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ATTENTION: The AQHA office will be closed Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, in observance of Thanksgiving. We look forward to serving you again Monday, December 1. 

Breed Characteristics

The American Quarter Horse has unique features that make it specially suited for a variety of tasks.

Features of the American Quarter HorseJust what is an American Quarter Horse?

If you have ever seen a horse in one of rodeo's timed events, been along for work on a ranch or watched a Western on the big or small screen, 9 times out of 10 you have witnessed an American Quarter Horse.

These heavily muscled, compact horses could run a short distance over a straightaway faster than any other horse, and the fastest were called Celebrated American Quarter Running Horses by English colonists in the 1600s.  In 1940 a registry was formed to preserve the breed which officially became the American Quarter Horse.

There are 17 recognized colors of American Quarter Horses including the most prominent color of sorrel (brownish red). The others are bay, black, brown, buckskin, chestnut, dun, red dun, gray, grullo, palomino, red roan, blue roan, bay roan, perlino and cremello.

It's interesting to note that the quarter-mile is still the most popular distance for racing American Quarter Horses, and the best blaze the 440 yards in 21 seconds or less.