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Most Expensive Horses in the World in 2024

Most Expensive Horses in the World in 2024

Equines are among the most expensive domesticated animals. Even an average one costs $3,000+. Meanwhile, mature mares and stallions cost $5,000+.

Interestingly, breeders and horse enthusiasts constantly think about better, more expensive horses. Owning one is a massive privilege. Moreover, superior bloodlines can earn thousands of dollars through breeding and event winnings.

To this end, we’ve sampled the most expensive horses in the world to help you better prepare for your next acquisition.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The thoroughbred is the most expensive horse in the world. It’s one of the fastest horse breeds in the world, with an enviable record on the racetrack. Moreover, the breed has produced some of the biggest names in the horse racing hall of fame, including the American Pharoah and the famous Secretariat. Thoroughbred horse prices range from $10,000 to a few million.

Why are Some Horses So Expensive?

Demand is the main reason some horses are so expensive. Equines have been instrumental in man’s movement since medieval times. Additionally, horses are friendly pets, a source of revenue, and a status symbol. Thus, everyone dreams of owning one. Meanwhile, the supply is low.

Besides demand-supply economics, some horse breeds are more expensive than others for the following reasons;

  • Breed scarcity: The rarest horse breeds are among the most expensive equines. For example, the Marwari and Suffolk horses cost a pretty penny. There are less than 2,000 Marwari and, at most, 7,000 Suffolk horses globally.
  • Career potential: High-potential horses are extremely expensive. For instance, horses with the potential to win championships cost $60,000+ no matter the breed. The horse’s track record can further drive up the costs.
  • Training: Horses undergo various types of training right from breaking. Unfortunately, horse training is expensive. Basic training costs $200-$600 monthly, while special training costs thousands per session. This naturally results in a high price tag.
  • Physical qualities: Bigger, stronger draft horses are more expensive than their smaller, compact counterparts. Even within the same breed, bigger equines are more expensive. Additionally, rare colors can drive up horse prices.

27 Most Expensive Horse Breeds in the world 

So, which are the most expensive breeds today? Let’s count down the top 27 breeds to prioritize when you next enter the equine market.                                      

#1: The American Thoroughbred Horse ($50,000-$300,000)

The American thoroughbred is one of the most expensive horses in the world. Famous as the speed demon of the equine world, the breed has the best record on the horse track. Additionally, thoroughbred horses excel at dressage, riding, driving, and showjumping.

Unfortunately, thoroughbred horses don’t come cheap. The average thoroughbred costs at least $50,000, while polished geldings with a track record cost $300,000+.

The most expensive thoroughbred horse to date is the Fusaichi Pegasus sold for 70 million dollars in 2000.

#2: Trakehner ($50,000-$300,000)

The Trakehner is a sports horse breed known for equestrian shows and events. The breed particularly excels in dressage and showjumping. This makes it naturally expensive.

Additionally, Trakehner horses are rare. Though it’s the oldest warmblood breed in the world, the numbers have dwindled over the years, meaning the few Trakenher left are very expensive.

The cheapest weanlings cost around $10,000, while mature Trakehner horses cost at least $50,000. Meanwhile, prime mares and stallions ready for the race track cost $300,000 or more.

#3: Friesian horse ($50,000-$100,000)

The Friesian breed comprises warm-blooded horses native to the Netherlands. They’re beautiful glossy-black horses with distinctive high-stepping gaits and gorgeous flowing manes.

Their moderate size and extreme strength are the other major pluses. Mature stallions often reach 16 hands and grow to 1,300 pounds. These qualities make Frisians excellent carriage horses. 

Unfortunately, the Friesian is among the most expensive horses. Though prices start at around $4,000 for weanlings, a prime, well-trained horse costs $50,000 to $100,000.

#4: Oldenburg horses ($40,000-$100,000)

Oldenburg horses are uniquely-colored warmbloods that grow to 16 hands, with a few reaching 17.2 hands. They are rare horses, though. There are only 200 approved sires and 7,000 mares currently.

Oldenburgs are kind, willing horses, happy to work under saddle and in the fields. Some even haul loads. However, superior foals are bred for racing and dressage competitions.

But they don’t come cheap. The average Oldenburg horse costs $40,000, while special breeds cost a higher price, up to $100,000+.

#5: The Cleveland Bay Horse ($10,000 to $30,000)

Cleveland bay horses are very rare equines native to Yorkshire, England. Indeed, you may have to import one, as few breeders have them in stock.

They are bay-colored with black points, tails, and manes. Also, it’s a strong, high-endurance breed with an agreeable temperament and a great degree of trainability. Most of them grow to 16 hands, but a few may reach 17 hands.

Cleveland Bay horse prices start at $10,000 for young foals. But mature stallions and mares cost at least $20,000.

#6: The Dutch Warmblood ($10,000-$75,000)

The Dutch warmblood is an attractive breed of horse from the Groningen and Gelderlander lineages. Breeders fine-tuned the two bloodlines to produce the high-endurance, more athletic Dutch warmblood for dressage and showjumping contests.

There are three types of Dutch warmbloods: the harness horse, the sports horse, and the working horse. Working Dutch warmbloods are the most common.

Dutch warmblood horse prices start at $10,000 in many markets but can be as high as $$75,000 given that breed’s rarity.

#7: The French Saddle Horse ($15,000-$50,000)

The Selle Francais, popularly known as the French saddle horse, is France’s most prized equine breed. But it’s an amazing breed that has won multiple Olympic and Grand Prix tournaments. 

Their striking physique makes the horses stand out, giving them an impressive jumping ability. But they are also warm, timid horses that make wonderful pets.

Be prepared to pay top dollar, though. The average French saddle horse costs $15,000-$50,000. But the most expensive Selle Francais horse on record, the Palloubet D’Halong, was sold for $15 million in 2013.

#8: Andalusian Horses ($10,000-$50,000)

The Andalusian is the grandfather of modern horse breeds. The exact origins are unknown. But old paintings show Spanish kings and queens using the Andalusian in wars as early as the 15th century.

They’re medium-sized horses, around 15.5 hands, that mature at 908 to 1,129 pounds. But you can quickly point out the muscular hindquarters. As such, Andalusian horses excel in training, jumping, and dressage sports.

The average Andalusian horse costs $10,000. But prime stallions from superior bloodlines cost at least $50,000.

#9: Tennessee Walking Horse ($10,000-$50,000+)

Tennessee walking horses are smooth-gaited American breeds famous for their calm disposition and eye-catching running walk. The unique gait makes the walker one of the most comfortable horses. The breed is also very friendly to beginners.

Thus, walkers are a favorite for farmers and traders trekking over rough terrain. They can also perform selected farm duties.

A mature Tennessee walker costs $5,000 to $10,000, on average. But show masters can cost well over $50,000.

#10: Holsteiner ($10,000-$30,000)

Holsteiners are veteran farm and war horses dating back to the 13th century. The warm-blooded equines also have a stellar record in the show ring, especially in showjumping and elite dressage.

Interestingly, Holsteiners are calm-tempered horses that make excellent pets. They are also good for driving and riding.

But they don’t come cheap. Although you can find a few for under $6,000, the best Holsteiners cost $10,000 to $30,000. Meanwhile, highly trained Holsteiners ready for shows and events cost $70,000+.

#11: American Quarter Horse ($3,500-$10,000)

American quarter horses are the most common breed in the US, accounting for over 80% of the US horse population.

They’re extremely versatile horses. As such, you’ll find the American quarter horse everywhere, from the farm to the race track. It’s also a good-looking breed that competes in many shows and appears in video commercials.

The best part is that quarter horses are affordable. Though racing geldings cost $50,000+, a regular quarter horse costs a modest $3,500 to $10,000.

#12: Akhal-Teke ($10,000-$25,000)

Some equestrians consider the Akhal-Teke, also the national horse of Turkmenistan, the most expensive equine on the planet, and they’re too far from the truth. Although you may find a few superior breeds, Akhal-Teke horses are unique, rare equines that often cost an arm.

The radiant coat is especially impressive. The horses are also athletic and strong, thus excelling in long-distance races. 

There are less than 7,000 registered Akhal Teke horses, though. Thus, the prices are high. Asking prices range from $10,000 to $25,000 for the average stallion and $100,000+ for a well-trained gelding.

#13: Gypsy Vanner ($10,000-$25,000)

The Gypsy Vanner is a rare, unique horse. Indeed, most breeders directly import them from their native UK and European homes.

They are primarily family and therapy horses, thanks to their calm nature. But you can also train them for cart pulling and dressage rings. Alternatively, other owners use them for pleasure riding.

But importing them is expensive. Also, the breeding process is long and complex. Thus, Gypsy Vanner prices are typically high, ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

#14: Lipizzaner ($8,000-$10,000)

Few horses are as dazzling as the Lipizzaner. Once an endangered species, the horses boast unique jumps and moves that draw crowds worldwide.

But that’s just the start. Lipizzaner horses are stunning pearly white equines with glossy manes that easily wow audiences. You’ll also appreciate their enchanting personalities. It makes them great companies at home and on the road.

So, can you afford one? It depends. Very few Lipizzaner horses cost less than $5,000. Instead, the prices range from $12,000 to $20,000.

#15: The Arabian horse ($5,000-$20,000)

The Arabian breed is an elegant line of horses with long necks, high tails, and fine heads. It’s among the oldest horse breeds on earth, thus boasting incredible endurance. Also, they can live very long. The oldest one on record died at 46 years.

Arabians make exceptional showing horses. Equally, the breed has won a few famous endurance races.

The average Arabian horse costs $5,000 to $20,000. But the most expensive one on record is the Marwan Al Shaqab valued at $20 million.  

#16: American Paint Horse ($5,000-$20,000)

The American Paint horse is a beautifully colored equine. The coat patterns vary significantly. However, tobiano, avero, and tovero are common. All the patterns comprise white and a darker shade.

Paint horses are versatile horses that excel in many disciplines, from pleasure riding to showjumping. You can also use them for reining, barrel racing, and other western equestrian events.

The best part is that the paint horse is very affordable. The prices range from $1,000 to $5,000, though racing paints may cost up to $20,000.

#17: The shire horse ($2,000 to $20,000)

Shires are popular draft horses famous for their large size and incredible docility. Mature stallions weigh up to 1,100 pounds and can grow to 17 hands. Meanwhile, mares often reach 1,000 pounds and are 16 hands tall. 

They are talented jumpers but equally thrive at dressage and driving. Simultaneously, the shire horse is calm and friendly.

Shire prices start at $2,000 but can be as high as $20,000. Racing stallions are the most expensive.

#18: Hanoverian ($4,000-$15,000)

The Hanoverian is a warm-blooded horse breed originally from Hanover, Germany. It is closely related to the thoroughbred.

The average-sized horses feature a sturdy build, medium head, and long neck. Mature equines are as tall as 17.1 hands (67 inches) and can weigh as much as 1,400 pounds. More importantly, Hanoverian horses can live for 35 years!

You can find one for under $4,000 at an auction. However, mares and stallions in their prime cost $7,000 to $15,000, while others can fetch $100,000.

#19: Missouri Fox Trotter ($2,000-$10,000)

Many equestrians compare the Missouri Fox Trotter to the Arabian horse. However, the Fox Trotter has better stats, including a better stamina pool and higher peak speed. Moreover, the Fox Trotter originates from working stock horses. Therefore, they are strong, surefooted horses that easily handle difficult terrain.

The Average Missouri Fox Trotter grows to 14 hands, though a few reach 16 hands. They weigh 900 to 1,200 pounds.

The good news is that they’re affordable horses, with prices starting from $1,000. However, others cost $10,000+.

#20: American Standardbred ($1,000-$10,000)

The American standardbred is the fastest trotting horse in the world, making it a highly desirable breed. They are also high-stamina horses that resemble the thoroughbred.

You can identify them by their short backs, sloping shoulders, and long, high croups. The chests are deep and thick, with the ribs well-sprung. However, they only grow to 900-1,200 pounds.

Standardbred prices vary from $1,000 to $10,000 for the average horse and up to $20,000 for racing breeds.

#21: Norwegian Fjord Horse ($1,000-$10,000)

The Norwegian Fjord is a medium-sized horse that grows to 13 hands, though superior bloodlines can reach 15.2 hands. It’s a rare breed with a pony appearance that many equestrians cherish.

Primarily a farm horse, the Fjord enjoys pulling carts and carrying riders. But you can also find modern Fjords at pleasure shows and driving trails. Additionally, they make great therapy horses.

Thankfully, you don’t have to rob the bank to acquire one, as the average Fjord costs $1,000 to $10,000.

#22: Clydesdale ($2,500-$5,000)

Clydesdales are massive horses that grow to 18 hands in some cases. Also, mature stallions can weigh a staggering 2,100 pounds, more than twice the average horse.

They are most famous for the Budweiser commercials. But that doesn’t mean they’re short of desirable traits. For example, Clydesdales make great riding horses for large-framed individuals. They are also among the best farm horses. You can count on them to pull heavy loads with ease.

They’re fairly affordable, too. Though top bloodlines cost as much as $20,000, the average Clydesdale horse costs $2,500 to $5,000.

#23: Morgan Horse ($2,500-$4,000)

The Morgan horse is a refined, muscular native breed with an expressive head and arched neck. They are typically bay. But chestnut and black colors aren’t uncommon. You may even come across pinto patterns.

The stylish horses excel in many disciplines, from dressage to showjumping and pleasure riding. They are also the ideal stock horses.

Fortunately, you can buy a Morgan horse for as little as $2,500, though the most promising ones cost $5,000+.

#24: Appaloosa horses ($850-$4,500)

The appaloosa is a native American breed identifiable by the colorful spotted coat pattern. The areas around the eyes, muzzle, and genitalia have darker skin pigmentation.

Though moderately sized, the horses boast exceptional strength and stamina. Moreover, the appaloosa is extremely hardy and capable of adapting to new environments quickly. Elite appaloosas also thrive in dressage, jumping, and racing contests.

But the biggest advantage of owning an appaloosa is the price. They are cheap horses that cost $850 to $4,500.

#25: Miniature Horse ($2,000-$3,000)

Miniature horses are some of the best pets. They are small horses that owners quickly fall in love with. The smallest ones are only 8.5 hands (under three feet) tall, while the tallest miniature horses max out at 9.5 hands (slightly over three feet).

Moreover, miniature horses are kind, intelligent, and highly trainable equines. Their gentle disposition and small size make them perfect for children.

You can find a mature miniature horse for $2,000-$3,000 at an equine market. But younger ones cost less than $1,000.

#26: Shetland Pony ($1,000-$8,000)

Shetland ponies are slightly bigger than miniature horses. The average one grows to seven hands, but a few can reach 11.2 hands.

However, like miniature horses, they are obedient, friendly horses, perfect for kids and beginners. They are also loyal and highly trustworthy. Above all, they are easy to keep. An acre of paddock is sufficient for a Shetland pony.

You can find one for $500 or at a cheaper price. But the prices start at $1,000 for reliable, mature ponies, maxing at around $8,000 for superior geldings.

#27: The Mustang (Under $1,000)

Mustangs are free-roaming horses of Spanish origin. Indeed, the name “mustang” loosely translates to wild or stray in Spanish.

They are extremely hardy horses that quickly adapt to their environment. Their wild heritage also makes them easy to keep. For instance, the Mustang horse is highly resistant to common equine diseases.

You can adopt one for free in some states. But if you’re interested in buying, the prices start from $500 to $1,000 for an average foal.

What’s the Most Expensive Horse Sold in History?

The most expensive horse ever sold is a Thoroughbred named Fusaichi Pegasus. He was sold to Coolmore Ireland in 2000 for $70 million. Next is the Totilas, a Dutch Warmblood sold for €11 million in 2010. The Going Global was sold for €12 million in 2016. 

What’s the Cheapest Horse Breed?

Mustangs and miniature horses are the cheapest horses. You can adopt wild mustangs for free, though sellers demand at least $500 for a mature mustang. Meanwhile, miniature horses cost $500 to $1,000. Shetland ponies are also relatively affordable at $1,000 to $2,000.

FAQs

What is the Most Expensive Type of Horse? 

The thoroughbred is the most expensive horse breed in the world. Rarer breeds, such as the Cleveland Bay Horse and Newfoundland 

Pony are expensive too. But the thoroughbred’s pedigree is unmatched, especially on the racing track. The Trekhner and Friesian horses are very expensive, too.

What’s the Most Desired Horse Breed?

The American quarter horse is the most desired breed in the US. According to the American Quarter Horse Association, there are more than six million quarter horses in the US. That’s more than 80% of the US’s horse population. Owners love them because they are calm-tempered and excel in farm work. 

What’s the Rarest Horse Breed?

The Marwari is the rarest horse breed in the world. There are less than 2,000 registered Marwari horses globally. The Suffolk is also pretty rare. Originally from Suffolk, England, the numbers have dwindled to about 2,000. Other extremely rare breeds are the Falabella, Caspian, and Akhal-Teke horses. There are less than 7,000 registered Akhal-Teke horses globally. 

Who Owns the Most Expensive Horse in the World?

Fusao Sekiguchi, a Japanese billionaire, owns the most expensive horse in the world. He owns the $75 million-rated Fusaichi Pegasus, a thoroughbred racehorse that has earned more than $2 million throughout his career. The Pegasus has won more than 75 stakes globally. Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns the next most expensive horse, valued at $40 million. 

What’s the Most Beautiful Horse Breed?

The average equestrian considers the Friesian the most beautiful horse breed in the world. Their striking black coats and flowing manes are a marvel. This is why Friesians regularly pull royal carriages. They also carry royal knights into battlefields. Arabian horses and the Akhal Teke are other very beautiful breeds. 

Summary

Horses are generally expensive. Few cost below $3,000, with the majority costing at least $5,000. However, the best ones cost much more, typically up to $300,000+. Warmblood breeds are the most expensive, but the asking price usually depends on the equine’s rarity, bloodline, training, and career potential.

Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq

Dr. Noman Tariq, a seasoned veterinarian with a DVM from ARID University and an MPhil in Animal Nutrition from UVAS, specializes in equine health. His deep passion for horse nutrition and well-being drives his work, offering invaluable advice for horse owners. Dr. Tariq's expertise ensures horses lead vibrant, healthy lives.
You can read my full bio here

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Most Expensive Horses in the World in 2024