First domesticated approximately 8,000 years ago, horses have played a significant role in the history of civilisation and have been used for everything from war to agriculture.
While there are more than 350 known breeds of horse in the world, some of them have become rare or endangered over centuries. Join us as we explore the world’s rarest horse breeds.
Originating in Turkmenistan, the Akhal-Teke is considered by many to be the most beautiful horse in the world owing to their unusual colouring, which has earned them the nickname ‘Golden Horse’.
With a slender frame and an almost metallic coat, the Akhal-Teke is a threatened horse breed originally used by nomadic tribes and is older than the Arabian breed.
Suffolk Punch Horse
Developed in the 16th century, the Suffolk Punch horse is an English breed of draft horses characterised by their chestnut shade.
Owing to their mild temperament and strong frame, the Suffolk Punch became popular for farm work, but now they are a critical horse breed with approximately only 900 left in the world.
Named for the lands in which they originated, the Shire horse is one of the largest breeds of draft horse in the world and several Shires hold the record for the tallest horse.
Known for their strength and a great weight-bearing capacity, Shires became a less popular horse breed once farm work became mechanised and their numbers are estimated at approximately 2,000 worldwide which means that the number of mobile casinos Canada available to enjoy probably outweighs this breed!
Known for their speed and hardiness, the Hackney horse was a popular choice for harness racing in the 19th century, but became less popular as the standards of horse racing changed over time and their numbers were further decreased during the World Wars.
The Hackney breed comes in horse and pony height ranges and is one of the few breeds which recognise both sizes.
Developed from a combination of English, Irish, and Scottish horse breeds, the Newfoundland pony is a sturdy and muscular pony which originated in Newfoundland.
Used as a draft horse much like the Shire, the Newfoundland became less popular following the mechanisation of farm work and their numbers are estimated at 200-250 worldwide.
Cleveland Bay Horse
Considered to be England’s oldest breed of horse, the Cleveland Bay is an athletic horse with a sensible and mild temperament.
Their numbers took a significant knock during the Second World War, but Queen Elizabeth II made huge strides in the preservation of the breed. Today there are approximately 600 Cleveland Bays left in the world.
The American Cream Horse
The only American breed of draft horse, the American Cream horse is characterised by their unique appearance – amber eyes, pink skin, and a cream-coloured coat.
Developed at the start of the 20th century, the mechanisation of farm work meant that the breed became less desirable and their numbers are estimated at approximately 2,000 worldwide.