Standardbred Horses
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About Standardbred HorsesAbout Standardbred Horses



Standardbred horses are an American horse breed best known harnessrnracing, where members of the breed compete at either a trot or pace. They are robust,rnrugged, loyal, sensible, level-headed, willing, and capable of doing any jobrnasked. Standardbred horses have a reputation for being 'bombproof' and manyrnadoptions off the racetrack find homes as stellar trail horses for families.rnStandardbred horses have also been used as police horses for theirrndependability and stoicism. Standardbreds adapt easily to any riding disciplinernand show intelligence and willingness. Therefore, you will find them more andrnmore as outstanding horses in many riding styles and all types of competition.



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In the 17th century, the first trotting races were held inrnthe Americas, usually in fields on horses under saddle. However, by thernmid-18th century, trotting races were held on official courses, with the horsesrnin harness. Breeds that have contributed foundation stock to the Standardbredrnbreed included the Narragansett Pacer, Canadian Pacer, Thoroughbred, NorfolkrnTrotter, Hackney, and Morgan.

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The foundation bloodlines of the Standardbred trace to arnThoroughbred foaled in England in 1780 named Messenger. He was a gray stallionrnimported to the United States in 1788. He sired a number of flat racing horses,rnbut was best known for his great-grandson, Hambletonian 10, also known asrnRysdyk's Hambletonian, foaled in 1849 and considered the foundation sire of thernbreed and from whom all Standardbreds descend. Hambletonian 10 was out of a damrnwith Norfolk Trotter breeding, and the mare and foal were purchased by WilliamrnRysdyk, a farm hand from New York state, who successfully raced the colt as arnthree-year-old against other horses. The horse went on to sire 1,331 offspring,rn40 of whom trotted a mile in under 2 minutes 30 seconds.



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Standardbreds tend to be more muscled and longer bodied thanrnthe Thoroughbred. They also are of more placid dispositions, as suits horsesrnwhose races involve more strategy and more changes of speed than dornThoroughbred races. Standardbreds are considered people-oriented, easy-to-trainrnhorses.



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Standardbred Horses are generally a bit heavier in buildrnthan Thoroughbreds, but have refined, solid legs and powerful shoulders andrnhindquarters. Standardbreds have a wide range of heights, from 14 to 17 handsrn(56 to 68 inches, 142 to 173 cm), although most are between 15 and 16 hands (60rnand 64 inches, 152 and 163 cm). They are most often bay, brown or black, althoughrnother colors such as chestnut are seen. Gray and roan are also found.



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Standardbred horses typically weigh between 800 and 1,000rnpounds (360 and 450 kg). Their heads are refined and straight with broadrnforeheads, large nostrils, and shallow mouths. The typical Standardbred body isrnlong, with the withers being well defined, with strong shoulders and thernmuscles being long and heavy, which helps with the long strides. The neck ofrnthe Standardbred is muscular and should be slightly arched, with a length ofrnmedium to long. Their legs are muscular and solid, with generally very toughrnand durable hooves.

Standardbred Horses Associations


The United States Hunter Jumper Association The United States Hunter Jumper Association - www.ushja.org


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