In the Northern Hemisphere, all thoroughbred horses have the same official birthday of January 1, regardless of their actual date of birth. In the Southern Hemisphere, all thoroughbred horses share the birthday of August 1. The purpose of giving all thoroughbreds the same official birthday is to more accurately categorize them by age for racing purposes. This birthday rule means that a horse born in mid-December would officially turn 1 year old less than a month later, on January 1. Breeders typically try to have their horses born as soon as possible after the official date, in order to have as much time as possible to train them for racing. After a thoroughbred horse reaches its second birthday, it generally is eligible for racing.
More about horses:
- Horses are not able to breathe through their mouths — only through their noses.
- A horse uses more energy when it is lying on the ground than when it is standing up.
- Thoroughbred horses can run at a top speed of more than 40 miles per hour (65 km/h).