One horse owner had extra reason to celebrate this January 1st. The turn of the clock into each New Year is also how the Thoroughbred community marks the official birthday of racehorses. No matter if the foal was born in January or May or August, it’s age is determined by the first day of each year.

And as such, Dead Solid Perfect, now known as Rush, is now 39 years old. Born May 4, 1983 and according to BloodHorse Magazine is thought to be one of the most senior Thoroughbreds in North America, if not the oldest. (The upper life expectancy for Thoroughbreds is about 25-28 years.) The Kentucky-bred gelding made 16 starts at the track, with a first and two third-place finishes, for earnings of $5,940 (USD).

Dead Solid Perfect’s lone victory came at The Meadowlands in New Jersey in 1986, ridden to the win by the groundbreaking female jockey Julie Krone. (Turfotos)

“It’s very rarefied stratosphere at this point,” his owner, Bridget Eukers, told BloodHorse. And apparently, Rush is very much enjoying his life at Windsor Hunt Stables in Connecticut. His owner says that Rush’s “health is good,” with some instances where he copes with “seasonal allergies and sensitivity to mold.”

“He enjoyed the little bit of snowfall we got last week; we loved that he was rolling in it,” Eukers said in an interview before Christmas. “Somebody left the gate open, and I unfortunately didn’t notice yesterday, and he noticed before I did and had himself a nice little time gallivanting down the hill where he’s not supposed to go. He’s been causing plenty of trouble and having plenty of fun.”

Rush is Eukers’ only horse; her parents purchased the OTTB as a 9-year-old, who at that point was being schooled in dressage by the seller. Eukers was a junior at the time and she and Rush began a competitive career together in the equitation and hunter divisions, and together they qualified for major shows, including the 1995 National Children’s Medal Finals and the 1996 Connecticut Junior Medal Finals.

Following a tendon injury in 1997, Rush was retired from competition, although they continued to work in dressage and later switched to trail riding until 2018 when he was 35. We hope Rush continues to break records and cause trouble for many years to come.