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American Thoroughbred Horse

Country of Origin: USA

American Thoroughbred Horse


The first Thoroughbred horse imported to the American colonies was Bulle Rock in 1730. From that point the colonies began a grand love affair with horse racing & its robust athletes.


The Thoroughbred was originally established during the 17th century in England & has since been independently developed in several different countries worldwide. Upon their arrival in America, the colonists quickly began developing their own breeding programs, importing more English animals & breeding them with local stock.

Late in the 18th century two important stallions were imported to America. Messenger (father of the American Standardbred) & Diomed who’s son (Sir Archy) had a significant impact on the American Thoroughbred. Sir Archy was eventually retired from racing for lack of suitable opponents.

After the Wars

After the Revolutionary war, the center of Thoroughbred breeding began to move west to Kentucky & Tennessee. After the Civil War racing formats in America began to change from long races to shorter ones. This meant a change in breeding practices to produce animals better at shorter distances. It was during this time that American Thoroughbreds made their way back to Britain for racing.

These breeding practices continued into the 20th century. However, after WWI the US saw in influx of English Thoroughbreds again. After WWII ended the center of Thoroughbred breeding was on the move again. It didn’t leave Kentucky, but a strong breeding & racing culture also emerged in California, New York & Florida.

Good Stock

Thoroughbreds in the US have also been used to improve other breeds, such as the Standardbred, American Quarter Horses & Morgan.


Average height 15.2 hands
Fast & active
Brave & built for endurance
Low, flat movement


Alert, refined head
Long & graceful neck
Long, sloped shoulders
Long, lean body
Strong hindquarters
Legs are fine & long with well-formed joints

Traditional Colors

Solid colors



American Thoroughbred Horse


Show horse
Competition horse
Pleasure/ trail horse

American Thoroughbred Products

Helpful Links

*All links open in a new window
The Jockey Club | Twitter
Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (US)
Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society
Thoroughbred Breeders Association (SA)
The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (UK)
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Where To Buy

Winner’s Circle Horse Farm
Bits and Bytes Farm
Xanthus Farm
Ocala Stud


Do you have images or know more about the American Thoroughbred breed? We’d love help completing this page, please contact us to get involved.

Country of Origin: USA | Colors:
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