Yearling Horse

James Dooley avatar

Written By:


A racehorse between one and two years old is known as a yearling.

Many horse racing syndicates purchase at the yearling horse sales to train them ready for their 2yo campaign.

A yearling is a young horse that can be either male or female.

But are yearling horses good value for money to buy or are you better investing in the horses in training sales or purchasing a foal horse?

In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about yearling horses.

Do Yearlings Compete in Horse Races?

Yearlings do not compete in horse racing events because they are too young and are not fully mature physically.

The earliest racehorses can compete in horse races is two years old.

A yearling can walk almost from birth but as a yearling (1-2 years old) they are still underdeveloped to race.

Yearling Horse Genders

There are three types of yearling horse genders:

  • A female is known as a “Yearling Filly”
  • A male is known as a “Yearling Colt”
  • A castrated horse is known as a “Yearling Gelding”

How do you break a thoroughbred yearling?

Here is a great video showing Godolphin breaking in thoroughbred horse racing yearlings:

How much does a thoroughbred yearling cost?

A yearling thoroughbred horse costs on average £55,000.

The cost of yearling thoroughbreds varies depending on the breeding.

In the horse racing world, they say “apples do not fall far from the tree” and breeding of the racehorses is very important.

Popular Questions

When Do Yearlings Become a Two Year Old?

All yearlings become two-year-old on the 1st of January.

The horse racing ageing system doesn’t work like humans where you get a year older on your birthday.

In horse racing ages all horses are seen to be born on January 1st.

This is important to know when betting on 2yo races because all horses born in the same year are listed as the same age. This means that yearlings born in the early months of the year tend to be better developed than their counterparts born in October, November and December.

How much do yearling horses weigh?

Yearling horses weigh around 550 pounds on average.

The best way to find a yearlings weight is to use scales as it is hard to use tape on racehorses between 12 months to 24 months old.

The 550lbs average weight is dependent on the breeding and height of the horse.

What is average height of yearling horse?

Yearling horses mature height is 13 hands on average.

A yearling horse is supposed to be approx 90% of its final height.

Depending on the breeding yearlings generally are normally between 12 and 14 hands tall.


Yearlings are the stars of the future as they break onto the horse racing scene.

The development of the yearlings is just the start and racehorses do not reach peak condition until approx 5 years old.

The progression from a yearling to winning the biggest races in the world like the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or the Grand National can seem a far cry.

Horse racing trainers must take their time to develop the thoroughbreds and jockeys have got to give them time to mature and develop.

Other Racehorse Articles