HomeRacing irishThe Most Expensive Horse Racing Breeds Ever Auctioned

The Most Expensive Horse Racing Breeds Ever Auctioned

In 2000, an Irish breeder, Stud Coolmore, paid $70 million for Fusaichi Pegasus, setting a record as the most expensive horse sale. Shareef Dancer held the previous record, a horse sold for a whopping $40 million. Both Fusaichi Pegasus and Shareef Dancer are Thoroughbred racehorses.

Thoroughbreds are raised for their agility and speed, and these features make them appealing to buyers in several parts of the world. Though they currently wear the crown as the costliest horse breeds, a few others also cost an arm and a leg. One of these is the Arabian horse.

Besides purchasing these animals, a lot goes into training and breeding them. This article explores the factors that make certain types of horses more expensive than others. We have also included the three costliest breeds and the most expensive horse in each category.

Why are Horses Racing Breeds so expensive?

The global horse racing market value in 2019 was estimated at $300 billion and is expected to grow by an additional $140 billion between 2020 and 2024. This revenue is primarily due to the amount bettors spend on these races. Punters enjoy the thrill of watching the best horse breeds overcome obstacles while they bet on which one they think will emerge victorious.

As a result, the better a horse’s performance, the more it’s worth. So, while horses are generally expensive, racing breeds top the charts because of two main factors – proven track record and pedigree. For instance, Fusaichi Pegasus was sold for $70 million. His price soared because of his victory at the Kentucky Derby in 2000, along with his bloodline and quality. Stud spent such an amount in the hopes of the Thoroughbred producing more successful racehorses in the future.

Another significant factor that determines a horse’s worth is its upkeep. According to a University of Maine survey, owning a horse costs between $250 and $300 per month, which amounts to an annual fee of $2,419–$3,876 for each animal. As expected, the precise upkeep amount depends on various factors, including the horse’s breed, age, health, and purpose. That said, a racehorse requires more care than a pet horse; hence the upkeep might cost more.

In the following sections, we look at the most expensive horse racing breeds.



Regarding horse racing, Thoroughbreds are the most popular, and their popularity has made them one of the most bet-on horses at top NonGamStopBetSites bookies. Some gambling sites also stream their races live, allowing punters to enjoy the race alongside betting on the participating horses.

Records show that Thoroughbreds were born from Arab and Barb horses imported into England as early as the third century. Natural factors favoured the original stock’s growth, and trainers involved in racing promoted selective breeding.

Thoroughbreds have lean frames, broad chests, short backs, and well-chiselled heads that sit on long necks. Their effortless stride is made possible by the long leg bones. Horses of this breed are typically bay, grey, chestnut, brown, or black. They mature to a height of 64 inches and a weight of about 450 kg. Due to their exceptional speed and endurance, trainers have crossed them with other horse breeds to produce an even better species.

Known as one of the fastest racing horses, Thoroughbreds are among the most expensive breeds, especially those with a reputation for excellent performances. Here are some of the most expensive ones:

Fusaichi Pegasus: As noted, Pegasus holds the record for the world’s most expensive racehorse. With a history of winning over 70 races, he was sold for $70 million.

Shareef Dancer: This horse was once the most expensive Thoroughbred, having sold for $40 million before Pegasus took the title.

Green Monkey: Concerning the well-known Secretariat and Northern Dancer, Green Money’s price tag was $16 million.

Arabian Horses


The Arabian horse is one of the world’s earliest and most stunning breeds. Originally from the Arabian Peninsula, they are renowned for their distinctive dished heads, high tail carriage, and astounding intellect.

These breeds are one of three hot-blooded horse types and are noted for their speed and lively spirits. Most Arabian horses weigh less than 1,000 pounds; their lean build and steely tendons make them ideal athletes. They are tiny horses, standing between 14.1 and 15.1 hands.

Arabian horses have become one of the most famous horse breeds for racing. Here are some of the most expensive ones:

Padron: This Arabian horse was sold for $11 million. Among his 770 purebred offspring were 50 National Show winners, 12 foreign champions, and over 180 others who were strong competitors.

Marwan Al Shaqab: Marwan was prized for $20 million, but its owner turned it down. Nevertheless, it is one of the most valuable Arabian horses.

Quarter Horses

The Quarter Horse is one of the oldest horse racing breeds in the United States. The breed was created in the 1660s from a cross between Spanish-born local horses used by the first settlers and English horses brought to Virginia around 1610. Its name, “Quarter Horse”, originated in the late 17th century because of its strong tendency to outrun other horse breeds in races lasting no more than a quarter mile.

The Quarter Horse has a robust, well-muscled frame with a broad chest and rounded hindquarters. Their heights are typically between 14 and 16 hands, though some English hunting and Halter breeds can reach 17 hands.

Although Quarter Horses are not as expensive as Thoroughbreds and Arabian Horses, they are pretty pricey. The following are the costliest ones:

Moonin The Eagle: Bobby D. Cox paid $2.1 million for this 2016 AQHA racing champion.

Sixy Brown Eyes: Bobby Simmons and Joe Rios bought the horse for $180,000.


Horses are indeed one of the most loving animals in the world, but they also bring the utmost entertainment. These races are valued in several parts of the planet, and many betting platforms offer odds for these events. Horses participating in these races are more loved than those kept as pets, which is why they are pricey. We have reviewed the three most expensive horse racing breeds. With this information, you know what kinds of horses you should look out for if you enjoy betting on these races.


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