How Much Does a Thoroughbred Horse Cost? (Pricing Guide)

Tempted to own a thoroughbred? Before you get one, you should know how much a thoroughbred horse costs.

As the name suggests, thoroughbred horses are among the top of their class in the horse racing world.

They are extremely fast and sporty, and it’s no wonder why many people want one.

Read on for a rundown of all costs associated with owning a thoroughbred.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Thoroughbred Horse?

a bunch of thoroughbred horses

A thoroughbred horse is a horse that has a bloodline [2] that goes back to ancient history.

It was used as a means of transportation, in the farming industry, in battle, and many more.

These days, thoroughbred horses are used more for horse racing.

The horse bloodline, which can be tracked by papers that document it, plays a significant role in purchasing these kinds of horses that are great to have as a racehorse.

The word thoroughbred is immediately associated with expensive horses used in a horse race.

With this notion in mind, would a thoroughbred horse [1] indeed be as expensive as it sounds?

ALSO CHECK: Difference Between a Quarter Horse and a Thoroughbred

What Is The Average Price of a Thoroughbred Horse?

The average cost for horses that you may want to use for pleasure riding is approximately $10,000.

Meanwhile, horses typically used as show horses  — those coming from prized lines–  may cost thousands of dollars. They usually start at around $30,000.

The reason why these horses cost more is because of additional costs such as the training that is required to establish a good dressage horse.

Check out the video of this horse in an equestrian competition.

How Cheap is a Thoroughbred Horse?

As you’ve already guessed, a thoroughbred horse is not cheap. The min

They are the most sort after in the equine world because of their physical form. So it’s no surprise that their prices can go as high as $100,000 – $300,000. And this is without the high maintenance costs.

Even the most expensive racehorse ever sold was Fusaichi Pegasus, a thoroughbred. The stud that won 6 of 9 races was sold in 2000 for $64 million.

Even his stud fee was a whopping $150,000.

How Do You Buy a Thoroughbred Horse?

a cowboy thinking

There are different ways that you can buy thoroughbred horses. You can find classified ads if you live in a horse-oriented place.

For more specific breeds of horses, the best thing to do is check out reputable breeders and show barns near you.

Many show barns and breeders sell other people’s horses to keep a broad selection. There are also horse auctions, but this is not the best option for beginners.

The internet can also be an excellent place to buy a horse, but you should see him in person and try him out.

Professional trainers may also sell horses. However, it is expected that the cost may be slightly more expensive due to commission fees.

Equine Rescue Shelters [3] can be a cheap place to find a horse. It’s vital to note that people with less horse experience tend to have more trouble than they initially expected.

ALSO CHECK: Horse Breed List

Things/Factors That Determine/Impact The Thoroughbred Horse Price

a factor sign

A thoroughbred horse’s price is affected by its age.

Thoroughbred horses that have gone beyond the age of five are sold cheaper than a new thoroughbred horse because it can no longer race.

Instead, these horses can either be used for show or for breeding new thoroughbreds.

The amount of training it has had also pushed the price of a thoroughbred horse up. The better its track record, the more expensive it becomes.

A thoroughbred horse who has been injured and can no longer compete may be sold at a cheap price for slaughter. 

Check out this video for further insights.

What Are the Words or Phrases to Look Out For?

the same cowboy thinking again

There are different keywords to look out for when checking for horses to buy.

  • ‘Broodmare only’ means that the horse may have a soundness problem that prevents her from being ridden. ‘Companion horse only’ means that these horses cannot be ridden but instead are used to keep other horses company.
  • ‘Good foundation; needs finishing’ means that the fundamentals have been established in the horse and can be used by an advanced beginner.
  • ‘Grade’ means that the horse comes from an unknown ancestry or that it may show characteristics from a specific breed but has no breeding history.
  • ‘Green broke’ means that the horse can tolerate riding with a saddle. However, it has not been used many times and cannot tell different rider cues.
  • ‘Husband horse’ refers to a horse that can tolerate inconsistent riding, takes care of the rider, and is excellent for beginners.
  • ‘Prospect’ refers to a horse wherein the owner believes that it can excel in certain activities after training.
  • ‘Rides E/W’ means that the horse can ride in both the English and Western tacks. ‘Ring sour’ defines eligible horses that have been competitively shown for years past their prime racing age and may exhibit signs of being tired of the show ring.
  • ‘UTD on shots and worming’ means that all of the horse’s vaccinations and deworming programs are up-to-date.
  • ‘Willing over fences’ means that the horse can jump successfully and does not have a tendency to balk.
  • ‘Needs advanced rider’ means that the horse is difficult to handle and ride, with the exception of the most experienced or skilled horsemen.

How Much Does Thoroughbred Horse Maintenance Cost?

person grooming a horse

The average sales price of buying a thoroughbred doesn’t include maintenance costs. The initial price doesn’t even include other basics needed by your horse.

For full-boarding services, maintenance costs about $12,340 per year. A boarder costs about $7800 per year or $650 per month.

Meanwhile, maintenance costs about $10,630 per year for part-time boarding services.

A boarder costs about $400 per month or $4,800 per year. Without caring or simply taking care of your horse at home, the cost per year is about $5,707.

This cost includes other significant expenses such as a $2,000 emergency fund, hay, feed, supplements, water, bedding, and waste removal.

This includes dental, annual exams, vaccinations, deworming, and farrier costs for healthcare.

Take note that the mentioned prices are not inclusive of the construction of your horse’s living space.

What are the Factors to Consider When Owning a Thoroughbred?

Owning a thoroughbred is a considerable commitment. You have to be prepared that your horse will become an essential part of your family and require care and attention.

These horses are very active and high-strung, so they need plenty of daily exercise. They also need to be fed a special diet that meets their nutritional needs.

If you’re looking to own a thoroughbred, here are some things you should consider:

1. How much room do you have in your stable? Thoroughbreds need lots of space to move around, so if you plan on having just one horse, make sure it has plenty of room in its stall or paddock.

2. How much time do you have available to devote to the horse’s care? Thoroughbreds need daily exercise. If you don’t have time for this commitment, it might not be worth owning one.

3. What does it cost? Owning a horse isn’t cheap, especially if you have multiple horses and want them trained for different disciplines. 

4. Finally, think about what kind of training and maintenance your horse will need throughout its life. This can vary widely depending on what kind of activities you want to do with your new friend!

Are Thoroughbreds Good for Beginners?

a person riding a horse in full gear

Yes. Thoroughbreds are one of the best breeds to start with when you’re just getting started in the world of horse ownership.

They are intelligent, strong, and easy-going. , which are also known for being fast runners, so if you’re interested in showing your horse or competing in races, this breed is a great choice.

They are also fast but still calm and gentle around children, making them a great family pet.

As a beginner, before buying a thoroughbred, it is better to ask and bring along an expert who knows about horses.

This may include fees they may charge or travel expenses, though, that can push your purchase price past your budget.

FAQs

What are the different kinds of thoroughbred horses?

The different kinds of thoroughbred horses are breeds of horse originating from these three breeds: the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian, and the Byerly Turk. (4)

What is the difference between a thoroughbred and a standardbred horse?

a pack of standardbred horse

Both standardbred and thoroughbred horses can be used for racing. Standardbred horses, though, are driven by harnesses instead of jockeys. They also trot instead of a gallop. 

Conclusion

Thoroughbred horses are a breed of horses that racehorse owners prefer. Depending on many factors, they can be expensive racehorses, primarily due to their bloodline.

Owning a horse, especially a thoroughbred one, entails monthly expenses that need to be considered when thinking about how much a thoroughbred horse costs.

As a horse owner, owning a thoroughbred horse may end up being a costly investment. 

guide to Thoroughbred Horse Cost

Let us know down in the comment section if this article has helped you on finding how much a thoroughbred horse is worth!

Resources

  • 1. Distl O, Tanaka A, Fazio E. Thoroughbred – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/thoroughbred
  • 2. Derbyshire D. How genetics can create the next superstar racehorse [Internet]. the Guardian. The Guardian; 2018. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/22/horse-breeding-genetics-thoroughbreds-racing-dna
  • 3. Holcomb KE, Stull CL, Kass PH. Unwanted horses: The role of nonprofit equine rescue and sanctuary organizations1. Journal of Animal Science [Internet]. 2010;88:4142–50. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/jas/article/88/12/4142/4745731
  • 4. Cosgrove EJ, Sadeghi R, Schlamp F, Holl HM, Moradi-Shahrbabak M, Miraei-Ashtiani SR, et al. Genome Diversity and the Origin of the Arabian Horse. Scientific Reports. 2020;10.
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