Racing of quarter horses. It originated among British settlers in Virginia shortly after Jamestown was established in 1607. The course was traditionally a quarter-mile (400 m); today there are 11 officially sanctioned races, ranging from 220 to 870 yd (201 to 796 m). Timing is to the nearest .01 second.
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Breed of light horse developed in the U.S. from Thoroughbred, Morgan, American saddlebred, and other stock as a quarter-mile racer. Though overshadowed by the Thoroughbred, it found a place in the western and southwestern U.S. as a stock horse (see cutting horse). Modern quarter horses are short and stocky, with a muscular build and a deep, broad chest. They are noted for fast starting, turning, and stopping ability, short-distance speed, and intelligence. They stand 14.3–16 hands (57–64 in., 145–163 cm) high, weigh 950–1,200 lbs (431–544 kg), and have a calm, cooperative temperament.
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