This Tuesday is 1st of August, which means every New Zealand (and Australian) racehorse is about to get a year older.
Happy birthday, horses!
Why is it that all horses celebrate their birthday on the same day, when – obviously - they’re not all born on a single day, each year?
Good question. We’re glad you asked.
It’s because historically record-keeping of a horse’s day of birth was poor. So – to standarise the process and avoid confusion – August 1 was created as the catchall birth-day for all racehorses.
But why August 1?
The choice of date has to do with the breeding season. Breeders generally try to breed in September/October so that the horse will be born as close to 1 August as possible. This ensures the horse will be as mature as possible when it begins racing.
And it’s only racehorses in the Southern Hemisphere who get cake (or carrots) on 1 August. Racehorses in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate their birthday on 1 January to reflect their breeding season.