Standardbreds are best known for their ability to race in harness at a trot or pace. They have always been bred to a performance standard that makes them tough, strong, fast, calm and willing, but the appearance can vary quite a lot. Standardbreds vary in size from 14hh to over 17hh (most fall between 15hh and 16hh) and come in all colours, though mainly brown, bay and chestnut. Over time, a few specific conformation points have appeared - the things that make for speed in a harness horse. Compared with its ancestor, the Thoroughbred, the Standardbred has stronger, shorter legs, a narrower chest, long sloping shoulders, long underline and a strong back. In addition to excelling in harness racing, Standardbreds can go on to useful careers as ridden horses after their competition career has ended.

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