If you have a Thoroughbred, flip the lip and be sure to have a few apples and carrots ready to wish them a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! January 1st is recognized as a Thoroughbred’s birthday regardless of their foaling date. By age 2, they’re eligible to begin their racing careers.
The Thoroughbred breed originated back to 3 founding sires in 17th century England. Here in North America, The Jockey Club was developed in 1894, where all Thoroughbred racing stock is recorded.
Male (unaltered) horses are considered as ‘colts’ until the age of 5. If they breed to mares, then they’re called a ‘stallion’. If they’re gelded, they’re called geldings. Females by age 5 are called ‘fillies’, after that age they’re called ‘mares’.
The tattooed lip of a Thoroughbred is a wealth of history and information. Thoroughbreds who have completed race training and are prepared to run, or has raced, will have 6 tattooed images. They document the year the horse was born, identifies the horse (name) and the owner on The Jockey Club recorded papers.
The first image begins with a letter and that letter signifies the year the horse was born. For example, ‘A’ is the year of 1997 and ‘B’ is 1998, and so on. Once you go through the entire alphabet, you go back to ‘A’.
If you have a Thoroughbred, but not their papers, take a deep breath and relax. Look at their lip (if the tattoo hasn’t faded) and contact The Jockey Club. They will be able to assist you in finding answers. So, celebrate this special horse and meaningful day with love and appreciation.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY THOROUGHBREDS! GO THOROUGHBRED!