In horse racing, what’s the difference between thoroughbreds and quarter horses?

Thoroughbred racehorses are descended from their original ancestors bred by English royalty in the 17th and 18th centuries. The breed was created by crossing the Royal Mares with three stallions imported from the Mediterranean Middle East — the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerly Turk.
Thoroughbreds were originally used in war, prized for their ability to carry weight with sustained speed over extended distances, but in modern times they are primarily competitors in racing but also excel at dressage, eventing and jumping. Their body type is characterized by long, sloping shoulders; fine-boned legs with small hooves and thin skin.
The American Quarter Horse originated in the mid-1600s, resulting from crossing native horses of Spanish origin used by the earliest colonists and English horses imported to Virginia beginning around 1610.
The quarter horse is noted for its agility and quick bursts of speed. It generally races at shorter distances than thoroughbreds, though some tracks offer cross-breed races. They are considered highly adaptable to almost to any riding discipline.
Physically, the quarter horse is typically blockier than a thoroughbred. They have a short, fine head, short back; long, powerful shoulders and well-muscled thighs.


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