What is ‘Thoroughbred’?
Thoroughbred is a term used to describe a certain type of horse that is of pure breed. Thoroughbred horses are usually used in horse racing and can be worth thousands of pounds. Thoroughbreds are widely considered to be ‘hot-blooded’, meaning that they possess greater agility and speed when compared to other horses, making them ideal for horse racing.
A thoroughbred is a distinct breed of horse which is usually sixteen hands high. Due to their horse racing potential, they can net owners significant sums of money if they go on to become a successful horse. It is because of their potential that they can demand such high sums at auction. These sums are what has driven agribusiness and in the US alone – it is estimated that the thoroughbred industry generates $34 billion every year. There are also just under half a million people working within the industry across racetracks and training centres as well as farms.
Buying thoroughbreds can be a tricky business. Despite having a wealth of knowledge in the area, owners can still get it wrong because there are no ways of guaranteeing that a horse will be successful. One example of this was in 2006 when the record was set for the highest price paid for a thoroughbred at auction. A two-year-old thoroughbred named The Green Monkey fetched an eye-watering $16,000,000, but no success followed. A succession of injuries ended up hampering The Green Monkey’s potential and he only started three races in his entire horse racing career. In 2008, The Green Monkey ended up being retired to stud, leaving the owner with no return on their investment.
Thoroughbreds are usually known as sprinters, in which case they will have plenty of muscles, or distance runners, which will be a bit smaller and slimmer. Larger thoroughbreds tend to mature more slowly but are at risk of lameness due to the additional stress placed on their feet and legs. Smaller horses, however, are sometimes considered to have a disadvantage when it comes to racing. This has been put down to their shorter stride along with the fact they may get bumped by other horses in the starting gate. The fact is, however, that there have been champion horses from a wide range of sizes.