• OQHRA - Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association
  • World's Fastest Athletes
  • Will Rogers Downs
The Athletes

The Athletes in Action

A Team Effort

Together, American Quarter Horses and their jockeys are the world's fastest athletes. These horses compete for millions of dollars in purse money throughout North America. Make no mistake, these horses are competitors in the truest sense. Lean, tough jockeys ensure that they meet their full potential. Working in harmony together, the combined athletic skills of a talented horse and rider flying down the track at over 50 mph offers fans a rare glimpse at both poetry in motion and pure blazing power. The American Quarter Horse is capable of such an incredibly powerful takeoff when it shoots out of the gate, that jockeys embrace the adrenaline rush like nothing else in the world can provide. Many match the excitement and force of the horse, and yell like Mel Gibson in "Braveheart." Next time you watch the American Quarter Horse, go out on the track apron. Get close to the fence, as close to the starting gate as you can get. Listen to the pounding hooves and jockeys yelling. The excitement is intoxicating. There are no other sounds in American sport that can match that of a jockey and an American Quarter Horse.

The American Quarter Horse

Known as "America's Horse" but loved worldwide and for plenty of good reasons! Originally bred by colonists for short match racing down narrow streets or unplowed fields, the American Quarter Horse has the distinction of being the first breed native to the United States.

As America moved westward, so did the American Quarter Horse, and he proved to be a valuable and adaptable partner as he became the horse of choice because of his speed, durability, adaptability, inherent cow sense, gentle disposition and alertness.

Bred to be athletes, these powerful athletes are bred specifically for their jobs and undergo intensive training much like human runners.

Today's American Quarter Horse racing is conducted at more than 100 racetracks throughout North America. Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is proud to host American Quarter Horses between September and November.

These powerful, beautiful sprinters can go from zero to 55 miles per hour in less than three seconds. That's faster than a Porsche!

Speed Record

Yes, the Cheetah is actually the fastest animal, known for being able to run some 70 mph. But when was the last time you saw a Cheetah compete in an athletic competition? Especially one worth millions of dollars? And you can't ride a cheetah. Enough said.

The American Quarter Horse breed was named for its ability run a quarter of a mile (440 yards) faster than any other horse in the world. The current record for the distance (timed from a standing start) is 20.274, set by "First Moonflash" in 2009.

American Quarter Horse is world renowned for the powerful burst of speed from a standing start and a fast sprint to the finish, more exciting raw power than a dragster burning off the line.