized it is. It ends in a rather stark jaw and large nostrils that allow rapid oxygenation something that favors the horses that are dedicated to the sport.
The hind limbs are long and strong while the front ones are usually thinner and shorter.
In the coat of the Pure Blood it is silky and short. Frequently dominate layers of brown, but may be other layers such as the zaina, the Torda or sorrel. The face and extremities may have white spots; however white hairs rarely appear on the rest of the body.
Character is something that distinguishes this equine race and is that they tend to be very intelligent, nervous, energetic and very sensitive horses. This makes it necessary to have a special hand when it comes to raising and training them.
A little of you history
Between 1683 and 1728, in England, breeders began to cross English mares with three Arabian stallions imported from the Middle East and with good skills for the distance race: Darley Arabian, Byerley Turk and Godolphin Arabian. All modern Pure Blood Horses descend from one of these three stallions, whose first part of the name refers to their owners and the second part to the breed to which the animal belonged. As a curiosity, there are genetic studies that showed that the vast majority of horses of the race, about 95%, descend specifically from Darley Arabian.
These crosses sought to obtain the best racehorse that was possible. Horseracing is a tradition in England that some studies date back to the 12th century. Do you think they achieved their goal? Well yes and by far.
Breeding was encouraged by the world of betting. In 1868 a betting system for horseracing was patented, the same that is still used today.
The United Kingdom Jockey Club keeps a record of the breed; the first animal recorded was in the 18th century. In addition, each Purebred Horse of competition is registered in the genealogical books of the country in which it was born.
Between 1900 and 1930, the breeding of Pura Sangre jumped the puddle and began to take place in America, where the world of horseracing had been very well received.
Currently the breeding and selection of Pure Blood Horses is very rigorous to obtain foals with excellent qualities that can reach the value of tens of thousands of euros.
About 35,000 foals of this breed can be born every year in the world, especially in California, Florida and Kentucky.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I wrote it.