American quarter horse american quarter horse one of the oldest recognized breeds of horses in the united states the breed originated about the 1660s as a cross between native horses of spanish origin used by the earliest colonists and english horses imported to virginia from about 1610. The american quarter horse or quarter horse is an american breed of horse that excels at sprinting short distances its name came from its ability to outdistance other horse breeds in races of a quarter mile or less some have been clocked at speeds up to 55 mph 885 km h. The american quarter horse is north americas most popular horse breed also ranking among the oldest with more than 5 million registered american quarter horses worldwide the american quarter horse association aqha is the worlds largest breed registry. The american quarter horse is known for having a pleasant personality these horses are are highly intelligent and willing to please. Some breed historians have maintained that it is the oldest breed of horses in the united states i of the american quarter horse stud book were saved for
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