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Most Expensive Horse Breed

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Your heart might race when you learn how much some horses go for!

If you intend to buy a horse, you may have to part with some huge sum of money. On average, a recreational horse should cost around $3,000.

But in some cases, it may go way beyond this range into tens of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.

You may wonder why horses are so expensive. Well, the cost of a horse is largely influenced by the qualities it possesses.

You will find that the most expensive horse breeds typically have unique features such as a gentle temperament, bloodline, intelligence, speed, stamina, and stunning looks.

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most expensive horse breeds in the world (in no particular order).

Dutch Warmblood

Amazing black dutch warmblood running alone in paddock

As the name says, the Dutch Warmblood is native to the Netherlands. They were bred from the Groningen and the Gelderlander, which are native Dutch horse breeds.

They were made stronger and more athletic by introducing the Thoroughbred into the bloodline.

The Dutch Warmblood is a relatively young breed with 3 varieties: the elegant harness horse, the athletic sport horse, and the Gelderland working horse.

This horse breed is allowed in various solid colors. But you are more likely to find those that come in chestnut, brown, bay, gray, and black.

The Dutch Warmblood is revered for its successes at competitions. They have good records at the Grand Prix and the World Equestrian Games, among others.

These horses are usually bred for showjumping and racing. They are also known for having a good temperament.

On average, the Dutch Warmblood grow to be 64 inches tall. The mares are expected to be at least 62 inches. The stallions, on the other hand, are expected to be 63 inches or taller.

The Dutch Warmbloods cost between $4,000-$75,000. But a stallion named Totilas was sold for a price between $11-13 million.


White Arabian horse graze on on the mountain slope

The Arabians are from the Arabian Peninsula, and they are one of the oldest breeds in existence. Arabian horses have unique faces, and they are graceful and strong.

Arabian horses are intelligent and are known to respond to training and be easy to work with. They are also versatile, fast, loyal, and very strong.

Arabian horses are available and accepted in any solid color. The brown, chestnut, black, and gray varieties are the most common.

The Arabian breed has a rich history. For one, it was most preferred as a cavalry mount around the start of the 20th century.

Arabian horses were bred by the U.S Army, but this stopped in the 1940s. Around 1986, the cost of Arabian horses fell. The crash in the market was caused by dishonest breeders and tax changes.

In recent times, the trend has changed, and the prices of Arabian horses are rising again.

On average, Arabian horses stand at 57-64 inches. They typically cost between $1,000-$160,000, but prices can reach as high as $300,000 for a highly trained horse.

American Standardbred

American brown Standardbred mare grazing in the pasture

Although the American Standardbred originated from the U.S. it is known all around the world. This breed is great for harness racing and pleasure riding, and they also compete in various horse shows.

The American Standardbred is revered for its trotting. In fact, it is widely regarded as the best at trotting in the world.

There are currently 2 varieties of Standardbreds: the pacer and the trotter. The pacer is typically used in saddle trot competitions, while the trotter is for harness racing.

The physical appearance of the Standardbred is also quite impressive. It has powerful shoulders, strong legs and hindquarters, and a muscular body.

The American Standardbred is a great option for beginners owing to how well they cooperate. They are available and accepted in any solid color, with brown and black being the most common.

Standardbreds have heights between 56 and 68 inches. But heights between 60 and 64 inches are more common.

On average, an American Standardbred costs $500-$5000. However, a trotting horse from this breed was sold for $1.1 million in 2019.


Black Friesian horse running in the field

The Friesian is the second Dutch horse on this list, and it has been around for quite a while. In fact, historical evidence suggests that it may have been around since the 1200s.

Friesians – also known as Dutch Trotters – have a rich history. For one, they were used as mounts for knights during the Crusades.

In more recent history, Friesians were imported into the U.S. for agricultural purposes.

Friesian horses are valued for their good looks. They have a glossy coat, flowing mane, and feathered feet coupled with a high-stepping gait.

Friesian horses are also friendly, gentle, intelligent, and open to learning.

Friesians usually have black coats, but sometimes horses with bay and chestnut coats may be seen. The only accepted marking on a Friesian is a white star.

Friesians typically stand at 58-68 inches, with the stars standing at no less than 62 inches.

The costliness of the Friesian breed is in part due to the high demand and intense breed standards. They are priced anywhere from $5000-$100,000.

Young Friesians with the right breeding would cost no less than $5000. If you want a Friesian that is show ready, you should be looking to spend about $50,000.

Akhal Teke

Akhal Teke walking near the cliff

The Akhal Teke has its roots in Turkmenistan, and it is one of the rarest breeds in the world.

This breed has a population of around 8,000 or less around the world. This rarity may be one reason why the Akhal Teke is so expensive.

Besides being rare, the Akhal Teke is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. In fact, it is thought that the Arabian breed may have descended from it.

The Akhal Teke is quite strong since it is an endurance horse. The average height of Akhal Teke horses is 60-64 inches, but some may be found slightly shorter.

These horses have attractive coats with a special hair structure and a metallic sheen to go with them.

Akhal Teke horses come in various colors, and each one will have a metallic sheen.

The cost of an Akhal Teke depends on factors such as location, breeding, and training.

But you may have to pay as much as $100,000 in the international market. This cost could also include the cost of registration papers.


Brown Thoroughbred horse in stable

The Thoroughbred is indigenous to England and is perhaps the fastest horse breed in the world.

When you think of the most decorated racehorses, you think of Thoroughbreds since they hold the most records in the racing world.

But racing is not all they can do. Thoroughbreds also thrive in dressage and jumping.

Thoroughbreds are typically well trained and graceful. But they have a fiery personality that could be hard for a beginner to work with.

Thoroughbreds commonly come with black, gray, chestnut, brown, and bay coats. But you may also come across those with white and palomino coats.

On average, they grow to be 64 inches tall, but they can range between 62-68 inches in height.

Considering how fast and agile they are, it is no surprise that they are perhaps the most valuable horse breed in the world. In fact, of the 5 most expensive horses ever, 4 were Thoroughbreds.

Of the same 5 most expensive horses, the most expensive was a Thoroughbred – the Fusaichi Pegasus.

This horse was sold for a price in the range of $60-$70 million. True to its price tag, the horse won the Kentucky Derby in 2000.

A 2-year-old horse, the Green Monkey, was sold for $16 million – the most expensive at that age. But it never really justified the price tag.

More testament to the value of Thoroughbreds comes from the 174 offspring of the Northern Dancer. The Northern Dancer was a Thoroughbred sire, and its offspring were valued at a total of $170 million over 22 years.

Not all Thoroughbreds are as quite this expensive. You can get an Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred (OTTB) for $500-$35,000.

Selle Francais

horse jumps on sand on a white background

After so many years of crossbreeding, the Selle Francais was accepted as a unique breed in 1958.

Some horse breeds involved in the development of this breed include the Arabian, German, and Thoroughbred.

This breed with origin in France is a renowned sport’s horse. It is known for its strength, intelligence, jumping score, and athleticism. Selle Francais horses are usually 61-68 inches tall.

Selle Francais horses are great show jumpers, and this may be one reason they are highly valued.

The Selle Francais is also known as the French Saddle. The horses usually come with bay and chestnut coats. However, other colors are permitted. French Saddles may also come with white markings on the lower parts of their legs.

On average, you can get the French Saddle for $2000-$40,000. But the price can extend to millions, as was the case of Palloubet d’Halong, which was sold for $15 million in 2013.


Oldenburg horse running in the field

The Oldenburg breed was named after Count Graf Gunther von Oldenburg. It is a German breed renowned for its jumping ability.

In the past, Oldenburgs were bred as war horses. They were also used for carriage and elegant riding.

But in recent times, they have become star jumpers and dressage champions in various competitions.

Oldenburgs have rather short legs, large hooves, long necks, and deep chests. They are typically colored grey, black, or brown.

They sell at a wide range between $4000-$500,000, with the riding horses and elite broodmares going for no less than $100,000.


Hanoverian horse portrait black background

Hanoverians are German horses with a reputation for their athleticism and unique form.

In the past, Hanoverian horses were used for agricultural, coaches, and military purposes. But more recently, they have become dressage and show jumping horses.

They are relatively large with an average height of 64-66 inches. Hanoverians have strong backs, strong feet, and a powerful body to match.

On average, Hanoverian horses sell at $7000-$100,000.