Did You Know Horses Celebrate their Birthday on August 1?

Horses’ birthday is on August 1 every year. It’s a great time to celebrate the beauty of these fabulous animals, and if you love riding, make sure your Life Insurance cover is up-to-date in case of injury.

Margaret Rochford

01 August 2017 - 5 minute read

No one is 100% certain when or why we humans started celebrating the anniversary of our birth – although the practice can be traced at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians. But did you know that horses across the world are given the same birthday each year? In the southern hemisphere, the horses’ birthday is August 1, while in the northern it is January 1.

Why August 1 in Australia?

The date of August 1 is close to the beginning of spring and the start of the equine breeding season. Giving all thoroughbreds the same birthday is a method of standardisation and makes it easier to put them into age groups in the racing industry. It is also far easier to do this than to keep detailed records of every single horse’s actual date of birth, which may not always be available anyway!

You could say it’s a form of classification, much as we do for schoolchildren when we put them into classes or grade-levels based on their approximate age.

Are you a horse lover?

If you love horses and enjoy riding, you will hopefully be aware of the risks involved, particularly in the racing industry.

Statistics reported by SafeWork Australia show there were more than 11,500 hospital admissions for horse-related incidents in the three years from mid-2008 to mid-2011, of which approximately three-quarters were injuries from riding. In addition, 1.2 workers are hospitalised each day for horse-related injuries, and the average rate of horse-related deaths is eight per annum – six of which are the result of falls.

Clearly it’s important to be very mindful of safety when it comes to working with and riding horses, and to ensure you have your insurances up-to-date as well.

Risk management tips for working with horses

According to the Australian Horse Industry Council Code of Practice, the risks of riding injury can be reduced by wearing appropriate clothing (such as helmets and enclosed footwear), using the right equipment and keeping it in good condition, and ensuring horses are saddled correctly. Undertaking riding tuition and fall-training programs can also improve skills and help prevent injuries.

Where work is undertaken with horses, employers are obligated to follow health and safety regulations and practices. According to WorkSafe Victoria, this includes providing personal protective equipment, ensuring workers are adequately trained and qualified, and providing a safe working environment.

Is your life insurance up-to-date?

If you are involved with horses for leisure, it’s important to ensure your Life Insurance is up-to-date, and that it is adequate to provide financial protection for your loved ones in case of your death.

Income Protection Insurance is also important cover in case of injury, as it replaces up to 75% of your regular income while you are unable to work. Another Life Insurance optional extra is that of TPD (Total and Permanent Disability) cover, which provides a lump sum of up to $5 million if you are unable to work due to injury.

Review your cover!

While there is no ‘correct’ time to buy life insurance, our own research shows that it’s something many of us consider doing as our life circumstances change (such as when starting a family or changing occupations), or when a friend suffers an accident.

The horses’ birthday, or your own birthday if you’re not a rider, could be a good reminder each year to review your current level of cover. Get in contact with our team if you would like some help with this, or if you prefer, you can use our online calculator to estimate how much cover you need for your current stage of life.

Get in touch with our team if you would like to find out more about our insurance products, and to obtain a quote.

Please refer to our PDS for further information on our insurance benefits.

Please note that the information we provide is not advice but general information only.

Sources:

SafeWork Australia, Guide to managing risks when new and inexperienced persons interact with horses, viewed 9 June 2017

Australian Horse Industry Council, Code of Practice for the Horse Industry, viewed 9 June 2017

WorkSafe Victoria, Horse stables and track riding safety, viewed 9 June 2017

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