Get To Know American Standardbred Horse Breed (Temperament, Colors, Height & Characteristics)

Standard Bred Breed – This is the official name of the famous American trotting and pacing horses. Harness racing, whether trotting or pacing (which is the lateral movement as opposed to the diagonal), may be said to hold pride of place in popularity as a horse spectacle with the American public; and these animals are bred and trained with extreme care and with truly American scientific efficiency.

The father of the modern Standard trotter was Rysdyk’s ‘Hambletonian’, also known as ‘Hambletonian 10’ from his standard number in the register. Foaled in 1849, he descended in three ways (direct male line and two collateral crosses) from the English Thoroughbred ‘Messenger’, the fons et origo of all American trotting horses, who, himself the son of the Norfolk Trotter ‘Bellfounder’, was imported to America in 1788. And through him, the breed goes back in the male line through ‘Blaze’ to the Darley Arabian. Allied with this principal foundation element are many other Thoroughbred strains, and also Morgan, Norfolk Trotter, and other light horse strains.

The Standard Bred trotter breed dates officially from 1879 when the National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders adopted a set of rules for admission to the American Trotting Register (first published in 1871) based on speed. The rules have been varied from time to time according to the great progress made in the establishment of the type, and now the Standard, from being largely one of performance and speed on the racetrack, is one of blood only.

Selective breeding under that standard has transformed an initially composite type into a homogenous and firmly established one, renowned the world over; and the trotting horses of Europe all owe something to the American breed.

The characteristics of the breed are generally Thoroughbred, with modifications due to differences in gait and work. In the main, the Standard Bred is heavier-limbed and more robustly built than the Thoroughbred, with a longer body, shorter legs, and greater endurance. The average height is 15.2 hands; 16 hands are seldom reached, while 15 hands are usually the lower limit. The weight in racing conditions is 900lb to 1,000lb. The horse possesses an unequaled heart and stamina, which enable it to run heat after heat at top speed without flagging.

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