How fast does a horse run? It depends a lot on the distance, surface and type of race, as well as the horse’s age, breed and running style.
In the short distance, the Quarter is the absolute fastest of all horses. At a distance of 400 meters it can reach a top speed of close to 77 kilometers per hour, which happens already after 80 meters.
From 130 meters the speed goes down near to 72 kilometers per hour, and the Quarter horse maintains this speed until the end of the 400 meters.
At longer distances, however, it is the thoroughbred horse that runs with the gold: It is fastest at distances up to 12-1400 meters, where it maintains an average speed of between 60-65 kilometers per hour.
In a concrete horse racing, the fastest running time recorded according to the Guinness Book of Records is an average of exactly 70.76 kilometers per hour over 400 meters.
This impressive track record was set on May 14, 2008 at the Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pennsylvania, USA by the horse with the clever name Winning Brew, a 2-year-old mare from Philadelphia.
One may wonder that this record was relatively much lower than the Quarter’s top speed, but here one has to think about the fact that the horse in a race:
A) Has a rider on his back
B) Runs in an oval circle
C) Runs in a field of other horses.
Also at a longer distance of 2000 meters on grass, there is an impressive world record noted in the Guinness Book of Records. Here it was the 3-year-old Hawkster who ran from everything and everyone with an impressive average speed of 60.86 kilometers per hour.
Hawkster’s record run took place in 1989 at the Santa Anita Park Racecourse in California, giving the horse a running time of an incredible 2 minutes and 22.8 seconds.