Do All Horses Have the Same Birthday?

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).
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Discussion Comments


It's amazing that horses can run at such a high speed. However, unlike machines (such as cars), which can apply a steady rate for long periods of time, I'm assuming that horses tire out very easily when they run at that distance. As an example, though cheetahs run extremely fast to catch their prey, it's only for an extended period of time. Eventually, if they can't keep up, they'll slow down, take a break, and rest.


Why does a horse use more energy when they're lying on the ground, and not standing up? Is it because standing up is their "natural" position, and it's harder for them to lay down. In fact, unless a horse has been injured, I don't see one lying on the ground too often, if ever.


I definitely find it interesting that horses tend to have the same birthdays. It really show animals are quite different from humans, who have birthdays at all times of the year, every day.

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