Maryland State Horse

Thoroughbred Horse

Maryland' Official State Symbol - Horse: Thoroughbred Horse

(E. f. caballus)

Adopted on October 1, 2003.

On October 1, 2003, the Thoroughbred Horse, (E. f. caballus ,) became the State Horse of Maryland.

The average Thoroughbred stands 16 hands (64") high at the withers, and weighs 1,000 pounds. Its coat colors may be bay, dark bay, chestnut, black, gray, or occasionally roan.

Able to sustain speed for extended distances, the Thoroughbred can run up to 40 miles per hour. Thoroughbreds are used as racehorses and polo mounts, for show jumping and dressage, and by mounted police units and recreational riders.

(Chapter 359, Acts of 2003; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-318).

Maryland State Horse: Thoroughbred Horse

Maryland' Official State Symbol - Horse: Thoroughbred Horse

The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses, known for their agility, speed and spirit.

Maryland has a long history of breeding and racing Thoroughbreds, and today maintains an extensive network of breeding farms, training centers and racecourses.

The term Thoroughbred describes a breed of horse whose ancestry traces back to three foundation sires - the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerly Turk.

Named after their respective owners - Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin and Captain Robert Byerly - these three stallions were brought to England from the Mediterranean Middle East around the turn of the 17th century and bred to the stronger, but less precocious, native horse.

The result was an animal which could carry weight with sustained speed over extended distances, qualities which brought a new dimension to the burgeoning, aristocratically-supported, sport of horse racing.

So began a selective breeding process which has been going on for more than 250 years, breeding the best stallions to the best mares, with the proof of superiority and excellence being established on the race track.

Thoroughbreds are used mainly for racing, but are also bred for other riding disciplines such as show jumping, combined training, dressage, polo, and fox hunting. They are also commonly crossbred to create new breeds or to improve existing ones, and have been influential in the creation of the Quarter Horse, Standard bred, Anglo-Arabian, and various warmblood breeds.

Maryland Law

The law designating the Thoroughbred horse as the official Maryland state horse is found in the Maryland Statutes, Title 13, Section 13-318.


§13-318.   The Thoroughbred horse is the State horse.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Thoroughbred Horse

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Species: E. ferus
Subspecies: E. f. caballus

State Mammals
State Mammals & Animals
Mammals are vertebrates (backboned animals) that feed their young on mother's milk.