A horse is a must-have for any luxurious estate. Whether you’re the Queen of England or just an average Joe, owning one is a status symbol. These gentle giants come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments. Some horses are bred for work while others are bred for show, whether that be dressage or showjumping.

But what breeds are considered the most expensive? While different breeds and bloodlines are unique in their own ways, these are 12 expensive breeds that are worth their weight in gold

The most expensive horse breeds in the world
The most expensive horse breeds in the world

12 of the World’s Most Luxurious Horse Breeds

There’s a famous quote that says, “A great horse will change your life. The truly special ones define it.” If you’re looking to invest your money wisely, take a look at these high-end equines to see if any suits your fancy. The high selling price of these beautiful horses is often due to their success in equestrian sports.

However, in some cases it’s their stud fee that commands a lot of money. A stallion stud fee can vary from $2,500 to over $500,000.

12. Holsteiner

Most of the time, if an equestrian enthusiast is going to purchase a Holstein horse, it’s going to be for the eliteness. This expensive horse breed is famed for its competitive abilities that outshine many other horse breeds.

With a trainable nature, elegant gait, and glorious temperament, the Holstein averages between $10,000 to $30,000.

A Holsteiner mare with her new born foal standing in a pasture
A Holsteiner mare with her new born foal standing in a pasture

11. Oldenburg

The Oldenburg is an elegant yet powerful working horse that was famously used during wars, as well as for cart-pulling. Nowadays, the Oldenburg is suitable for the everyday rider or those who are interested in mastering the dressage and show jumping arena. 

Due to their versatility, the Oldenburg ranges from $4,000 to $100,000.

An Oldenburg stallion
An Oldenburg stallion

10. American Thoroughbred

Thoroughbreds are considered to have the highest bloodlines and are guaranteed to be a showstopping purchase. They’re often seen at the top of the podium at any kind of equestrian event; whether it’s show jumping, racing or dressage. 

Horses can only be registered as a thoroughbred with The Jockey Club if they have been conceived by live cover This is the natural mating of a stallion and mare, as opposed to artificial insemination or embryo transfer. 

Because racing is their main selling point, American Thoroughbreds can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $300,000. Fusaichi Pegasus, an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Kentucky Derby, sold for a then record-breaking auction price of $70,000 to Coolmore Stud.

However, The Green Monkey achieved a world record for the most expensive horse ever sold at auction. In 2006, he was bought as a two year old by Coolmore Stud for $16 million!

Another record-breaking thoroughbred horse was Shareef Dancer. The 1983 Irish Derby winner was valued at over $40 million due to his racing career.

The American Thoroughbred mare Twilight, pictured below, took part in horse genome sequencing which revealed that their genome structure is remarkably similar to humans.

Doug AntczakBaker Institute for Animal Health via Wikimedia Commons

9. Friesian

The Friesian is a big-boned horse with a powerful build. They’re mostly bred with luxurious silky black coats and long raven-black manes and tails which deserve center attention. 

As a rare breed, there is a high demand for this dressage-loving horse with a high-stepping gait. Their elegance and rarity mean that Friesian horses can easily go for $50,000 to $100,000

A black Friesian stallion galloping
A black Friesian stallion galloping

8. Hanoverian

The Hanoverian breed is a German warmblood noted for its flexible movements and rhythmic canter that make it a dream in the dressage arena. 

The lightweight and agile breed is cherished for its intelligence, sweet nature, and trainability that goes hand in hand with being a successful dressage and trail competitor.

The average Hanoverian can cost between $4,000 to $7,500 but it’s not uncommon for top competitive bloodlines to cost over $15,000.

A Hanoverian horse
A Hanoverian horse

7. American Standardbred

The American Standardbred is most recognized for its ability on the racing track. This solid and reliable horse is prized for its stamina, which can make it a fun ride for any jockey or trail rider. 

No matter if they’re a trotter or a pacer, this race horse has a smooth gait that makes it a comfortable ride that isn’t limited to the track. They make for wonderful recreational riding as well. 

Buying an American Standardbred starts from $1,000 and can go up to $10,000 on average. 

Two American Standardbred stallions
Two American Standardbred stallions

6. Gypsy Vanner

The Gypsy Vanner has a beautiful, silky coat that gives it the appearance of looking like a real-life unicorn. What makes the coats even more exquisite is that they come in any color, ranging from blagdon and tobiano to skewbald.

Sometimes called an Irish Cob horse or Irish Tinker in Europe, the breed originated in Ireland. The main horse breeds that the Gypsy Vanner originates from are the Clydesdale, Dales Pony and the Shire. 

Although these breeds are typically small, they’re broad and powerful, which results in them being used to support larger body riders. Known for their calm and gracious nature that makes them the ideal family breed.

Because of their beauty and excellent temperament, these horses can easily start from $10,000 to $25,000.

The Gypsy Vanner is one of the most expensive horse breeds

5. American Quarter Horse

As the name suggests, the American Quarter Horse is a popular breed originating from the United States. There are many positive reasons why this breed is adored; its loyalty, beauty, speed, agility, and versatility.

Given how well-rounded the Quarter breed is, this beauty is well suited to a range of riders. Whether you’re a showjumper, trail rider, or ranch owner looking to invest in a working horse. 

As a hobby horse, the American Quarter ranges between $3,500 to $10,000. On a more competitive level, strong bloodlines can result in the breed costing $25,000 to $100,000.

An American Quarter Horse in the snow
An American Quarter Horse in the snow

4. Andalusian

Andalusians are known for their ability to glide on air around the arenas during dressage shows. While the dressage arena is their favorite, their versatile and elegant movements mean that they’re as renowned in show jumping and cross-country riding.

As well as being internationally recognized for its abilities in horse shows, the Andalusian has a majestically long flowing main and glorious tail. As well as a beautiful movement that demands your attention. 

This sweet, all-rounder breed can range from $10,000  to $50,000.

An Andalusian horse in the snow
An Andalusian horse in the snow

3. Selle Francais

The Selle Francais, also known as the French Saddle Horse, developed from an array of spectacular horse breeds. This has enhanced the athleticism and elegance of the horse, which is prized by competitive horse riders around the world.

This sporting horse is particularly adored for its showjumping abilities. With their naturally beautiful gait and usually solid color of chestnut or bay, the Selle Francais is exceptional to see in the arena. 

Those hoping to invest in this exceptional show horse breed can expect to pay between $15,000 to $50,000.

Palloubet d’Halong is a Selle Francais who was sold for $15 million in 2013. Gold medal winning equestrian Jan Tops bought the chestnut gelding for his wife Edwina Tops-Alexander, the Australian showjumper. Considered to be the most expensive horse in the world currently alive, his high price was justified by his success in showjumping competitions.

A Selle Francais horse
A Selle Francais horse

2. Dutch Warmblood

Deriving from two modern breeds in Holland, ​​​​the Gelderlander and the Groningen, the solid colors of the Dutch Warmblood make these a pleasure to watch in shows. Their strength and endurance are why this breed of horse is renowned around the world as being one of the finest show ponies.

Along with their well-proportioned bodies and powerful bodies, the Dutch Warmblood has an easy demeanor, which makes it the first choice for many riding enthusiasts.

Because of their popularity, the cost of this breed can range anywhere from  $10,000 to $75,000. A Dutch Warmblood horse named Moorlands Totilas, which won three gold medals in the 2010 World Equestrian Games was sold for a rumored $13 million the same year.

A 3 year old Dutch Warmblood horse
A 3 year old Dutch Warmblood horse

1. Arabian

The origins of the Arabian breed dates back thousands of years, which is probably why they’re the most iconic breed out there. Any casual horse rider is left in awe when gazing at these marvelous beings with their arched faces, striking necks, and chiseled bodies. 

Not only are these breeds exceptionally beautiful, but they’re also extremely intelligent and exude an aura of excellence.

The average Arabian can cost between $5,000 to $20,000, while those with a higher bloodline can cost between $25,000 to $300,000

A beautiful Arabian horse galloping in a meadow
A beautiful Arabian horse galloping in a meadow

Final Thoughts on the Most Expensive Horse Breeds

As with expensive dog breeds, some people might wonder why anyone would want to spend so much money on a horse. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about preference and status for some of these expensive horses.

Some people like Dutch Warmbloods because they’re large and muscular; others prefer Arabians for their elegance. It’s really up to you which type you choose.

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Most expensive horse breeds
Most expensive horse breeds

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