Last Updated on March 27, 2023
Racehorses are elite animals. Their speed, strength, power, and endurance make them top athletes. With being such an athletic being, reaching some of the fastest speeds in the animal kingdom, some might wonder: how much does a racehorse weigh?
Their athleticism allows them to reach speeds up to fifty miles per hour. Racehorses are built and bred to be fast runners. Conformation and genetics play a large part in making a racehorse.
How Much Does a Racehorse Weigh? Average Weight of a Racehorse
When most people think of racehorses, they think of Thoroughbreds. Thoroughbreds are raced all around the world and people spend top dollar breeding them. They race in the well-known Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont.
Though Thoroughbreds are the most common racehorses, many other breeds of horses also participate in different races. Quarter horses, Standardbreds, and Arabians are the other most commonly raced horses.
The average weight of a racehorse: Thoroughbreds
Thoroughbreds are an English breed of horses that have been used for racing for hundreds of years. Developed in the 1700s from imported Turk, Barb, and Arabian stallions and large English mares, the Thoroughbred quickly gained popularity. Throughout the late 1700s, many Thoroughbred horses were imported to America.
Thoroughbreds are known for their slim build, refined heads, and broad chests. They have long legs, well-muscled bodies, and deep shoulders. All these features contribute to a fast horse.
How much does a thoroughbred weigh?
A Thoroughbred horse typically weighs 1,000-1,100 pounds due to its light build. They generally stand around 16 hands tall.
Thoroughbreds are raced all over the world. Each year, the Thoroughbred racing industry brings in millions of dollars.
The average weight of a racehorse: Quarter horses
Though one might not think of racing when they hear of Quarter horses, they are used as racehorses. Quarter horses are generally raced in quarter-mile races, though some races are longer. They can run a quarter-mile faster than any other breed of horse, hence the name Quarter horse.
Quarter horses are raced throughout America and Canada. They are popular racehorses due to their strength and sprinting ability.
Quarter horses are one of America’s oldest and most popular breeds of horses. In addition to being used as a racehorse, they are also used as show horses and working western horses. They are known for their calm and easy-going dispositions.
How much does a quarter horse weigh?
Quarter horses are known for their short and stocky bodies. They are well-muscled and have broad chests. Quarter horses typically weigh 900-1,100 pounds and stand between 14.3-16 hands.
The average weight of a racehorse: Standardbreds
Standardbreds are well known for their harness racing. They are shown at either a trot or a pace. Standardbred harness racing is popular in North America, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.
The Standardbred breed was developed in the 19th century in the United States. The foundation sire for the Standardbred breed was Messenger, a Thoroughbred stallion imported from England. Morgans and Hackneys were amongst the other breeds that contributed to the foundation stock, due to their great trotting capability.
Standardbreds have long bodies, refined heads, strong shoulders, and are well-muscled. Most Standardbreds stand between 15-16 hands, though it can be anywhere from 14-17 hands. Standardbreds typically weigh 900-1,000 pounds.
Standardbreds are also popular in English and Western divisions. They are popular show horses and can even be seen shown in the exciting Roadster division. They are also common driving horses for the Amish.
Each year, the harness racing industry brings in millions of dollars. Racetracks are generally half a mile to a mile long, though they can be two miles. Unlike Thoroughbred racing, they have a starting gait pulled by a car that is driven in front of the horses and then pulled away.
The Standardbred is driven in a light cart called a sulky. They can be raced at a trot, a diagonal gait, and a pace, which is a lateral gait. If they break their gait while racing, they will be penalized.
In the late 1950s, racing Arabians in America rose to popularity. They are still raced around America and even throughout the world. Though most people don’t associate Arabians with racing, it is still a well-loved pastime.
Arabians also race in the deserts of the Middle East in endurance races. It is an ancient tradition, with horses and riders put to the test in over 70 miles of racing through the harsh desert. Elite horses and riders strive to come out on top of this grueling race.
Arabians originated thousands of years ago in the Middle East. They are a popular breed of horses and are known for their versatility inside and outside the show ring. They are popular show horses, competing in saddle seat, hunt seat, western, Dressage, endurance, and driving divisions.
Arabians are known for their refined dished noses, elegant heads, compact bodies, arching necks, and high tail carriage. They are athletic horses, known for their endurance and speed. Arabians typically stand between 14-16 hands and weigh 900-1,000 pounds.
Average Male Horse Weight
The average adult male horse weighs around 900-1,100 pounds. It is not uncommon for male horses to weigh more than female horses. In horses of the same breed and height, males can weigh 50 to 200 pounds more.
While male horses can weigh more than female horses, that is not always the case. Several factors can affect weight such as metabolism, fitness, age, and conformation.
In racehorses, males tend to be larger than females, however, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily faster. Horse racing tends to be dominated by males.
Horse racing is typically made up of colts (male horses under the age of four), fillies (female horses under the age of four), and geldings (castrated male horses). A stallion is a male horse over the age of four and a mare is a female horse over the age of four. In America, most Thoroughbred racehorses retire by the age of 7.
However, there are plenty of races where fillies can compete against colts. In fact, fillies have won the Kentucky Derby on three different occasions: Winning Colors (1988), Genuine Risk (1980), and Regret (1915).
While fillies are allowed to race in the Kentucky Derby, it is uncommon these days for any to enter. Instead, the big race for fillies is the Kentucky Oak, which is designated for three-year-old fillies.
How Much Does a Stallion Weigh?
The amount a stallion weighs will vary vastly by breed. For example, a Quarter horse stallion may weigh around 1,100 pounds while a Clydesdale stallion may weigh around 2,200 pounds.
In most cases, a stallion will weigh more than a mare or even a gelding. However, it is often not a significant amount, generally between 50-200 pounds depending on the breed. It is also common for stallions to be taller than mares.
While stallions are often larger than mares, it does depend on the individual horse. In most cases, a person will only keep a stallion if they plan on breeding him. Otherwise, it is common to geld the stallion to make him easier to work with.
How Much Does a 16-Hand Horse Weigh?
On average, a 16-hand horse will weigh between 1,000-1,200 pounds. However, the weight of a 16-hand tall horse will also depend on the breed.
For example, a 16-hand tall Thoroughbred may weigh around 1,100 pounds. However, a 16-hand tall Percherom may weigh around 1,800 pounds. Several factors can affect the weight of a 16-hand horse including breed, conformation, fitness level, age, gender, and metabolism.
Horses that stand 16 hands tall can range widely in weight and build. A 16-hand warmblood will have a lean, athletic build that allows them to excel at disciplines such as jumping and dressage. A 16-hand draft horse will have a sturdy, muscular build that is ideal for doing heavy work.
Just because two horses are both 16-hands tall does not mean that they will weigh the same. Depending on their breeds, they could vary in weight by several hundred pounds.
Other Horse Racing
Many other breeds doing racing as well. Most carry on the tradition to celebrate their breed of horse. Horse racing has been a popular practice for thousands of years.
Each year in Vermont, Morgan horses compete in trotting and galloping races, celebrating the tradition of versatility in the Morgan breed. Figure, the founding stallion of the Morgan breed, could out trot, outrun and out pull any horse he went up against. Morgans are elegant horses, standing between 14-16 hands and weighing between 850-1000 pounds.
Appaloosas, developed by the Nez Perce, has recently become a large part of the racing industry in North America. Several states in America holdAppaloosa racing. Appaloosas are known for their beautiful spotted coats and stand between 14-16 hands, weighing around 900-1,000 pounds.
Mongolia holds the longest and toughest horse race, spanning an impressive 621 miles over a ugged landscape. Racing Mongolian horses is a long-held tradition, and The Mongol Derby honors that. Mongolian horses are compact and tough, known for their endurance, standing at 12-14 hands and weighing around 600-800 pounds.
How Much Does a Racehorse Weigh? What Makes a Racehorse
Racehorses are light, athletic-built horses. They are well-muscled and are known for their speed, power, and endurance. Most breeds of racehorses stand around 15-16 hands and typically weigh around 1,000 pounds, with Thoroughbreds being the most popular racing breed.
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Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.