Besides beauty and strength, horses are also famously known for their speed. With over 300 horse breeds, it might be challenging to pick the ideal one for contests. Choosing the best and the right horse depends on the purpose you need them for and the kind of breed you choose. We have created a list of some fastest horse breeds around the world.

Fastest Horse Breeds

In the past, horses were appreciated for their working abilities like “how much weight can a horse carry?” or “how far can a horse travel in a day?” because, in those times, horses were used for pulling carts, traveling, and plowing fields. However, today, people want to have a fun weekend riding their horses. Similarly, some are into horse racing and would like to have the fastest horses in their stable. If you belong to the latter group and have been looking for the fastest horse breeds of the equine world, you are in the right place. Below, we have listed the 14 fastest horse breeds that can, with proper training, win titles for you

American Paint Horse

Fastest Horse Breeds-American Paint Horse

Key Features

Speed: 50 – 60 mph

Weight: 950-1200 Lbs.

Height: 14.2-15.2 hands high

Lifespan:30 years

Country of Origin: USA

The American Paint horses are popular not only for their unique coat color but also for their easy-going and friendly temperament and racing abilities. They have quarter horse breeding in their pedigree and exhibit them in their racing capacity. They blend the conformation characteristics of a quarter horse and the coat pattern of a pinto horse. 

The American Paint horses are known to attain speeds of 55 – 60 mph, which is why it is preferred by cowboys and cattle ranchers in the American West who need speed in their steed.  Paint Horse Racing is held on the U.S. race tracks.

Paint Horses are renowned for their strength, speed, and agility. As a result, they are driven and ridden in nearly every English and Western discipline. They can be found jumping in the stadium, barrel racing, doing cross-country competitions, working cattle, combined driving, and trail riding, etc.

American Quarter Horse

Fastest Horse Breeds

Key Features

Speed: 55 mph

Weight: 950-1200 Lbs.

Height: 14.2-16 hands high

Lifespan:25 years

Country of Origin: America

American Quarter horses are the fastest for covering short distances.  The pace of this breed may go up to 55 miles per hour over a distance of a quarter-mile. Even breeds like the Thoroughbred cannot compete with the sprinting speed of the American Quarter Horse.  

The American Quarter Horse breed has several distinctive features like adaptability, excellent sprinting skills, and flexibility. Blood of English horses from Virginia is attributed to the amazing sprint speed and versatility of the American Quarter Horse.

For these horses, ranch and Western competitions are ideal. Furthermore, they can also do well in fundamental show-jumping and other events like dressage competitions.


Fastest Horse Breeds

Key Features

Speed: 54 mph

Weight: 800 Lbs.

Height: 14-15 hands high

Lifespan:Upto 40 years

Country of Origin: North America

The Mustang was found in the western United States as a free-roaming feral horse. It is utilized for its power and speed. Most Mustang horses can gallop or run at speeds of 25 to 30 mph. According to Horse Canada, the fastest recorded Mustang could run for 54 mph over a short distance.

They are standing tall at an average height of 14 to 15 hands high and usually weigh around 800 pounds. They come in various colors, but the black Mustang horse is the most popular among equine lovers.


Hoof walls of horses are at the risk of cracking or splitting when a horse is running on firm ground or leaping over jumps. To protect your horse from potential hoof injuries, horseshoe wear shoes.


Fastest Horse Breeds-Andalusians
Image by Perlenmuschel from Pixabay

Key Features

Speed: 50 mph

Weight: 1100 Lbs.

Height: 15.5 hands high

Lifespan:25 years

Country of Origin: Spain

Andalusians (Pura Raza Espanola) are pure Spanish horses from the Iberian Peninsula, Spain. They initially served as horses for cavalry in wars since they were courageous and agile. They have also symbolized Spain Bay’s refinement. Andalusians execute with an incredible range of movement and, due to their remarkable strength, they can make complex movements.

However, their impressive moves are not the only advantages and strengths they have. Andalusians also feature excellent athletics, endurance, and speed. These traits provide them considerable benefits in sports such as dressage, long-distance racing, and show-jumping. Due to their intellect, serenity, and attractiveness, they are often seen in popular movies and T.V. series.

Akhal Teke

Fastest Horse Breeds
Photo by Zongnan Bao on Unsplash

Key Features

Speed: 45 mph

Weight: 1000 Lbs.

Height: 14.5 – 16 hands high

Lifespan:20 years

Country of Origin: Turkmenistan

The Akhal Teke horse breed is registered and developed in Turkmenistan, with a unique and diverse look, owing to its striking metallic coat. Cream-colored horses may look golden, while silver horses may give a silvery glow.

They are well-known all around the world for the endurance they can sustain at every race. The Akhal-Teke horse breed is one of the fastest horses to compete like Arab horses that excel over distances. This breed is also outstanding in sports like dressage and show-jumping.


Fastest Horse Breeds

Key Features

Speed: 44 mph

Weight: 1000 Lbs.

Height: 16 hands high

Lifespan:25-35 years

Country of Origin: England

The Thoroughbred horse was formed when the English mixed the lineage of the fastest Arab, Barb, and Turkoman horses. Each Thoroughbred can trace the ancestry of these three outstanding horses. Thoroughbreds have been refined for hundreds of years of selective breeding to dominate the horse racing industry.

Thoroughbreds at a speed of 43.97mph are the fastest breed of horses in the world. They have the Guinness world record of the fastest horse in the world and are ideally suited for barrel races, polo races, show-jumping, and 3-day competitions. Thoroughbreds are hot-blooded, hence filled with energy, and have a very competitive personality. They are extremely nimble, fast, powerful, and attractive because of their large yet thin physique.


Fastest Horse Breeds

Key Features

Speed: 41 mph

Weight: 1000-1100 Lbs.

Height: 16 hands high

Lifespan:30 years

Country of Origin: North America

The Appaloosa horses originated from North America and were primarily used for hunting. The Appaloosa breed is more than just looks and a flashy coat; it is the fastest breed of horses for running and can compete with the fastest of horses. It has every feature you need in a perfect racehorse—endurance, strength, speed, etc.  

Appaloosas do well as long-distance trail horses and also compete in several English and Western sports.


Fastest Horse Breeds
Image by rihaij from Pixabay

Key Features

Speed: 40 mph

Weight: 800-1000 Lbs.

Height: 14.3 hands high

Lifespan:30 years

Country of Origin: Middle East

Arabian horses are famed primarily for their endurance and not speed, though they have been timed at 40mph. Arabians cannot compete with a quarter horse or Thoroughbred in terms of speed, yet they dominate endurance racing. They are the fastest horse breed to cover the distance in record time. They can save energy effectively, making it easier for them to run extended distances. This breed used to live in desert environments, which may be why it has a high endurance level. 

Although it may be smaller than other horses, the Arab breed nevertheless has excellent strength and agility. They are suitable for even war generals and are also famous in other disciplines such as show-jumping, cutting, reining, riding, and dressage.

They have an average height of 14.3 hands and weigh between 800 to 1000 pounds. The average lifespan of Arabian horses is around 25 to 30 years.

Read: How Many Breeds of Horses Are There?


Fastest Horse Breeds
Image by soulfirephotography_ from Pixabay

Key Features

Speed: 30 mph

Weight: 900 – 1000 Lbs.

Height: 16 hands high

Lifespan:25-30 years

Country of Origin: New England

The Standardbreds originated from New England and were bred from various pacing and trotting breeds. Its roots originate from the Morgan, the Canadian Pacer, Thoroughbred, and others that are extinct now.

The Standardbred horses can beat every other breed when competing in harness racing. They are adaptable and friendly and are frequently utilized for trail riding and other riding events. Standardbreds are strong competitors overall. They can compete in sports such as barrel racing, and show-jumping, etc.  The willingness of this breed to learn makes these amazing accomplishments attainable.

A Standardbred horse has buff shoulders and hindquarters, similar to the Thoroughbred, which gives it strength and speed, and its stature is like an Arabian horse.

American Miniature Horse

Fastest Horse Breeds

Key Features

Speed: 18 mph

Weight: 150 – 300 Lbs.

Height: 8.5 hands high

Lifespan:35 years

Country of Origin: Europe

As a consequence of selective breeding, Miniature horses may usually be found in America and Europe. By the time they’re one year old, they are 90% of their fully developed adult size. They may not be the fastest breed, but they can outdo any race of the same size. They can even beat fast horses like the Thoroughbreds or Quarter Horses.

They are quite sociable and are usually kept as household pets. However, the conduct of a natural horse is still maintained. They’re usually not for contests. Most people breed American Miniature horses to make them can draw heavy loads and work for extended periods.

Read: A Profile of Einstein Horse: The World’s Smallest Miniature Horse

Black Forest

Fastest Horse Breeds
Image by Uli Ebner from Pixabay

Key Features

Speed: 14 mph

Weight: 1100-1300 Lbs.

Height: 14.7-15.7 hands high

Lifespan:25-30 years

Country of Origin: Germany

The Black Forest horses are selectively bred endangered German draft horse breed. They were widely used in early times for travel, farming, and agriculture. These days, due to their long strides and stylish trot, they are highly popular for driving and riding. They are also good runners, thanks to their wide hooves and short necks. In competitions, judges specifically look for grace and elegance in all their motions when they compete.

Read: Black Horse Breeds

Black forest horses are extremely low maintenance, friendly and calm. These horses are capable of carrying heavy weights and hence are still utilized in the farming industry.

During teamwork, these horses are among the fastest horses in the world that carry heavyweights from one place to the other.

Dutch Harness Horse

Fastest Horse Breeds
Montanabw, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Features

Speed: 8-9 mph

Weight: 1050 Lbs.

Height: 15-16.2 hands high

Lifespan:24-29 years

Country of Origin: Netherlands

The Dutch Harness Horses are selectively bred, high stepping, graceful and sophisticated appearance that has evolved in the Netherlands. They are a combination of Groningen and Gelderland horses that can be found in various colors, but chestnut is the most common. This heritage breed is bred strictly by selective breeding in their home country to preserve its reputation as an attractive carriage and sports breed. Due to their strength and speed, they are steadily gaining popularity. Dutch Harness horses are also recognized for the engagement of their hindquarters and their high level of natural activity.

Friesian Horse

Key Features

Speed: 30 mph

Weight: 1300 pounds

Height: 14.2-17 hands high

Lifespan:16 years

Country of Origin:Netherlands and Germany

Originating in the Netherlands and Germany, the Friesian horse is one of the most popular sporting horse breeds—they are specifically bred for sporting events. They not only perform well in trek racing but also do well in jumping competitions.

Friesian horses have an average height of 16 hands high, but their height usually varies between 14.2 to 17 hands high. There are quite muscular, and their weight ranges between 1200 pounds to 1400 pounds. They can easily run at the speed of 30mph.

Friesian horses have a glossy coat and long thick mane and tail, which makes them a high maintenance horse breed. So you should only get one if you can provide them with regular baths and a lot of brushing. More so, they are not a big fan of warm weather as the sun bleaches their beautiful coat. They are typically solid black and are thus found at the top of the list of black horse breeds.

Morgan Horse

Fastest Horse Breeds
Photo: Anthony Domire JR., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Features

Speed: 6-8 mph

Weight: 1000 Lbs.

Height: 14-15 hands high

Lifespan:30 years

Country of Origin:US

Morgan Horses are among America’s oldest horse breeds. They are smart, gentle, and versatile, with extraordinary strength and configuration. They have deep muscles, straight legs, and robust bodies. Highly known for their elegant movement, many people utilize them for riding and harness racing.

Harness races were at their pinnacle in New England in the 1800s, and a Morgan was the best of the best. In British races, some Morgan horses were exported. One of them named Shepherd F. Knapp, a Morgan stallion stood out. His speed was so remarkable that innumerable English mares were bred to him.

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