The relationship of personality traits with breed, sex, and racing performance in sport horses

DANIŞAN S., Yaranoğlu B., Özen H.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior, vol.71, pp.18-26, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 71
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jveb.2023.12.005
  • Journal Name: Journal of Veterinary Behavior
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.18-26
  • Keywords: Equine, Horse personality questionnaire, Intra-species behavior, Latent class, Welfare
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of the study was to evaluate the personality components of Arabian and Thoroughbred horses (TB) using the Horse Personality Questionnaire (HPQ) and examine their relationship with breed, sex, and racing performance. Within the scope of the research, race data of 96 horses from Thoroughbred (n = 56) and Arabian horse (n = 40) breeds that participated in flat races were taken from the official websites of Turkish Jockey Club. HPQ was constructed using 26 behaviorally defined adjectives. Thereafter, latent class analysis was carried out to determine distinct classes (subgroups) by using the questionnaire that described the personalities of horses. Three distinct personality classes of both TB and Arabian horses were compared. While there was a significant difference in sex distribution among the personality classes of TB (P = 0.023), this difference was not observed in the classes of Arabian horses (P = 0.580). There was no significant difference in terms of age and some racing characteristics in the per- sonality classes of both Arabian and TB horses (P > 0.05). In conclusion, it was seen that some personality classes of the horses could not be determined in the type of management system where there was no paddock and horses cannot display some of their intra-species social behaviors. For understanding horse personality, it is crucial to observe their intra-species interactions Simultaneously, by evaluating the data on horse personality from a scientific perspective and appraising the sportive performance of horses with a holistic approach, ethical equitation would be possible.