Top 8 Sports Horses for Racing

Looking for sports horses online can be as confusing as looking at the world map for the first time. Each type will look similar to another but they will have different skills and traits. Sports horse breeds are diverse and their way of galloping, jumping, or eventing are also different. Conformation and performance are key for their registration and grading. If you want to put in your money on a sport horse, you need to know their history, strengths, and then choose the perfect breed for you.

Best sports horses for sale

From looking for a sports horse auction in your city to going abroad to make the perfect acquisition, you must consider several options. But first, you need to select the sports horse breed. Here, we list you the top 10 sports horse breed to gear up for your next race:

1. British Warmblood

You might already know many European sport horses – the British Warmblood is, however, an amalgamation of several European breeds. As per Warmblood Breeders Studbook, this breed can be a mare, stallion, and youngstock before getting registered as the British Warmblood. These also have traits of Thoroughbred in them.

Conformation, sporting ability, and temperament run in their blood. Every horse is graded and rated accordingly. You will expect a Warmblood to become one of the WBS-UK Group I stallions. Such grading ensures the quality and capability of every horse, and you need clarity when buying a mixed breed.

Note that the pure-bred Thoroughbreds, Danish Warmbloods, Trakehners, and Holsteins are all registered as British Warmbloods in the UK.

British Warmblood

Photo Credit: Pinterest

2. Danish Warmblood

Danish Warmblood is primarily known for their capability in dressage. People look at them as a brand of sport horses.

In 1962, the breeders of Danish horses tried to find the perfect match using German breeding stock, Frederiksborg, and Thoroughbreds. The result was exactly how they wanted a sports horse to be.

Danish Warmblood sport horses are strong, expressive, and great jumpers. Many of them have won accolades in the Olympic Dressage. Britain’s silver medal winner at 2012 Olympics was a Danish Warmblood called Mistral Hojris.

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Mistral Hojris

Photo Credit: Zimbio

3. Hanoverian

Hanover, in 1735, opened a breeder for horses that were both great in farming and in cavalry. The motto was to establish one of the ideal sport horse breeds that could compete internationally.

With time, there were changes in both farming and warfare scenarios in Hanover, and that made the breeders raise one of the best sports horses. These horses are graded according to their health, reliability, the sound of limb, good temperament, and discipline.

It is tough to grade and license stallions as they need to go through 70 days of testing and then marked capable to breed. You might need a lot of patience for this acquisition, but they’re definitely worth your wait.

Hanoverian sport horses have records of winning World Championships in Show Jumping and Dressage. These include names like Shutterfly, Dollar Girl, and Salinero.


Photo Credit: Facebook

4. Holsteiner

Holsteiner horses are said to date back to the 13th century and are potentially the oldest breed of warmbloods. It has had a closed studbook for the longest period of time and that makes them have distinct characteristics.

Holsteiner is popular sport horses today but were common riding and carriage horses in history. They have a high-set neck, powerful hindquarters, and elastic gaits.

When times changed, the usage of these horses developed. The studbook allowed better sires that made these horses stronger. The Holsteiner horses are world-famous due to their jumping ability and powerful springs.


Photo Credit: Horse Breeds Pictures

5. Irish Hunter

We had to add an Irish sport horse on the list because they’re simply incredible when it comes to racing. The Irish Hunter is also called Irish Sport Horse and is a mixed breed of Irish Draught and Thoroughbred.

The Hunters were bred to become the perfect riding horses in Ireland and they excel at jumping. The loyalty of Draught blends with the agility and speed of Thoroughbreds, and that’s what made the Irish Hunter an ideal eventing horse.

The Irish Hunters that made a mark in Olympics were Over to You, Shear L’Eau, and Gilt Edge.

Over To You

Photo Credit: Horse and Hound

6. Oldenburg

Quality is the only standard that counts – is the motto of this breed of sports horses. That’s why all the breeders focus on growing talented horses.

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Oldenburg horses trace back the 17th century and create a versatile breed of luxury horses. Unlike many breeds of German studbooks, the State Stud wasn’t created for this. It allowed many breeders to introduce more bloodlines and quickly adapt to changing markets.

Studbook focuses more on mare-lines than stallions, and new bloodlines brought better mares. Breeders identified many warmbloods who want horses for leisure rides and not races.

When you plan to make an acquisition, you need to evaluate the breed and what you want the horse to do. You need to access their performance to figure out if you want them for leisure or for sports.


Photo Credit: Oldenburg

7. Trakehner

Trakehners are one of the hardy horses of Prussia and are a mix of the Arabian and Thoroughbred horses. It is a unique blend compared to most warmbloods of Europe.

These sport horses are finer than other relative breeds and are quite good at sports. They are fiery, powerful, and their impressive gaits in the trots make them great at dressage. Trakehners have great endurance power and that makes them a good overall eventing horse.


Photo Credit: Horse Breeds Pictures

8. Westphalian

Westphalian horses were originally cavalry horses and they have gone through several changes. These were initially as efficient as Trakehners, but the State Studs changed their goals to create strong draft horses to farm.

Later, in 1957, the focus changed and they were to develop as riding horses. This is how the breed got prominence but they aren’t bred for one specialization.

Westphalian sports horses are easy to ride, have great movement, and jumping ability. Even though they achieve great heights, the breeders primarily retain them for leisure.

Two famous Westphalian horses were Rembrandt and Ahlerich.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Final thoughts

You can get event horses for sale online or find specific places for auctions. Make sure you are clear about why you want to buy a horse and at what level of horse racing you are in. Also, make sure the horse you buy can adapt to the climatic condition where you stay and you have proper resources to maintain it.

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