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Sunshine Coast horse reportedly Australia’s oldest thoroughbred

Danny hasn’t had much luck on the track over the years but is reportedly in the running for a very special title — the oldest living thoroughbred in Australia.

While his accolades as the racehorse Phantom Rock were limited to a third-place finish and $200, his loving owner Coleen Robertson still thinks he is a winner after Danny this year celebrated his 40th birthday.

Ms Robertson and Racing Queensland believe Danny is the oldest living thoroughbred in the country.

Vets say older horses are becoming more common as they move from being working animals to family pets.

‘He’s always here’

Ms Robertson said over the years, Danny had become her “everything” and her greatest confidant.

“There’s a lot of times I’ll come down here and just go, ‘Danny, we need to have a chat’, but it might be about my son, husband, anything,” she said.

She said he was always there.

“He hasn’t got a wicked bone in his body,” she said.

“He never bucks, he never bites, and he’s got such a good nature.”

Danny’s tongue hangs where his teeth used to be.

“He doesn’t nicker as much when I come in because I don’t think he can,” Ms Robertson said.

“He can see me, but I think he’s actually getting a little bit blind and a little bit deaf.”

Ms Robertson said Danny’s missing teeth were a result of “wind-sucking” and cribbing, which was common among bored racehorses kept in the stables.

Danny’s tongue hangs out his mouth because he is missing his front teeth(ABC Sunshine Coast: Meg Bolton)

“They grab on to the lower part of the stable door and clench it with their teeth really hard, and it strains the muscles in their neck,” she said.

Long in the tooth

Sunshine Coast equine vet Tony Doherty said reaching 40 was an achievement, but older horses were increasingly spending years out to pasture.

“When I was newly graduated, if somebody told me that there was a horse in the mid-20s, I’d probably go and have a quick look at it just curiosity to see it,” Dr Doherty said.

“Nowadays, we have quite a few clients that have horses well into their… mid-30s.”

Dr Doherty said the oldest thoroughbred he had seen with documentation was 43 in 2009.

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