The Quarter Horse was developed in the American colonies
in the 1600s between the native, Spanish based stock and the
imported English horses. This mix formed a stout and sturdy
horse. Being a very suitable workhorse, the Quarter Horse was used on
ranches, but also retained the ability to sprint at high speeds for a
short distance, such as a quarter mile or less as its name implies.
It became a popular race horse along with the Thoroughbred and still is
today. A naturally good cattle horse, in the 1800s the Quarter
Horse was a common choice of horse for cowboys on cattle drives.
For mature stallions and mares the average height of a Quarter horse is
14.3 to 16 hands height and can be any solid color. This breed has a
short head, medium length ears, a pair of very muscular hindquarters,
brawny thighs, and broad chest. They are commonly used in
Western sports competitions such as barrel racing and appear frequently in
rodeos. Quarter horses also are used on the race track for big
purses in short distance races.
You can find a lot of information about horse breeds and registration facts at that Horse Breed Associations web sites:
American Quarter Horse Association: AQHA
National Cutting Horse Association: NCHA