Horse life


Average life span of a racehorse

From the physiological point of view, the average life span of a racehorse is about 20 years old, in some rare cases it came to horses over 30 years. Wanting to make a comparison with the human being, a two-year-old colt is equivalent to a young man of 16-18 years, while a thoroughbred over 25 years is almost comparable to a centennial man.

From Foal to horse

Foals spend the first months of life together with their mothers, before they start weaning at around five – seven months and be moved to a dedicated area, usually called “puledraia” (foals’ house), where complete their growth up to about one year of age.

At this point start the taming and training of different types for gallopers and trotters. Competitive activity began around a year and a half, and the horses two years old can already participate in races reserved for horses of this age.

The best stallions for breeding purposes ending the career of racing very soon, usually four years for the gallop and five – six for the trot; the best female for breeding may be initiated already in three years.

The family tree

Horses gallopers are defined as “thoroughbreds” because their genealogy is carefully controlled: all thoroughbred, in fact, descended in male line from the intersection of 50 mares belonging to the British Crown (the Royal Mares) and three Eastern Arabian stallions: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Arabian. The first foals, considered legendary names in the field, were Eclipse, Herod and Matchem.

The birth of the english “stud book” dates back to 1793: since then, a horse galloper to participate in official races must be born of a stallion and a mare registered in the stud book of the different countries.


In Italy, the first stud book was established in 1875, with the report presented by the  Agriculture Minister Finali to King Vittorio Emanuele II, who issued the subsequent decree. The first regulation came into being the following year, as well as the first official record of the state of horseracing Italian: 105 english mares imported in 1833 and 54 born in Italy since 1834; 153 english stallions imported in 1830 and 44 born in Italy since 1841.


Globally, the genealogy is treated today by ISBC (International Stud Book Committee), and although there are no breed standards (height, biometric data, etc.), In order to be registered in the stud book there are still insurmountable limits: besides father and mother have enrolled in the stud book, the foal should not strictly be born by artificial insemination, by embryo transfer, or through genetic manipulation.


The care and constant selection to reach always the best foals, often still following the guidelines set out by Federico Tesio (the best breeder in the history of horseracing international) in the last century, make the breeding Italian is the linchpin of the entire horse racing industry.