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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 18:21 GMT
Jump racing: The horses
Whereas Flat racing centres around younger animals, National Hunt involves more mature horses.

The youngest age at which a horse can run over hurdles is three, for fences it is four.
HORSE COLOURS
Bay Dull red to a yellowish brown - mane and tail are black
Brown Uniform brown colour - mane and tail black
Black Distinctly black all over
Chestnut From light yellowish brown to a dark 'liver' chestnut - mane and tail same colour as rest of coat
Grey Pure white to grey
Roan Dark coat sprinkled with combination of red, white and yellow or black, white and yellow hairs - a rare pale, mottled look

Horses will usually be able to race until they are about 12, sometimes beyond, but a National Hunt horse usually hits its prime at eight or nine.

All racehorses share an official birthday on 1 January.

Regardless of when in the year a horse is born, the following 1 January it becomes a yearling, the year after a two-year-old and so on.

The oldest age of a winner over jumps in Britain is 18, although the oldest horse to compete in a race was the 22-year-old Creggmore Boy, who ran at Cartmel in 1962.

CLICKABLE FEATURES
National Hunt horses have usually been gelded although there are some who have not - these are known as "entire" horses.

Horses come in all shapes and sizes - and colours, ranging from bay to roan.

Each season provides a fresh canvas for horses to put their names into the history books.




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