Official State Horse of Maryland
Maryland designated the thoroughbred as the official state horse in 2003 (Kentucky also recognizes the thoroughbred as a state symbol). All State Horses
The Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) and the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association are two organizations that promote the horse breeding industry in the state.
Thoroughbred Horse Facts
The average thoroughbred horse stands 16 hands (64 inches) high at the withers and weighs 1,000 pounds. The color of a thoroughbred's coat may be bay, dark bay, chestnut, black, gray, or occasionally roan.
Thoroughbred horses can run up to 40 miles per hour and are able to sustain speed for extended distances. Thoroughbreds are used as racehorses and polo mounts, for show jumping and dressage, and by mounted police units and recreational riders.
All thoroughbreds trace their lineage to three stallions brought to Great Britain from the Middle East over three-hundred years ago. Known as the "Foundation Stallions," they are the Byerly Turk, the Darley Arabian, and the Godolphin Arabian. They were bred to native horses to produce a breed that could sustain speed over an extended distance. The thoroughbred has been selectively bred for these qualities ever since. American thoroughbred pedigrees are documented in the American Stud Book, first compiled by Colonel Sanders Bruce of Kentucky in 1873.