DID YOU KNOW?
Horses of the Thoroughbred breed all celebrate the same birthday on January 1. Regardless of their true birthday, a Thoroughbred foal is considered a year older every first of January. While horses living in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate it on August 1. Why do they did they created a universal birthday you ask?
Well, this ideal breed for horse racing needed to be regulated in a way that would be efficient to the racing organization. Some tournaments only accept the entry of horses at certain age brackets. However, the fact that horses are seasonal breeders makes this is a problem. Thoroughbreds naturally mate earlier in the year and as a result, produce foals late in the year. Generally, buying foals of the breed born in the later part of the year isn’t encouraged. Breeders have adapted to this. In order to maximize the training period while the foals are considered young, they have devised a way to intervene in the reproduction cycle of the horses. They make sure that their horses are born earlier in the year by taking measures such as strategic artificial light exposure. Horses are led to believe that it is mating season by giving them two up to three hours of light during dusk. Others also administer drugs such as dexamethasone to encourage impregnation in the horse regardless of the season. So every first of January greet your favorite racehorses a happy birthday before you focus on your horse racing calculators and horse betting sites. If you’re interested in more horse content, check these non-fiction books about horses out.