The Curious Case of the Horses’ Birthday
Did you know?
Even if they are not born on the same date, Thoroughbred horses in the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia, have the same birthday on August 1st. In the same way, Thoroughbreds in the Northern Hemisphere share a birthday on January 1st.
These might seem a bit unusual, but to horse owners and enthusiasts, this is not news.
A universal birthday
The reason for making these horses share birthdays is for organisations committed to regulating the breed to easily keep track of the horses’ bloodlines. With the lack of historical records of their actual birthdays, it was then decided that they are given the same date of birth.
Having a universal birthday for the Thoroughbred also makes it easier to classify which ones are fit for racing. Thoroughbred races are generally not open to fillies (female horses under the age of five) and colts (male horses under the age of five) until they reach the age of two. Some races, like in the US, do not allow horses to race until they reach three years old.
It goes way back
What may look like an odd occasion but this universal birthday goes back all the way to 1860. August 1st is close to the start of spring when the weather is starting to warm up. During this season, there is also plenty of good pasture; it is the perfect time for mating and for broodmares to produce good milk to nurse their young.
Celebrate Horses’ Birthday
Horses are among the most sensitive animals in the world. They are even said to have empathy for humans, as they can understand and react to facial expressions. With this kind of bond, it is no wonder owners and racers take good care of their animals not only to maintain their overall health for racing but also to prolong their life. They are, indeed, great riding companions. On their special day, spoil your favourite animal with a Pony Party full of treats and a gathering of your fellow equestrians. Celebrate their life and friendship by treating them extra special on August 1st.
If you are inspired by this story and felt like you needed a weekend escape, check out this piece we wrote about the Zephyr Weekend Escape Mustercamp and enjoy a weekend with the horses.