The Fastest Speed a Horse has Ever Run (World Record)
August 01, 20225 min read
Around 4000 B.C, From the domestication of wild horses and also the start of trains, horses were unrivaled for speed and stage operations on the ground. Though they are no longer utilized for transportation anymore, they are still ridden for pleasure and sport. This article will discuss the best horse breeds in the world to cover the common question, “What is the fastest horse?” Top speed is the most important factor, but endurance and stamina over long distances are also key components. Light horse breeds tend to be faster than heaver draft breeds. Many horses on this list are hot-blooded, which means they boast superior speed and agility with bold and spirited temperaments. According to Guinness world records, the fastest speed ever recorded for a horse was 43.97 mph or 70.76km/h. That is almost twice as fast as Usain Bolt. An average horse usually galopps at 27mph. For comparison - the horse in the clip below is going 5 mph slower than the fastest speed ever recorded.
1) Thoroughbred Horse
So who was the horse that ran the world record of almost 44mph? It was a very young thoroughbred filly called Winning Brew, in 2008 at the Penn National Race Course, Grantville, Pennsylvania, she set the record at only 2 years old. Thoroughbreds are the fastest breed on short distances, however for longer distances they do not always win. Thoroughbreds are used for horse racing around the world as it is the fastest horse breeds. In a normal horse race you can watch the horses run high speeds up to 40mph. Some famous racehorses include Secretariat (who won the Belmost stakes race with 31 lengths) and American Pharoah (won both the horse race American Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic in the same year).
2) Quarter Horses
Quarter horse racing is a bit different from normal thoroughbred racing. Quarter horses race a shorter distance and in a straight line only. They are not as fast as thoroughbreds but can reach speeds up to 44mph. There are rumors Quarter horses can run up to 55 mph but there is no valid proof for this information. The fastest quarter horse ever measured in a race was Corona Ease. She holds the world record at 400 yards with a time of 19.002 seconds which is 41.77mph.
3) Akhal Teke
Akhal-teke horses hold the recorded for the fastest distance walked on their hind legs. The record is recorded in Guinness World at 4.19 seconds over 10meters in 2018. There are however no official records for the fastest speed under saddle. The unofficial recorded fastest speed for the breed is 35mph. Akhal Teke horses are also known as the 'Golden horse' because of its shiny coat. Its one the oldest horse breeds in the world and originates from the middle east.
4) Standardbred Horses
Standardbred horses are very common in horse racing but in a slower gait than galopp. They are only allowed to stay in the trotting gait - so the fastest race times recorded are not fair to compare with 'the fastest horse' as they are not allowed to galopp. The fastest standardbred ever recored is Cambest who in 1993 ran 1 mile in 1min 46 seconds. This is41.0116 mph! Pretty amazing as they are not allowed to galopp (which is a faster gait).
5) Arabian Horses
The Arabian is one of the oldest and most recognizable breeds in the world, dating as far back as 4,500 years to the Arabian Peninsula. With a sharply cleft high and head-tail carriage, this horse has been bred to survive long in harsh deserts, making it one of the fastest horses over a long distance. The breed has natural social skills and is friendly, highly spirited, quick to learn, and eager to please. Because of their appeal to horse breeders, a portion of the Arabian lineage survives in the most modern racehorses on the planet. The Thoroughbred racehorses considered among the best can reach speeds of approximately 35 to 40 miles per hour. These horses can reach higher speeds in short bursts as well. However as they are mainly used for endurance racing and endurance riding there are no official records for the Arabian horse either. Endurance races can range from 50 to 150 miles.
A mustang in the western United States descends from horses brought by the Spanish to the Americas in the 16th century. Mustangs are generally considered wild horses, but this is not the case; they were at one time domesticated and were only later considered feral. Sporting an inescapable weight of nearly 800 pounds and agile enough to take on varied tasks, the Mustang endures athletic challenges like dressage, riding, ranch work, and racing. Its ordinary running speed can go as high as 25 to 30 mph for a short time; its raw speed is substantially faster for brief bursts. Because they tend to be a bit smaller and stockier than a thoroughbred or arabian, they are not quite as fast.
7) Andalusian Horse
The Andalusian horse, also known as PRE horse, originates from the Iberian Peninsula for thousands of years. This spanish horse is known for its appearance and reguraly used for movie productions as it is sturdy, compact, and majestic looking, with a long flowing tail and mane. The Andalusian horse has been used in Spain since the Middle Ages as war horses and have a more compact build than the other breeds in this list. They are still very athletic and can reach speeds up to 35mph, however they are not used in modern horse racing as they tend to be a bit heavier breed and not the fastest because of this.
8) Appaloosa Horses
The Appaloosa is one of the most rapid breeds of horses in the world. It is thought to have originated in the Nez Perce nation in the Pacific Northwest due to a Spanish conquistador bringing horses to the Americas in the early 1500s. Spanish breeding efforts later included additions from Arabian and American Quarter horse stock. It has a leopard-like spotted appearance. This breed is ideal for western activities, e.g., reining, roping, and cutting, but it can also be employed for English disciplines such as show jumping, fox hunting, steeplechasing, and endurance.
9) American Paint horse
The American paint horse is an American breed that is often used for western events such as barrel racing, western pleasure and everyday trail riding. It it slightly smaller in height than the other breeds in this list (14hh-15hh). But don't let its size fool you. They are fast runners and the fastest American paint horse to date is 'Got Country Grip'. In 2006 he ran 400 yards in 19.55 seconds which is 41.85 mph.
10) Morgan Horse
Morgan horses are generally not used for horse racing, but they are naturally fast and athletic as the breed originated from Thoroughbreds, Arabian and Standardbreds. They range from 14hh-16.2hh with a muscular body. There are no official records of the fastest Morgan horse, but its believed to be similar to the arabian - approximately 35-40mph.
11) American Saddle bred
Another American horse breed known as the 'Ultimate show horse'. They are unique as they have 5 gaits (normal horses have 3) and are used for harness driving, pleasure riding and english disciplines such a hunter jumping. They are known to run speeds up to 30-35mph.
This article has covered some of the basics of what the fastest horse is and how it can be categorized based on its breed. However, it is important to remember that most horse breeds are never trained to test how fast they could get if they had the right training, feed and care. So even though a thoroughbred has the record of 44mph. Who knows, maybe another breed could beat it if we started to bring in Akhal teke or Standardbred horses into todays modern racing?
If you are lucky enough to attend a racing event and watch these magnificent creatures in person, take the time to appreciate their beauty and power.