About the Breed - The Brainiac Breed!
The Standardbred is a breed of horse derived from Thoroughbred and Morgan bloodlines, dating back to Messenger. Initially known for their incredible ability to trot at high speeds, all Standardbreds can trace their heritage to the stallion, Hambletonian 10. The breed name comes from a time when racing Standardbreds had to qualify by doing a mile in a 'standard' time, which has dropped drastically over the years. Stereotypically, Standardbreds are the harness racing horses you see at tracks like the Meadowlands. They are known for pulling carts, called sulkies, at a trot or pace. However, they do much, much more than that. They are a versatile breed which you will read in the “Why adopt a Standardbred” section.
Why adopt a Standardbred?
Standardbreds are perhaps the most underestimated breed of horse available. They are extremely versatile and excel in everything from dressage and jumping to driving, endurance, and police work. Not only do they walk, trot, canter, and gallop like ‘normal’ horses; standardbreds can be taught to gait and perform well at the rack.
Standardbreds are very well desensitized to scary stimuli by the time they are finished at the track. They are generally quiet, well-mannered, bold, and highly intelligent. Their quiet dispositions make them great on the trail, in parades, and at demonstrations.
Additionally, standardbreds have seen it all. They typically tie all day without complaint, stand well for baths, are used to leg wraps, grooming, and all sorts of tack and equipment. Most standardbreds load easily, lead well, and allow their feet to be handled without question.
When you consider that a typical racetrack runs a 12 race card with eight horses per race per night, the sheer number of standardbreds in need becomes quickly apparent. Unfortunately, many race owners and trainers are unable to provide for their horses once their racing days are up. This leaves hundreds of thousands of horses in need of homes every year. Sadly, many of these horses end up at kill auctions where they sell by the pound. Others wind up neglected in overgrown fields with no food or water. SRF strives to prevent as many of these tragic endings as possible.