Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

14 Fastest Horse Breeds in the World (With Pictures)

Oliver Jones

There are many horse breeds, and people choose their favorite based on different criteria. Some people need a horse to help them complete tasks like pulling carts or plowing fields. Others want a horse so they can go riding, and some might have dreams of racing. If you ever wondered what the fastest horse breeds are, you have come to the right place. We are going to list several horse breeds built for lightning speeds. We’ll show you what each one looks like and tell you a little about it so you can see which one would be best for your stables.

divider-horse

14 Fastest Horse Breeds

1. American Quarter Horse

American Quarter Horse
Image Credit: evelynbelgium, Wikimedia Commons

The American Quarter Horse is a breed with ties to Colonial America. It’s especially fast at sprinting the quarter-mile and is one of the fastest horses in this category. It’s a bit shorter than many draft horses, standing about 15 hands tall. The American Quarter is available in several colors and is one of America’s most popular horse breeds. It’s capable of speeds up to 55 miles per hour (MPH).


2. Akhal Teke

Akhal Teke horse
Image Credit: Ulruppelt, Wikimedia Commons

The Akhal Teke is an ancient horse closely related to the Arabian breed we’ll talk about a little later. This horse is remarkable for its speed paired with endurance. It also has a shiny coat that many people like. It’s available in several colors and stands between 14 and 16 hands tall. Most people use this breed for racing, jumping, and endurance riding.


3. Andalusian Horse

Andalusian Horse
Image Credit: EvitaS, Pixabay

The Andalusian horse is a Spanish horse that breeders recognized as unique since the 1500s. While it’s primarily known for its bravery in battle, it’s quite fast on the run and has plenty of stamina for the getaway. It usually stands a little taller than 15 hands and is available in several colors, including black, palomino, and chestnut.


4. Appaloosa

Appaloosa horse
Image Credit: Sven Lachmann, Pixabay

The Appaloosa is an American horse with a unique spotted coat. The entire coat can be spotted or just a small section of the body. It is one of the more popular breeds in America because of its attractive appearance and fast running speed. Owners usually use it for racing and riding. It usually stands between 14 and 16 hands and can weigh as much as 1,250 pounds.


5. Arabian Horse

Arabian horse
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

The Arabian horse is one of the more recognizable horse breeds, and there is a good chance you have seen one before. It originated on the Arabian Peninsula, and it usually stands 14–15 hands high and weighs around 1,000 pounds. Breeders export it everywhere in the world, including North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. This breed has been recorded reaching speeds up to 40 MPH, and it has plenty of stamina, so owners typically use it for racing, leisure, and endurance riding.


6. Black Forest Horse

Black Forest Horse
Image Credit: Uli Ebner, Pixabay

The Black Forest Horse has been with us since the 1500s. It was popular in Germany for many years but is now on the endangered species list. It’s a lightweight horse with plenty of stamina.


7. Caspian Horse

Caspian Horse
Image Credit: Kerri-Jo Stewart, Wikimedia Commons

The Caspian horse is a small horse from Iran that’s perfect for children and small adults. It’s amazingly fast for its size and has a calm, easy-going demeanor. This horse was nearly extinct, but breeders were able to bring it back in the 1960s.


8. Friesian Horse

Friesian Horse
Image Credit: Larissa Allen, Wikimedia Commons

The Friesian horse is from the Netherlands, where breeders often used it to pull carts. It also provides you with a smooth ride when you are racing or doing some recreational riding due to its ability to perform the trot. While these horses are rare in America, you can still find them in the Netherlands called the Belgian Black. It usually tops out at about 30 MPH, but there are many examples of them going faster.


9. Dutch Harness Horse

Dutch Harness horse
Image Credit: Montanabw, Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch Harness horse is another breed from the Netherlands that breeders started creating at the end of World War Two. It’s a mix of the Groningen and Gelderland horses, and you can find it in several colors, but chestnut is the most prevalent. It’s large and comfortable with an expressive face. It’s slowly growing in popularity in much of the world to its strength and speed.


10. Morgan Horse

Morgan Horse
Image Credit: raventestingsupply, Pixabay

The Morgan Horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in America. It’s versatile and surefooted with a muscular body. Many people use it for riding and harness racing because of its graceful movement. It usually stands 14–15 hands tall and weighs around 1,000 pounds.


11. Mustang

Mustang Horse
Image Credit: Ealdgyth, Wikimedia Commons

The mustang is a free-roaming horse that you can find in the western United States. Many people consider these wild horses, but they are descendants of Spanish horses, so they are technically feral. It’s a protected breed, but you can often adopt one at little cost when the population gets too large and use it for its strength and speed. The fastest Mustang on record was capable of running 54 MPH.


12. Standardbred

Standardbred Horse
Image Credit: Izzypie Isabella Marks, Wikimedia Commons

The Standardbred is an American horse with a bloodline that you can trace back to 18th century England. It’s a compact and muscular horse with an easy-going disposition. It’s slightly heavier than the Thoroughbred but is still quite fast, and you will often find it in harness racing competitions. It’s also a popular breed among the Amish, who often use it to pull buggies. This horse can trot a mile in 2½ minutes.


13. Thoroughbred

Thoroughbred Horse
Image Credit: alessandro ceccucci, Pixabay

The Thoroughbred is a fast horse that is quite popular on the racetrack. Owners also recognize it for its agility and spirit, which make it a great all-around sporting horse. It’s an English horse that breeders began creating in the late 17th century. It usually stands between 15 and 17 hands tall and is usually bay, brown, chestnut, black, or grey, but other colors exist. Modern breeds can reach speeds up to 55 MPH.


14.  Xilingol

The Xilingol horse is light, fast, and agile. It excels at obstacle courses and riding through rough terrain while still possessing enough muscle to use as a draft horse. Breeders began creating it in the 1960s. It stands 15-16 hands high and is only available in solid colors.

horse shoe divider

Summary

Of the horses on this list, the American Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred are the best choices for most people. The Thoroughbred is a versatile horse that can run sprints or long distances. The American Quarter is extremely fast in the quarter-mile and has a calm temperament that is easy to train and ride. The Morgan is perfect for someone who wants a fast horse on a budget. The Bureau of Land Management oversees these horses, and they are frequently looking to reduce the size of the herd and will allow people to adopt them. The other breeds are all fine choices as well, but they may be a little harder to find.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our list and have found the perfect horse for your stable. If you have learned something new, please share this guide to the 14 fastest horse breeds on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image: Callipso, Shutterstock

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.