The Breeding and Training of Racehorses

The Breeding and Training of Racehorses: The Science and Art Behind Producing a Champion


Behind the victory on the track is not only the colossal work of the trainer and jockey but also the work of the breeders. These two factors determine the success of a racehorse, so many people are involved in the breeding and training process. Let’s find out how elite horses are bred and what needs to be done to lead them to victory.


The Art of Selection


If you’ve ever bet on a horse race, you understand that even before the race, you can estimate each participant’s chances of winning. By the way, you can choose a reliable bookmaker and get acquainted with the most effective strategies on the website. During their work with horses, people have accumulated vast experience in improving the breed and preserving essential qualities. And this is how the best of the best are selected to produce strong offspring.


Analyzing the Qualities


Numerous different physiological indicators determine a horse’s racing ability. Each of these has its heritability coefficient. Recently, scientists have established that the horse’s genotype much more determines agility qualities, i.e., are more persistently inherited than strength and endurance, which can be significantly developed through training.

Perhaps the prizes for classic distances are the most expensive precisely because they depend more on the human factor: the talent and hard work of the trainer, jockey, groom, veterinarian, and other specialists.


In addition to formal quantitative indicators, assessing a horse’s racing class is based on several factors that can only be determined visually. For example, winning style. Perhaps a horse in the lead withstood the entire rigors of the race and then lost at the finish line to an opponent who had retained his strength by half a head or even a full head surpasses the winner in actual performance. Therefore, it is vital to consider in what company the horse raced, how convincing its victories were, how robust its rivals were, and by what margin it was ahead.


Selecting the Pairs


The most prominent Kenyan horse breeders know that the correct selection of sires is the key to obtaining future champions. Significantly fewer males are needed for breeding than females. Therefore, higher demands are placed on stallions than on mares. It is believed that with successful selection, you can get excellent offspring from an average galloping but physically strong mare. There are many such examples.

When selecting, they consider whether inbreeding was used when breeding the potential parents, deciding whether it is desirable for producing offspring. If the parent pair belongs to different lines, linear compatibility is essential.


Training Process


At first, a young horse is taught to behave calmly, obey the rider, and gallop in a straight line. He needs to give his all when asked, to hold back the run, even if the blood demands to rush forward. At first, the distances are small: at a light gallop, canter, at first they walk 300 m, then more, up to 1500-1600 m. After work, they walk away to ensure they are in a good mood, not overtired, so that they enjoy training. If this does not happen, there will be no victories.


Then, the horses are tested for agility potential, that is, for speed. After several tests at 250-300 m, the horse, as a rule, learns to walk smoothly and quickly without losing rhythm or coordination. Then, the 800 m test, and if the speed is about 46 seconds, it is considered that the horse has good prospects. Otherwise, horses do not promise a great future, although there are rare surprises.


In training, horses are often allowed to compete with each other. By looking at the horse’s training, the specialist decides on the first competitions to which it should be sent. Many people consider it truly important that a horse wins its first race; this will give it confidence and strength for further struggle. But many, especially in the USA, simply sign up a young horse for everything, and if it doesn’t show itself, it’s okay. You can sell it and work with others.


After competitions, the horse rests with light exercise; after a racing cycle, it may not go to competitions for six months. At the same time, it should not be allowed only to sleep and eat. It is crucial for any horse, not just a sports one, to move and keep itself in good shape.

It is worth noting that a horse’s career in flat racing is relatively short. It can be seen in the programs – races for two-year-olds, three-year-olds, and over four-year-olds.

Then, the horse does not get better from such loads and slowly loses ground and retires. If there were significant victories, it could produce foals; if not, it would be sold cheaper.




Now you see the hard work that creates winning a horse at a race. It is difficult to say what is more in this process: science or art. Of course, breeders and trainers use scientific data and the experience of their predecessors, but a creative approach and sincere love for horses also play a significant role.