How fast does a racehorse run in km?


Racehorses hold the trophy for being the gold standard when it comes to speed, and the incredible ability of some of these creatures is truly breath-taking.


You may be wondering, however, just how fast a racehorse can really run, and what their top speeds look like. We therefore took a closer look to find out.


How do horses pick up speed?


There are four main paces that horses use to move: a walk, a trot, a canter, and a gallop. With a walk, horses pick up one foot at a time and use a four-beat rhythm, usually at around two meters per second. A trot’s average speeds are around 10 metres per second, while a canter is a three-beat gait that sits between a trot and a gallop. Finally, a gallop allows horses to reach their top speeds.


On average, horses run at around 30-40 kilometres per hour (kph), but they have been known to hit 50 kph in short bursts. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the fastest recorded horse on record was Winning Brew, a two-year-old filly who achieved a quarter of a mile in just 20.57 seconds, with an average speed of 43.97mph.


What factors determine the speed of a horse?


There are a number of factors that determine the speed of a horse, and these include:


  • Genetics
  • Horse size
  • Training
  • Breeding
  • The environment


When looking at the genetics of a horse, there are two key factors that affect its speed: muscle mass and bone density. Muscle mass is determined by the amount of protein in the body, which is controlled by genes, and this will dictate whether or not a horse can develop more muscle mass with training. Bone density also plays a role, as horses without enough calcium in their bones tend to be slower than those with stronger skeletons.


Horses that are bred from faster parents tend to produce offspring that are faster too, so if you want to breed your own horses, make sure to choose ones that are well suited to racing. Training is also important, as horses that are trained properly will be able to put on weight and increase their speed.


Environment also plays a big part in determining a horse’s speed, and this includes things such as terrain and weather conditions. For example, a horse running in hot temperatures means that horses need to work harder to cool themselves down, which slows them down.


Can I train my horse to run faster?

Regular training and endurance practice can help improve the speed of a horse. Endurance training involves keeping a horse fit and healthy, while regular training helps build muscles and strengthen bones.


It is recommended that horses should spend about 20 minutes doing each session and that they should do at least five sessions a week, building this up slowly to develop strength, speed, and endurance.


Final thoughts


Racehorses are known for their speed, grace, and agility – and you can see this for yourself at one of the many fixtures that take place across the country every day. Check out our handy horse racing calendar to find out when the next event is, and make the most of the chance to see these incredible horses in action.