I usually focus on names for humans, but I’m an animal lover, so I’m also interested in names for animals (it took me WEEKS to name my cat, Trixie). With the Kentucky Derby this week, I couldn’t resist looking into thoroughbred horse naming. It’s a complicated world, I discovered. Here are some of the basic rules (you can read the longer, much more complicated official version from the Jockey Club here):
- Names must be unique (no two horses with the same name at the same time)
- Names of horses over 10 years old can be reused as long as the name isn’t of a horse who’s in the Hall of Fame or attained other accolades that qualify it for a “permanent name”
- Names must be 18 characters or less
- No names with horse-related terms like “filly” or “stud” – so “Black Stallion” wouldn’t be allowed
- No racetrack or race names can be used (so you couldn’t name your horse Belmont’s Winner)
The list goes on…Needless to say, if you’re into thoroughbred horse racing, you take naming your horse very seriously.
Do you have a favorite horse name? Here are a couple names that I’d bet on:
WEDDING BAND – I’m a romantic
If you want to read an interesting NPR interview with the Jockey Club name registrar, I recommend it:
Do you have a horse? How did you choose the name?
Happy naming ♥ Amanda