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English Thoroughbred Horse: characteristics and character

English Thoroughbred Horse: characteristics and character


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Agility and speed are the two characteristics that make the English Thoroughbred Horse, make him known and recognizable especially when he competes and puts all of himself to excel. This is a breed originating from the Great Britain but that we can also find in Italy and in other countries of the world, and it is a breed that has been selected with care and attention so that it could be successful in all gallop racing competitions in racetracks.

English Thoroughbred Horse: origins

The geographical origins of this English thoroughbred are quite clear but let's get to know the historical ones, more intricate and that best explain its characteristics. The official date of birth of the modern version of this breed is 1793 because it is reported by the Stud Book, the book of origins or herd book of racehorses. In this precious document we find told that the breed originated from 50 indigenous mares, the Royal Mares, and three oriental stallions: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Barb, from whom all modern racing thoroughbreds descend in the male line. In truth, we must also add a fourth stallion who genetically contributed to the formation of what the English thoroughbred is today, his name is Curwen's Bay Barb.

This is what is officially told, what we read in the documents and in the registers, but in truth the selection made to obtain this breed began much, much earlier, in Roman times, when this powerful people came to conquer Britain by automatically bringing their horses up there. In particular the Berber horse which was used in racing in the Circus Maximus for which he already had in his blood the speed and agility that we also find in our English Thoroughbred.

Several oriental horses arrived in England, from that moment on, mainly in the period of the Crusades or through the exchanges that existed with Italy, a land where many competitions and Palios took place in the Middle Ages, so it had several breeds of horses all very snappy.

Among the fastest mares we can remember for example the Royal Mares of various origins (Berber, Turkish, Syrian, Arab and crosses between these breeds) which had been selected for their shot on 400 m, but there were also others, always of similar origin, which make us say that the English thoroughbred has clear oriental origins, even if the final careful selection was made in Great Britain.

English Thoroughbred Horse: characteristics

The body of a horse of this type is clearly a body suitable for racing. They are definite animals in English "thoroughbred" and are "created" on purpose to successfully participate in ran at a gallop therefore almost designed to be very powerful and fast. By carrying out the selection with these priorities, horses were obtained with morphological characters that were not too homogeneous and were grouped into three precise sub-categories.

There is "Stayer" which is the tallest and longest horse, often used for races between 2100 and 3000 meters and beyond, then there is the "Sprinter" which is a small and collected horse, used on races between 1000 and 1500 meters, and finally the"Intermediate" which is characterized by an oblique croup, a sloping shoulder and a rather short back. The latter is the best in races between 1500 and 2000 meters.

Let's now see some characteristics that these horses have in common even though their dimensions can vary a lot, just think that the height at the withers goes from 147 to 173 cm, with an average of around 162 cm and their weight goes accordingly from 350 to 500 kg.

I'm golicomorphic animals with a head well proportioned to the body, with small ears; large, sweet eyes, supported by a long, straight but muscular neck. The withers are prominent and the back-lumbar line is rather elongated while the shape of the croup can vary greatly: depending on the sub-category it belongs to, it can be more or less oblique. The chest is quite broad and deep while the tail has a high attack. Let's move on to the limbs which are extremely important for a racehorse. Those of the English Thoroughbred are long with short arm and very muscular and equipped with wide and dry joints as well as tendons which are evident. The leg is also long and muscular but with thin shins and small, well built and robust feet.

As for skin and coat, the first is really very thin so that it reveals the superficial veins while the coat is very thick bay, dark bay, chestnut, only occasionally are some specimens of morello, gray and roan but rarely. Horses may also have white markings, however they are accepted.

English Thoroughbred Horse: Character

The athletic and fast physique of this horse is accompanied by a character a little nervous for which we certainly do not have an animal suitable for beginners. His qualities are only other, he excels in galloping but also in horse riding, and he knows how to prove himself courageous, reliable and affectionate towards the boss when it comes to create a good feeling and form a winning team.

English Thoroughbred Horse: breeding

Also in Italy we find English purebred breeding and we owe it to a single person who allowed the breed to remain here in Italy as well: Federico Tesio. We owe to this Italian breeder, and politician, almost all the modern English thoroughbreds who therefore descend from the horses reared at Villa Tesio, near Dormello, on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Tesio is in fact called the "wizard of Dormello"And in his life he dedicated himself with passion to the scholar of the breed together with his wife Lydia Fiori between the beginning and the middle of the twentieth century. He created real champions who raced for Dormello Olgiata stable including Apelles, Ortello, Donatello II, Nearco and the Italian pride Ribot, nicknamed the horse of the century.

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