Standardbred horses gained their name by the condition placed on them to be able to race a mile in “standard time – 2 min and 30 seconds” or better in order to be registered in the standardbred stud book established in the US in 1879. The breed has come a long way since this time with several individuals running more than 40 seconds faster than this.

Breed History
Initially North American harness racing horses were either “Narragansett Pacer” or “Canadian Pacer” breeds. A faster harness horse was developed by brooding image Thoroughbred is with other breeds such as the Norfolk Trotter, the Hackney, the Morgan Horse in addition to the Canadian Pacer to create a horse that would later become the standardbred

trotting races in the Americas started out on fields in the horses were written rather than in harness it wasn’t until the mid-18th-century the courses were developed and harnesses were added. At this point breeding horses back to both Gallup and trot was quite common from the same breed stock. A notable sire of this year was the English Thoroughbred “messenger” who arrived in the United States in 1788. He sired the now legendary Hambletonian 10 in 1849. The owners of this stallion were looking for a fast galloping horse and he failed at this they sold him thinking he was worthless. His new owners tested him as a trotting horse which history shows he was a standout performer in this discipline and he went on to become one of the most influencing sires of standardbreds – almost every modern day standardbred is descended from this stallion.

The stud book was formed in 1939 when the United States Trotting Horse Association was formed.

Breed Characteristics
Standardbreds are short of leg than thoroughbreds and have longer bodies. They have karma dispositions, better suited to harness racing which generally involves more tactics than simply sprinting to the finish. Standardbreds tend to be less flighty more people orientated and much easier to train than thoroughbreds.

They are stockier than a thoroughbred but with more refined legs and powerful shoulders and hindquarters. They are very square built in comparison to the streamlined Thoroughbred they are most sound and sturdy. Height wildly varies from 14.1 to 17 hands high. Most often they come in bay or brown although other colours are seen

Uses of the Standardbred
they are widely believed to be the fastest trotting horse in the world are often used to upgrade other breeds of harness racing breeds  around the world. Lovers of the horse have emerged with the aim of promoting the horse more than just harness racing most notably “The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization”, founded in the US in the 1980s.

The breed has all the usual gaits, and pacers can even be retrained to trot. Standardbreds are quite good at jumping, making them suitable for the hunters, jumpers, or eventing. They are also seen in dressage, and their excellent temperaments make them good trail or ranch horses.

There are numerous Standardbred organisations in Australia including

http://www.standardbred.org.au/