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Monday 16 September 2019

How Fast Can A Thoroughbred Horse Run?

You may have seen the post we published on this website: Man Vs Horse. It wasn't a pretty picture come the finishing line. Olympic medalist Jamie Baulch raced a thoroughbred horse trainer by Brendan Powell called Peopleton Brook. The contest took place at Kempton in a 100m sprint. 

The result? 

Peopleton Brook sauntered past Baulch after 40m (sorry, Jamie, 60m) and cruised to an effortless victory. I very much doubt the bookmakers were laying odds on the horse, while I imagine a few punters backed Baulch at odds of 1000/1. (I have no idea if a bet was struck!)

Baulch said: ‘I am obviously disappointed, but all credit to the horse,’ who won an Olympic silver medal for Britain in the 400m relay in Atlanta in 1996.'' 

The Olympian ''raced'' the horse for charity with £10,000 shared between the Injured Jockeys' Fund and Barnardos. 

Believe this or not, but it is reputed Jessie Owens, who won four Olympic gold medals, famously beat a number of racehorses over a 100m sprint. However, even Owens had to admit he chose horses that were so spooked by the sound of the starter's pistol that he gained a headstart. Sadly, he only raced horses as a publicity stunt to make money saying: ''People say that it was degrading for an Olympic champion to run against a horse, but what was I supposed to do? I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals.’' 

In truth, Usain Bolt would have little chance of beating a thoroughbred horse over 100m even with his world record time of 9.58s achieved in the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin on the 16th August. 

I very much doubt he would beat a fit Shetland pony. 

Your average thoroughbred racehorse can run 100m in about 5 or 6 seconds. Basically, twice as fast as your decent sprinter. 

However, thoroughbreds have often been beaten by greyhounds over a 100m sprint. 

With regard to other animals, the fastest of them all is the cheetah can run at 60mph. At top speed, it would run 100m in less than four seconds. (It would be slower from a standing start).

Jamie Baulch should thank his lucky stars he didn't race against a lion, because it may not have run past him but jumped on his back and eaten him alive! 

Winning Brew holds the Guinness book of records for the fastest thoroughbred horse over two furlongs at 43.97 mph. Although Quarter Horses run faster over a shorter distance.  

Photo: Olympic gold medallist Jesse Owens at the starting line before beating harness racer The Ocean, at Bay Meadows, California, in a 100-yard sprint in 1948