The stride length of good horses

“What is the length of stride of a thoroughbred in full racing action? On that hinges the whole problem, Scarcely any two experienced turfmen agree on the length of stride, and that is why the Chicago turfmen – “reformed” but not regenerated – started something when he sent his question to a Santa Anita friend.

From fourteen to twenty-eight feet is the range of stride given by the horsemen at Santa Anita – good, practical horsemen, too. Trainer Griffin says a 2 year old will stride from fourteen to sixteen feet. Trainer West says the stride of Longfellow was twenty-eight feet. Presiding Judge Hamilton says his recollection of the stride of Longfellow at Saratoga when that mighty striding horse ran the middle three-quarters of a mile and three quarters in 1:14, was twenty-seven feet. The great Longfellow is reputed the longest striding horse in the world. Even Price McGrath, who trained the famous Tom Bowling, with a stride of twenty-seven feet, conceded the palm for length of jump to Longfellow.

The veteran trainer, Tom Harris, says when he raced Barnum, that short striding animal covered sixteen feet, and he gives the average length of a horse’s stride in racing action at twenty-two feet from tip of toe to heel. Miss Woodford, when under full sail, covered nineteen feet at each stride, and, according to Frank McCabe, the great mare was a long strider. Dr. Rice is said by Fred Foster to have covered seventeen feet at each stride when racing. Charlie Brossman maintained that his mighty race mare Imp covered twenty feet when in action and no more ease and grace of action was ever displayed by a thoroughbred than by Imp when running in a race.”
(Chicago Daily Tribune, 02/14/1909)

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