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Turf Deli Race That Horse
What's In A Name ? - Part One 01/10/02

Naming a horse is a difficult task. There are lots of rules and regulations. An unofficial standard has developed over the years, that say, if you have a good horse called Barney, then all its progeny should have Barney in the name somewhere. This is to pay tribute to its heritage and to confuse the hell out of punters trying to remember which horse is which. Firstly, you cover all the relatives - Uncle Barney, Son of Barney and Barney Miss. Next, you move onto the royalty - King Barney, Princess Barney, etc and then onto all elegant derivations of Barney - Rose of Barney, Pride of Barney, Regal Barney, Star of Barney. Finally you can just do abstract word groupings - Cabbage Barney, Assorted Barney and Barney The Quiche (ok - we just made the last part up).

Horse names are full of shocking puns (there is no such thing as a good pun), tediously wacky mis-spellings and obscure character references. If you try to put any humour into the name you have to be careful. Any humour must be thoroughly thought out to be about the level of those wacky animal stories they do at the tail end of the news each night -


i.e. The kangaroo that had police on the HOP…..

The snake that proved to be a SLIPPERY customer….

The rogue chicken that fell FOUL of the law.

Of course there are some shocking names currently around - Maybethehorsebewithu (although he is not a bad horse), Tom Courose and It's Thorpedo Gold spring to mind.

We swear if we ever see a Luke Hoofwalker, a Hay Solo, or a Princess Neigha then we are giving up the punt in protest.


There are a firmly bound set of rules when it comes to naming a race horse.

1. The name must be less than 18 characters.
This means that you cannot go hyphenating names like us humans do - else you would end up with a Danehill-Zabeel-Star Kingdom-Smith. The poor race caller would only get halfway through the field before the race was over.
2. No Christian and surnames and no names of any classic winners
Respect those who have gone before you - else there would be a squillion Pharlaps going around. John Doe, John Citizen and Bill Smith are all out.
3. No male names for fillies.
This means no Butch Pork Chops, no Beef Cake Betty and no Macho Macho Millie. No confused sexuality and definitely no cross dressing or drag queens either.
4. Any registered trademark or business
Bad luck Big Kev - looks like I'm Excited is off the table.
5. No names of members of the royal family
Is that just the British Royal family, so does it include the monarchies of Denmark, Monaco, Saudi Arabia and Ancient Egypt as well ? What about if someone is 78th in line for the throne ?
6. No names with religious significance
That refers to any religion at all, so names relating to football are definitely out.
7. Vulgar, indecent or suggestive in any language
We presume that they employ someone with a filthy mind to giggle earnestly at the slightest hint of any potentially derived double entendres as a screening process. Good work if you can get it.

To check whether a name is available or not go to the Stud Book

With the rules firmly established it was time to sit down and do some serious brain storming - after all a name is for life and the gag has to stand the test of time, unlike the movies of Adam Sandler.



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