Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Britain’s 28,000 Racehorses

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While many of us are probably recovering from celebrating the arrival of the New Year, racehorses around the country are busy tucking into carrots as they celebrate their official birthdays!

New Year’s Day – the world’s most celebrated public holiday – also happens to be the official birthday of every racehorse in Britain. We have over 28,000 registered in the UK and although their actual birthdays may occur later in the year, the official celebration is today.

To mark the momentous day, Great British Racing presented a special carrot cake to superstar hurdler, Big Buck’s, a record-breaking racehorse who’s unbeaten in his last 18 races. Whilst he was actually born on 16th April 2003 the horse will celebrate his 11th birthday on 1stJanuary 2014.

Seven-time Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls, who trains Big Buck’s explained, “Like The Queen, racehorses born in the Northern hemisphere celebrate two birthdays; their birth date and their official birthday on the first day of the year. This allows them to be grouped together easily by age for specific races. As you can see Big Buck’s loves the attention and we’re looking forward to his seasonal reappearance later this month.”

Big Buck’s is due to make his eagerly awaited debut for the season at Cheltenham Racecourse on 25th January 2014. The staying hurdler has won seven times at Cheltenham, including four consecutive World Hurdles victories, confirming his status as one of the greatest staying hurdlers ever.

The Thoroughbred breeding season runs from February to July in the Northern Hemisphere, and the gestation period is around 11 months. The aim is to ensure foals are born in the months just after the New Year, to give them as much time as possible to mature before they go racing.

Technically, a horse born on Boxing Day would celebrate its first birthday less than a week later, a big disadvantage if it’s to stand a chance of winning!

Festive Trials Day is arguably the best one-day Jump race meeting anywhere in the UK and takes place at Cheltenham on the 25th of January. More information can be found here