Are Thoroughbreds Good Jumpers? (Your Doubts Cleared!)

When it comes to choosing the best breed for jumping, Thoroughbreds are usually being brought up. There’s no doubt that this breed is an exceptional horse that showcases numerous skills in various equine events.

The question is, are Thoroughbreds good jumpers? In order to determine this, you must know everything there is to know about Thoroughbreds in regards to their behavior in show jumping events. This way, you will be enlightened with how Thoroughbreds actually perform during these equine events and determine whether they are good jumpers or not.

Are Thoroughbred Horses Good Jumpers?

Thoroughbreds are good jumpers, but they are more fit for galloping and other events that involve speed and endurance.

There’s no doubt that Thoroughbreds show great potential in any kind of equine sport, and as a matter of fact, this breed is so versatile to the point that it’s being used in various events.

However, Thoroughbreds are actually known for being the best breed for horse racing. The Thoroughbreds were bred for that very purpose which is why they excel at it. So when it comes to jumping, Thoroughbred horses are not the first breed that would come into mind.

Although, this doesn’t make Thoroughbreds completely incapable of jumping. Off-the-track Thoroughbreds can easily be trained for show jumping events, and needless to say, they’re able to execute jumps that would pass riders’ expectations. It’s important to know however that there are some Thoroughbred horses that are scared to jump.

There are some instances where Thoroughbreds who haven’t jumped or are not used to jumping just suddenly freeze or panic when they are faced with obstacles that are too high for them. In this case, all you need to do is to train the horse well and be patient with it.

thoroughbreds horse

Are Thoroughbreds Good Show Jumpers?

Thoroughbreds are good show jumpers, but they aren’t the best.

Thoroughbreds are considered to be good show jumpers, however, there are other breeds that surpass Thoroughbred horses when it comes to jumping (such as warmblood horses). Nonetheless, Thoroughbred horses still make for good show jumpers and actually compete in show jumping events.

Do take note of the Thoroughbred’s temperament before deciding to get one for show jumping. This breed is a hot-blooded horse and what that means is it is very spirited, active, and has high levels of speed and agility.

Take that into consideration and expect to see a horse that would be a little too active inside the show jumping course. Since they aren’t too careful like warmbloods, they have the tendency to have their necks touch the obstacles they will be jumping over, especially if they’re high ones.

Thoroughbreds would be more suitable in cross-country events because of their immense stamina and endurance. This breed would most likely excel in low-level courses because of their quick and flat jumps (Thoroughbreds jump like this because they’re very agile horses).

Why Thoroughbred Horses Make Good Jumpers

Thoroughbreds make good jumpers because they are agile and athletic.

Thoroughbreds embody traits that make them good jumpers and some even claim that despite being a horse bred for racing, they are in fact, very good jumpers even though they weren’t specifically bred to be one!

The Thoroughbred blood in itself is responsible for giving birth to numerous breeds that excel in jumping, specifically warmbloods. Moreover, the Thoroughbreds’ ancestors, both the Irish Hobby and English Running Horse respectively, were used as hunting horses, so therefore, it’s always been in the Thoroughbreds blood to be excellent jumpers and racers.

Those who have owned, trained and competed with Thoroughbreds state that there is an abundance of sports genetics seen in them.

To reiterate once more, Thoroughbred horses make good jumpers thanks to the sports genetics that runs in their blood, their superb speed, elegance, athleticism, and stamina.

It’s safe to say that the only thing that people have to watch out for is the horse’s temperament. Thoroughbred horses can get too high-strung at times and that may be too much for beginners to handle. But overall, these horses are level-headed and can be ridden on without encountering too many problems.

How High Can Thoroughbreds Jump?

Thoroughbreds can jump as high as 2.5 meters.

There have been quite a lot of impressive records that Thoroughbreds hold in the show jumping sector. The best record belongs to Hackney, a Thoroughbred who was able to clear a height of 2.5 meters.

Best Thoroughbred Bloodlines For Jumping

Birdcatcher, Democrat, Furioso, Cottage Son, Rantzau, and Lady Killer are the best Thoroughbred bloodlines for jumping.


Birdcatcher is the one who started it all. This horse is a legend that would, later on, be the origin of great Thoroughbred jumpers.


Democrat is a full Thoroughbred that had come from the greatest sire that bred jumpers: Gordon Russell.


The top 20 show jumpers that competed in the World Games in Aachen and the Olympics in Athens all came from the legendary Thoroughbred horse, Furioso.

Cottage Son

A lot of show jumping horses also came from Cottage Son’s bloodline. Moreover, Cottage Son was also a big contributor to the German warmblood breeding. Great horses such as Sheila’s Cottage and Cottage Rake came from this horse’s bloodline.


Rantzau has bred a large number of top-rated stallion grandsons and made a dramatic impact on breeding show jumping horses.

Lady Killer

Lady Killer has an astounding number of 195 approved daughters from the 35 horses it sired. Lady Killer is also known for the origin of most Holsteiner pedigrees and these are horses that have had the most successful careers in show jumping history.

Famous Thoroughbred Show Jumpers

Touch of Class, Jet Run, Senior Senator, and Idle Dice are some of the famous, modern Thoroughbred show jumpers.

Aside from the horses aforementioned above, there were other older Thoroughbred horses that also dominated the show jumping sector. These horses are legendary and came from some of the most prominent Thoroughbred bloodlines.

The following horses are:

  • Holystone
  • Untouchable
  • Bionic Woman
  • Aberali
  • Albany
  • Allegro
  • Australis
  • Balbuco
  • Big Dee
  • Branch County
  • Brother Sam
  • Canadian Club
  • Chase The Clouds
  • Circus Rose/Miss Budweiser
  • Coast Line
  • Czar
  • Democrat
  • Do Right
  • Fleet Apple
  • For The Moment
  • Gem Twist
  • Good Twist
  • Hand In Glove
  • Hollandia
  • Heatherbloom
  • Jacks Or Better
  • Johnny’s Pocket
  • Ksar D’Esprit
  • Night Owl
  • Night Spree
  • Number One Spy
  • Out Late
  • Play Back
  • Philco
  • Riviera Wonder
  • San Lucas
  • Sandsablaze
  • Sinjon
  • Sloopy
  • Snowbound
  • Southside
  • Sun Beau
  • The Cardinal
  • The Jones Boy
  • Tomboy
  • Tuscaloosa
  • Tortilla
  • Unusual
  • White Lightning
  • Eros

Touch Of Class

This horse astounded spectators due to dominating show jumping courses despite being a rather small horse. Touch Of Class has a remarkable amount of achievements such as winning six Grand Prixs, was placed second and third for 14 other Grand Prixs, and also won in multiple international Nation cup teams. In 1984 and 1985, Touch Of Class won first place in the World Cup U.S. East Coast League, and on top of that, she also had a fruitful breeding career.

This amazing horse has been inducted into the legendary Show Jumping Hall of Fame in the year 2000.

Jet Run

This horse has won a Grand Prix at just the age of 6. He has also won a gold and silver medal during the Pan American Games in Mexico in the year 1975. The other achievements of Jet Run are winning a 2006 Kentucky Derby, multiple Grand Prix triumphs, two American Gold Cups, and a grand victory in the World Cup in Birmingham, England.

He was inducted into the legendary Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1996.

Senior Senator

Senior Senator’s two biggest achievements were winning the 2016 Maryland Hunt and the 2017 Grand National. He also has other achievements such as winning three times in the Breeders Cup Grand National in 2018 and 2019.

Idle Dice

This horse owns a whopping number of achievements starting with 31 Grand Prix triumphs, three American Gold Cup titles, and the American Invitational. Idle Dice was also the only horse to win the President’s Cup twice during the Washington International Horse Show.

He was also named Grand Prix Horse of the Year in 1977, represented USETT for five long years, and competed at the World Championships in Europe in the year 1974. Idle Dice was one of the first horses to be inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1987.

How Much Would A Show Jumping Thoroughbred Cost?

A show jumping Thoroughbred would cost $6,000 to $10,000.

The price mentioned above would apply to experienced show jumping horses. Out-of-the-track Thoroughbreds would cost lower at around $1,000 to $2,000. Of course, it would be a completely different story when it comes to the selling price of international star jumping horses.

The price range for horses like these would be half a grand to a million dollars!


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