Hand (unit)

Breadth Height Size Width Measure Side





The hand is a non-SI unit of measurement of length standardized to 4 inches (101.6 mm).
SI is abbreviated from Système International.





Hand, by which a horse‘s height is measured, placing one hand above the other from the ground to the withers or the point where the saddle sits.
A horse that measures 16 hands is 5 feet 4 inches tall at the withers.
Hand was originally based on the breadth of a human hand.
The hand, sometimes also called a handbreadth or handsbreadth, is an anthropic unit, originally based on the breadth of a male human hand, either with or without the thumb, or on the height of a clenched fist.





It may be abbreviated to “h” or “hh”.
Although measurements between whole hands are usually expressed in what appears to be decimal format, the subdivision of the hand is not decimal but is in base 4, then subdivisions after the radix point are in quarters of a hand, which are inches.
Thus, 62 inches is fifteen and a half hands, or 15.2 hh (normally said as “fifteen-two”, or occasionally in full as “fifteen hands two inches”).
A horse is measured from the ground, vertically to the top of the highest non-variable point of the skeleton, the withers.
For official measurement, the spinous process of the fifth thoracic vertebra may be identified by palpation, and marked if necessary.
Miniature horses, but not miniature ponies, are measured at the base of the last true hairs of the mane rather than at the withers.





Today the hand is still used to measure the height of horses, ponies, and other equines.
It is used in the U.S., and also in some other nations that use the metric system, such as Canada, Ireland and the UK.
In other parts of the world, including continental Europe, and in FEI-regulated international competition, horses are measured in metric units, usually metres or centimetres.
In South Africa, measurements may be given in both hands and centimetres, while in Australia, the equestrian regulations stipulate that both measurements are to be given.
In Hongkong, the earliest pony scale was 7 st. for 12 hands, with 7 lbs. added for each additional inch.





1843, TETOY won the Valley Stakes four times in succession (1847-1850 inclusive) carrying a cumulative penalty of 7 lb. for each
His height was 13.1., which is 52 inches!





960 meters = 1/2 mile 170 yards; 1207 meters = 6 Furlong; 1609 meters = 1 mile; 1766 meters = 1 mile 171 yards; 2012 meters = 1-1/4miles; 2816 meters = 1-3/4 miles.






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Acknowledgment to HKJC Archives; Hong Kong Racing Museum for relevant content.





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