Racing and the American Quarter Horse

Quarter Horses are particularly popular in the United States. This is also the reason why this breed is also referred to as the American Quarter Horse. This breed is known for excelling at sprinting over short distances. Quarter Race Horses received their name mainly due to widely competing in quarter horse racing. In this format, the race usually takes place over distances of a quarter of a mile or even less. Due to their built, some Quarter Horses have been recorded to speed at up to 55 mph or 88.5 km/h. The largest breed registry across the globe is the American Quarter Horse Association which has almost 3 million registered Quarter Horses.

Quarter Horses are well known for horse racing as well as for their performance in horse shows and rodeos. The breed is also a common working ranch horse. Possessing a compact body, an American Quarter Race Horse is perfectly suited to the speedy and intricate manoeuvres required in cutting, reining, working cow horse, calf roping, barrel racing and other western riding events, notably those that involve live cattle. Quarter Horses are also featured in English disciplines, driving as well as other equestrian activities.

Quarter Horse Breed Background Info

Period Developed17th Century
OriginNorth America
AncestorsThoroughbred; Chickasaw horse; Iberian; Arabian; Barb; Morgan; Standardbred
Horse TypeWarmblood

Life Expectancy and Size of an Average Quarter Horse

The height for the Quarter Horse breed is usually between 14 to 17 hands which are approximately 68 inches to the horse’s withers. An average height for horses is 15.2 hands or 60.8 inches. Needless to say, Quarter Horses are generally taller as compared to other breeds. Quarter Horses usually weigh around 1,075 pounds. This means that this breed is 50 pounds heavier than the weight of the average horse breed. Like most other breeds, Quarter Horses have a life expectancy of between 25 to 30 years.

Qualities of a Quarter Horse

Quarter Horses are ideal for slightly experienced owners. They are warm-blooded horses that combine the agility and quickness of their hot-blooded counterparts with the milder temperament and the heavier build of cold-blooded breeds. Quarter Horses are known for excelling in Olympic sporting events such as Dressage. Their powerful hindquarters allow them to propel themselves forward, giving them an edge in short-distance races.

While Quarter Horses may be fast and agile, they are more prone to health issues as compared to other breeds. There are five known health issues specifically affecting this breed. These include equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM/PSSM), glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (GBED), hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA), hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP), and lethal white syndrome.

This breed has also been known to have the capability to perform different tasks very well. The most common activities that Quarter Horses can undertake include general riding, dressage, hunting, jumping, racing, mounted athletics and rodeo, among many others.

Types of Quarter Horses

The two main body types of quarter horses are the stock type and the racing or hunter type. Stock type quarter horses are muscular, compact, stocky and shorter, but they have high agility. On the other hand, Quarter Horses under the racing and hunter categories are taller. Their muscles are smoother and they closely resemble Thoroughbreds.

Stock Type Quarter Horses

Stock horses are suitable for working with livestock, specifically cattle. Cutting and reining horses have a smaller stature and they move with agility and speed using their powerful hindquarters. Western pleasure show horses are typically a little taller and they have smoother gaits, slower movements and a topline that’s more levelled. However, they still have the powerful hindquarters which are the most notable characteristics of a Quarter Horse.

Halter Type Quarter Horses

Horses that are featured in-hand in Halter competitions are larger, but they have a heavily muscled built. They have small heads with refined muzzles and wide jowls. In the past, there have been debates and controversies circulating among breeders, owners and veterinarians regarding the adverse effects of extreme muscle mass. This is the current trend in specialised halter horses that typically stands 62 to 64 inches (15.2 to 16 hands or 157 to 163 cm. They usually weigh in at over 540 kg (around 1200 pounds) when they are fitted for halter competitions.

Racing and Hunter Type Quarter Horses

Quarter Horses’ physical built are ideal for sprinting short distances which range from 220 to 870 yards. Hence, racing and hunter type Quarter Horses have leaner bodies compared to their stock type counterparts. However, they are still characterised by powerful legs and heavily muscled hindquarters. Quarter Horses under the racing and hunter categories primarily compete against other horses within their breed. They have earned the nickname, “the fastest athlete in the world” due to their remarkable abilities in sprinting.

American Quarter Betting Tips

Punters can enjoy a variety of horse race options, including harness and thoroughbred racing. However, nothing can get their hearts racing faster than the quarter horse racing’s fast and furious pace.

Quarter Horses have a compact stature and they are heavily muscled. This breed can speed over a quarter mile in less than 21 seconds. In popular short races, Quarter Horses can race over 300 to 350 yards in 16 seconds.

When you engage in online quarter horse betting, you will quickly discover how easy it is to grow your bankroll. Most of the races involving quarter horses run on a straightaway. However, there are some events that can go across 870 yards around one turn.

It is important to note that a quarter horse has a higher potential of winning if it is quick out of the gate. Moreover, it should be able to sustain its speed until the finish point while staying in a straight line. Quarter horse racing is similar to equine drag racing, and the good thing about it is we can wager on it offline or online.

Tips on Betting on Quarter Horses

When you are betting on horse racing, it is important to determine the handicapping equation. Before you place your quarter horse bets, take a look at these horse race betting tips.


Keep in mind that most quarter horse race takes place on a straightaway. That is why the first thing you should consider is how fast each participating horse is.

If you take a look at the past performances, you will see that each horse’s time is listed in hundredths of a second. Generally in thoroughbred racing, one length is equal to one-fifth of a second. On the other hand in quarter horse racing, one length is equal to .16 of a second with half-length equals to .08 of a second.

Aside from the final times, you can also evaluate a horse’s speed through the Speed Index. You will see each horse’s average speed in comparison to the three fastest winning times for the same distance each year. The data you will see will include the past three years at the same racetrack.


In all types of horse racing, the class is a vital factor that you should review. In baseball, there are classes that range from three levels in the minor leagues to the major leagues. In horse racing, there are also different class levels that every punter should study and understand.

The different types of horse races include Speed Index, Maiden, Claiming, Trial, Allowance, Handicap and Stakes. Within those categories, you will find that there are different types as well. For example, different kinds of $4,000 claiming races can exist. You have the $4,000 for non-winners of two in a lifetime, an open claimer that has no restrictions or a race’s non-winners in six months.

Remember to study the conditions of the race and how the horses fit them. You can tell which horse will step up or drop in class just by looking at the current race condition.

Trouble Lines

Quarter horses usually compete in races that take place in less than twenty seconds. In that brief time, some horses still encounter troubles. Take a look at the comment line and you will see a short note regarding any trouble that a horse encountered in past performances. If you want to see a more detailed report, you can view the results chart.

Another great way of learning which horses had troubled trips is by watching recorded race horses. Watch out for horses which have difficulty getting out of the gate, or the ones which encounter trouble through the duration of the race.

Check the Betting Odds Online

For upcoming quarter horse races, you can always go to online sports books and take a look at the odds. Understanding the odds unlocks important details that you need as a punter in order to bet effectively. As we all know, the purpose of placing wagers on horse racing is to win money. Needless to say, you should look at the odds that will potentially give you a reasonable win.

Maintaining a Quarter Horse

When it comes to American Quarter breeding and maintenance, there are both upfront and ongoing costs. For boarding, it would cost you around £5,500 to £6,200 to maintain this breed. Training would be at around £7,000. Meanwhile, annual food costs and pasture maintenance would be at around £2,700. Of course, you wouldn’t forget to pay for the farriers to trim and shoe your horse’s hooves. In a year, farriers, emergency insurance and bedding would cost at around £700. Emergency care would cost at around £400.