Happy Birthday Horses – The New Season Is Here!
1 Aug 2021
Today is a special day for many reasons it signifies the start of the 2021/22 season and what a season we’re farewelling for Team Te Akau – In January this year, Jamie Richards completed the fastest training century in New Zealand, bettering the previous record by nearly three months. February saw the young trainer break the domestic stakes record of 25 in a season, and in April he broke the national record of wins (143) in a season.
Te Akau finished up the season with 160 wins for 2020-21, including 15 Group Ones among 40 black-type victories (one with either group or listed status).
Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM, the leading buyer of yearlings for the 16th consecutive year at Karaka, purchased all seven Group One winners that Jamie Richards trained this season, and 11 of the 16 individual stakes winners.
Another special part of today is that on August 1 we can wish every Te Akau horse a VERY happy BIRTHDAY! 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.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL OF TE AKAU’S LOVELY EQUINE TEAM IN NEW ZEALAND AND SINGAPORE!
Let’s bring it on 2021/22 season!