The Roadster belonged to the country doctor and the itinerant preacher in days gone by. Famous for its fast trot and ability to go long distances, it was the forerunner of the harness horses you see on the racetrack today. Shown at a jog trot, road gait and then at speed, the horses are either hitched to a two-wheeled cart (bike) or a four-wheeled wagon; or shown under saddle.
The drivers and riders wear racing silks in farm colors. Roadsters should show animation, brilliance, and competition-ring presence with straight and true action in the jog-trot and road gait. “At speed,” the horse must show speed and still go in form.
Horses showing in the Roadster Horse Division at Saddlebred shows must be a registered Standardbred. The Standardbred typically has a heavier build than the Thoroughbred–a longer body, shorter legs and a larger head.
The average Standardbred stands about 15.2 hands and weighs 800 to 1000 pounds. The most common colors are bay, black and brown. They are known for their personality and their willing temperament. While Standardbreds have both trotting and pacing abilities, “pacey” gaits are penalized in roadster classes.
Information provided by the United States Equestrian Federation