Russian Trotter

Russian Trotters are a breed of horse that originated in Russia.

It is a fast harness horse, even though it is not as beautiful as the Orlov Trotter.

If you’re thinking of getting a Russian Trotter, here is what you need to know.

Russian Trotter Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Russian Trotter:

Height (size) 15.3 – 16.0 hands high
Colors Most commonly black, bay, and chestnut, but gray horses are also seen
Country of Origin Russia
Common Uses Harness racing, riding

Russian Trotter Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The beginnings of the breed were in 1890 when breeders started crossing local Orlov Trotter horses with imported American Standardbreds.

After World War I, Russia stopped importing horses from the United States, which had a big negative impact on the breeding of the Russian Trotter.

Additionally, Russian Trotters started to be used less as racehorses and more for military and agricultural purposes.

Selective breeding of the offspring of the Standardbred – Orlov Trotter crosses continued after World War II.

It was not until 1949 that it received official recognition and was given the name “Russian Trotter”.

The breed was fully developed by 1950, however, the French Trotter gained tremendous popularity after WWII, and the Russian Trotter started to fall behind.

In the 1960s, another initiative was started to increase the speed of this breed, which resulted in the import of American Standardbred stallions, but the quantity was restricted because of the Cold War (1947 – 1991).

The majority of Russian breeders believe that the best method to improve the Russian breed’s speed and make it useful for racing is to cross it with the Standardbred.

So, the crossbreeding of these two breeds is still very popular today.

About 1600 stud mares are included in the Russian Trotter pedigree.

There are a total of 27 stud farms where these horses are bred, with Zlynsk, Smolensk, Alexandrov, Elan, and Dubrovski being the most important ones.

A stud-book was created in 1927, and in 1989 it ran in 23 volumes.

In 1989 there were around 27,000 purebred Russian Trotters in the USSR.

Russian Trotters are found across the country, from the Baltic to Siberia.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Good disposition, gentle, easy-to-train, lively

Physical Characteristics

The head is plain and it is attached to a muscular neck.

The chest is broad and deep, and the shoulders are sloped.

The withers are medium-sized.

The legs are strong with well-defined tendons.

Some conformational flaws include bowed legs, and short and drooping croup.


Most commonly black, bay, and chestnut, but gray horses are also seen

Height (size)

15.3 – 16.0 hands high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Harness racing, riding



Popular Traits




Country of Origin



Orlov Trotter, American Standardbred