There are hundreds of different horse breeds, each with unique genetics. We've compiled a list of some of the most popular horse breeds to give you an idea of how they compare to the Thoroughbreds that race in Steeplechase of Charleston.

American Quarter Horse

horse breed type

The American Quarter Horse is the most popular breed in the United States. American Quarter horses tend to be short and stocky with heavy muscular development. They are characterized by broad chests and a short, wide head.  Their coats are all solid and come in a variety of colors, with Sorrel and Chestnut being the most common.

The name 'Quarter' is derived from the race these horses excel at - the quarter mile. While they do not have the stamina Thoroughbreds do, Quarter horses have the speed to beat them in short races.

Because of their ability to make fast starts, turns, and stops, they are valuable in cattle herding. Overall, these are versatile horses with an easy-going temperament.

Height: 14.3 to 16 hands

Weight: 950 to 1,200 pounds

American Paint Horse

American Paint Horses, sometimes referred to as Pinto, are easily recognizab

le due to their distinctive coloring. Each horse's coat pattern has a color combination of white and another color. The two most common patterns are Tobiano and Overo. No two Paint horses have exactly the same pattern.

Height: 14.2 to 16 hands

Weight: 1,150 pounds


Originally developed by the Native American tribe, Nez Pierce.  They are thought to have descended from Wild Mustangs. These horses have distinctive vertically striped hooves and spotted coats. Typically, these are stock horses but they can also be used in a variety of Western riding disciplines. They are light, but sturdy. 

Height: 14.2 to 16 hands

Weight: 1,000 to 1,100 pounds


horse breed

These horses are the oldest registered breed and are easy to spot thanks to their chiseled head, dished profile, and long arching neck. Since they are characteristically affectionate and bond well with humans, Arabian horses are often used in instructional programs and therapeutic riding. They are often praised for being one of the more intelligent horse breeds.

Height: 14.1 to 15.2 hands

Weight: 800 to 1,000 pounds

Morgan Horse

horse breed 2

The breed exists solely to please people. It's their heritage. - The American Morgan Horse Association

Because of their temperament, Morgan Horses are a great choice for beginner riders.

The Morgan Horse is the first documented American breed, descended from Justin Morgan (who shared his name with his owner).  Morgan Horses come in a variety of colors such as black, brown, chestnut, roan, and gray. They are attractive, with a nicely crested neck small ears, and expressive features.

Height: 14.1 to 15.2 hands

Weight: 900 to 1,100 pounds

Tennessee Walking Horse

"The word's greatest show, trail, and pleasure horse."  The Tennessee Walking Horse gets its name because of its gait. Instead of trotting, they do a running walk in which the front foot hits the ground before the diagonal hind foot. This provides riders with a smooth and comfortable ride. The running walk is faster than a typical flat-footed gait and has a speed of 6-8 miles per hour.

Its stature is heavier and stouter than those of American saddle horses. The Tennessee Walking Horse carries its head low and is less refined than other breeds. These horses come in a variety of colors.

Height: 15.2 hands (average)

Weight: 1,000 pounds


thoroughbred horse breed

What really sets Thoroughbreds apart from the rest is their stamina. They have large expressive eyes, long, sloping shoulders, and fine-boned legs with thin hooves. Their coats are primarily bay or chestnut.

Proper training is important, as these high-spirited horses need a suitable way to channel their energy.

Though this breed is best known for its athleticism and racing careers, Thoroughbreds are also used in eventing and can serve as riding or driving horses after they retire. Additionally, a number of them work as police horses in their communities.

Height: 15-17 hands

Weight: 1,000 to 1,200 pounds