Happy Birthday Horses!

Date: 1 Aug 2022

Happy Birthday Horses!

It happens once a year for all of us whether we like it or not!


It's August 1 and that is a very special day for every Te Akau horse - it's celebration day as all of our special horses officially turn one year older, regardless of their specific birthdate.


Here's how these horses transition between age groups and targeted races:


Our weanlings become yearlings, our yearlings become 2YO's with their sights on the likes of 2YO Karaka Million while our juveniles join the 3YO ranks and have some iconic age races in their sights e.g. the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas, 1000 Guineas, Levin Classic, Oaks, 3YO Karaka Million, Derby and more. Our 3YO fillies graduate to the rank of mare and our colts (if they are still that lucky) become horses or entires. However, once a gelding, always a gelding!


Yes, today every horse becomes one year older in the southern hemisphere. Down here we've got August 1 to marks the standardised birthday for every horse, with northern hemisphere equines celebrating their special day on January 1.


The date, based on the equine breeding season, is used to standardise the industry, particularly horse racing, which uses the date to put horses in their age grades for races.


Standardising the age of horses was essential for the racing industry. As one commentator noted: “It is a little bit like kids in school. You have to have a single date you can use to make it more uniform. Say a horse is born today — the first of August — he or she will race with horses from now until the end of November, December. That puts them all in the same age group. It is very important to have restrictive races. You can't just have it willy-nilly.”


Today is also an important day for the whole industry, falling just before Spring as it kicks off the new breeding year. The foaling season has started now, and the serving of mares can begin on the first of September.




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