English Thoroughbred



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The enthusiasm of the British aristocracy and its kings for horse racing was decisive for the development of the English thoroughbred horse towards the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. The three stallions "Byerly Turk", "Darley Arabian" and "Godolphin Barb" that were imported from the orient at that time were the foundation sires of the horses that are the fastest horses in the world today. They were crossbred with local racing horses (presumably with the meanwhile extinct English Galloways and Irish Hobbies) and for the first time a breed came into being whose breeding had only one selection criterion namely that of speed. The thoroughbred breed has successfully spread right around the world from its initial English base.

Racehorses and sires: 

The three foundation sires of thoroughbred breeding, Byerly Turk (Turkmen), Darley Arabian (pure-bred Arab) and Godolphin Barb (presumably a Berber) brought forth the most important founders of bloodlines via their progeny. The most famous of these is the 1764 born Eclipse, who left the racecourse undefeated. Together with Herod and Match'em he belonged to the troika of the most important sires of the 18th century. The likewise unbeaten St. Simon, who was born in 1881 is regarded as the most significant sire of the 19th century. These were followed in the 20th century by Hyperion, born in 1930 and Nearco who was bred in Italy in 1935. Nearco today appears in 95% of the pedigrees of the winners of the classical English/Irish races. The 1917 born Man O'War is considered up to today as the best racehorse of the American continent. German thoroughbred breeding has literally made a giant leap forward over the past few decades, among others through stallions such as Tiger Hill and his son Sumitas. German thoroughbred breeding can meanwhile holds its own successfully in the concert of the traditional selective breeding centres of England, Ireland, France, the USA and Italy.


These sensitive, lively horses, which at first were bred purely for horseracing, are today often also to be found in competition sport and in leisure time horse riding. The English thoroughbred has played a decisive role in the upgrading of all the German Warmblood breeds.


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