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The world’s most expensive horse

by Marlen Fischer
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The world’s most expensive horse “Palloubet d’Halong” made a name for himself as a successful show jumper. An exceptional talent, his pedigree was undoubtedly promising and did not fall short of expectations. He succeeded the black stallion “Totilas” who was the centre of attention for years due to his enormously high value.

Palloubet d’Halong – the world’s most expensive horse

The horse Palloubet d’Halong is the most expensive showjumping horse in the world. A representative of the French sport horse breed “Selle Francais” he was known for his versatility and performance, which he had already been proven in several show jumping competitions. The offspring of the famous stallion “Baloubet du Rouet” and the mare “Indra Love”  looked the part with his chestnut coat, luxurious mane and tail, broad blaze, expressive head and eye. Strong hindquarters and powerful legs rounded off the powerful overall picture. He was born on 19 May 2003 and 10 years later sold for an unbelievable price of 13.5 million Euro.

Georg Kähny sold the gelding ridden by Jannika Sprunger to the new owner Jan Tops in 2013. From then on, he was mainly ridden by Bassem Mohammed, a very respected show jumper from Qatar, who successfully placed the French warmblood at various show jumping competitions. In 2017, he bowed out of his sporting career due to injuries.

Surprisingly, Palloubet d’Halong was shown internationally again in 2019. However, despite a clear round, he was not placed, as he incurred time faults. Nevertheless, he demonstrated his talent and delighted not only his rider but also the audience with his performance.

Palloubet d’Halong now enjoys his a well-deserved retirement. Due to his record price, the sale attracted a lot of media attention at the time and Palloubet d’Halong’s reputation grew steadily. Nowadays things are quieter around the pensioner, but nevertheless he remains in the memory of many horse sport fans as the most expensive horse in the world.

Breed characteristics of the Selle Francais

The French sport horse is a particularly popular breed in France and shows great talent for show jumping. However, they are also occasionally competing in dressage. Palloubet d’Halong confirmed his innate jumping talent with numerous placings at international shows. With a height of 165 cm he was in the optimal size range of his breed, which is between 160 cm and 170 cm. Even his colour fulfilled the typical characteristics of the Selle Francais, which are predominantly chestnut.

The breed stand out as being powerful, strong and reliable. Palloubet d’Halong was specially trained for show jumping due to his innate abilities, which helped him achieve top performances. Precise schooling and continuous training by top riders has helped Palloubet d’Halong to the highest degree.

The former most expensive horse did not compete in show jumping, but in dressage. Totilas, the predecessor of the title of the world’s most expensive horse was a black Dutch warmblood.

The most expensive horses in the world

Snaafi Dancer

In 1983, the sale of the English thoroughbred “Snaafi Dancer” achieved an incredible price of 10.2 million dollars. However, the promising racehorse never appeared on the international circuit.

Seattle Dancer

One of the most expensive horses is undoubtedly the Irish racehorse Seattle Dancer. The stallion was sold in 1985 for 1.5 million dollars and trained for racing. In 2007, the English thoroughbred died after a successful career. The talented racehorse passed on his genes to many breeding lines around the world.

Lord Sinclair

In 1997, the Bavarian warmblood stallion fetched 1.4 million Euros at an exciting auction. He has produced 15 licensed stallions from his successful offspring, proving the reliable hereditary quality of his movement. The double Bundeschampion was bred in Bavaria.


The German Hanoverian mare achieved 2.5 million Euros at an auction in 2003. Her career started promisingly in dressage, she won the Bundeschampionat with top marks. Only two years later, however, the exceptional talent surprisingly fell ill with severe laminitis. The course of the disease was so severe that the successful mare had to be put down.

The Green Monkey

“The Green Monkey” changed hands for 16 million dollars in 2006 and has been the most expensive horse sold at auction ever since. The English thoroughbred racehorse was sold as a two-year-old as an exceptional talent for the racetrack. Unfortunately, The Green Monkey could not fulfil the expectations placed in him. Nevertheless, the owners were not disappointed about his performance, as the stallion then proved to be much more successful in breeding.


Probably the most famous stallion in dressage sport in Germany, Totilas was sold in 2010 for an estimated 10 million Euros. For a long time, the exceptional stallion was considered the most expensive horse in the world, until Palloubet d’Halong took the title. Totilas died unexpectedly in 2020 as a result of colic. However, the black stallion diligently passed on his talent to numerous offspring.

Which is the best horse in the world?

The grey Belgian Warmblood stallion Cornet Obolensky is considered one of the most valuable horses in professional sport.

These factors determine the value

Basically, the value of a horse is defined by its traded monetary worth. A major factor in determining price is the horse’s breed. Thoroughbred Arabians, English Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses on average top the list of most expensive breeds. Palloubet d’Halong and Totilas break out of this statistic. Pedigree also plays a large part in determining the value: If the parents are already award-winning successful show participants, the chances of a talented offspring increase. If the horse has proven itself in the course of competition, the value increases further.

In addition to competition success, age also plays an important role. Young sport horses up to nine years of age are traded most expensively and are retired at about 17 years of age. Prices for horses aged between nine and 17 are therefore decreasing. Good training and competition experience increases the value. An optimum mix between these factors is therefore decisive for the sales price. Emotional value only plays a minor role in professional sport and rarely influences the selling price, whereas in the leisure sector, people like to pay more for a good temperament. However, it is not very often that sums of several million euros are actually paid for some horses, even in professional sport.

Market prices vary greatly due to the above-mentioned factors. It is certainly possible to purchase a good, talented show horse for around 10,000 EUR. Among other things, however, one or another desired trait will have to be sacrificed. Prices may range up to millions, for example in the case of the most expensive horse Palloubet d’Halong.

Interesting facts beyond the million-dollar horses – Other records

The Hanoverian mare “Poetin” is one of the few exceptional talents in dressage that has already been successfully cloned twice. Even the clones are already passing on their talents to further offspring.

The world record in the equestrian high jump is in Chile. An English thoroughbred named “Huaso” jumped an incredible 2.47 metres. The stallion has held the longest unbroken world record in the sport since 1949.

The record for the highest prize money in show jumping, on the other hand, has been held in Prague since 2019. The Global Champions Tour final was rewarded with prize money of 11.4 million Euros.

How tall is the biggest horse in the world?

The Shire stallion “Noddy” is the tallest horse in the world with a height of 205 cm. His full name is “Luscombe Nodram”. The gentle grey giant weighs 1.5 tonnes and lives in Australia.

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