The Four Fastest Horse Breeds In The World

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

Horses are the most iconic image we have of horses. They can be seen galloping across open fields with the wind blowing through their hair and the sound of hoofbeats hitting the ground. Speed is a key component of many disciplines in equestrian. A horse that can get us to the finish line quickly will win the ribbon and be the fastest. There are over 300 breeds available, so who can be the fastest?

Fastest Horse Breeds In The World

These are the four fastest horse breeds anywhere in the world.


The Thoroughbred horse is long-legged and athletically constructed. They are able to keep their speed over a considerable distance. In the Kentucky Derby, Thoroughbreds race at 38 mph for 10 furlongs (1.25 mile).

It took them over 300 years to perfect this breed, even though they were not the fastest horses in the world.

The origins of the Thoroughbred can been traced back to England, where it was bred to three foundation sires, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian. The Thoroughbred’s agility makes them an athlete in many different disciplines, including dressage, jumping and barrel racing.

American Quarter Horse

Although they can be used in many places, Quarter Horses excel in western areas where speed is a major factor. For example, running the standard barrel pattern in just 16 seconds. These horses are quick and stocky, so they can turn quickly or stop at a moment’s notice. This makes them an invaluable resource for ranches that sort cattle.


When the Arabian is mentioned in conversation, beauty is often what comes to mind. But their speed is also important, with a world record of 40mph. They are one of the oldest breeds in the world. Originating in the Middle East and Egypt, the Arabian was used in battle due to their speed and endurance. This breed is still popular for its speed and ability to travel a great distance. The Arabian is the best teammate for endurance racing. The Arabian is the backbone for the Thoroughbred pedigree.


The sometimes-over-looked breed the Standardbred also makes the list. This breed is mainly used in harness racing pulling cars. It is also the fastest at the trot, the second gear. At trotting one mile in 58 seconds and a trot speed of 30 mph, this record speed is maintained. The Thoroughbred influence can be traced back in the pedigree. To be eligible to register as a Standardbred at the start of the breed’s foundation, the horse must have a speed of over a mile at the trot in order to qualify.

There are many breeds that can compete, but it is clear that the Standardbred, Quarter Horse and Arabian will be the leaders of the race. These horses excel in specific disciplines and are some of the fastest in the world. Which do you think is the fastest breed? Comment below to let us know!

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!