Kentucky Derby & The Reasons For The Age Limit Rule

The Derby Kentucky is a type of horse race that is quite familiar with most of the horse’s owners and trainers. This is a prestigious horse racing for the thoroughbreds that took place annually in Louisville, Kentucky, America. The particular feature is of the Kentucky Derby is that the Kentucky Derby horse age is limited. For more details about this age limitation rule, we’ll discuss more in the following article.

Age limit rule for the Kentucky Derby horse and the reason

As mention above, there is an age limit rule for the Kentucky Derby horses which is just only the 3 years old thoroughbreds can attend this horse race. It’s quite a strange rule, right? But why the age of the Derby horses have to be limited? Honestly, there is no clear explanation for this question. However, some rumors have it that it’s related to the traditional English horse race and the age of the horses.

The old rule of the traditional English horse race

In fact, the Kentucky Derby is an American version of the Epsom Derby, which was brought to America by William Clark after his travel to England and visiting the Epsom in 1872. At that time, the Epsom Derby was widely known as a racecourse for the premier 3 years old horses in England. So, the Kentucky Derby just simply followed and applied the old traditional rule that had been set in the Epsom Derby.

Kentucky Derby horse age limit

Maturity matter – The differences between 2, 3 and 4 years old thoroughbreds

There is a fact that the fully mature period of a horse is usually at the age of 4, and at the age of 2, the horses are still a colt as they haven’t known anything about their ability. However, 3 years old is a perfect age to observe the ability of the horses since they close to the maturity period. At this age, the horses are old enough to burn up the track, but also raw enough to add excitement to the gambling.

Gender consideration – One of the most noticeable unwritten rule

There’re some other requirements such as one horse can attend the Kentucky Derby one time in its life, the colts and geldings must carry 126 pounds and 121 pounds for the fillies, etc. One of the most noticeable unwritten rules is the attending horses are males more than females. Even though there is no written rule for gender requirement, however, the fillies are discouraged to attend the Kentucky Derby.

In general, Kentucky Derby is a prestigious American Racecourse for the 3 years old thoroughbreds. The reason for this age limit rule is that it was followed by the traditional rule of the English horse race in Epsom Downs. Another reason is the age of 3 seems to be a perfect period of a horse it’s quite close to maturity. This helps to increase the uncertainty and the excitement feeling for both viewers and wagers.