What Are The Rules For Naming A Race Horse?

Anyone who has an ambition of owning a race horse must be excited to name it. I wonder what you would would name your thoroughbred? Think of all those horses which have won the biggest races, they were all named by someone and many have stories behind them.

One of the most famous race horses of our modern era is Frankel, trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil. This unbeaten horse, now a stallion who commands a fee of £350,000. Frankel was named after renowned American horse trainer Bobby Frankel. Sadly, one of the most successful trainers in the history of horse racing, passed away in 2009, a year before Frankel made his winning debut at Newmarket on the 13th August 2010. Fittingly, he was named in memory of Robert Julian Frankel who passed away at the age of 68.

In the United Kingdom, for a horse to run under the rules of racing it must be registered with a unique name which remains with them for life, though it is possible for a horse’s name to be changed if sold and racing in another country. I specifically remember a horse trained by Bill Turner which won the Brocklesby Stakes and later sold to race in Hong Kong which changed its moniker. However, for the most part, race horses do not change their name.

We could of course say ‘What’s in a name’ anyway, but when we think of big races like the Grand National, it’s often a tactic of a layperson in betting to pick a name they like the sound of. Of course though, in more serious circles of professional gamblers and those who may have moved beyond the typical bookmaker and into bet broker territory, it’s less about the name and more the skill set to be able to place money on markets and sports events that can help you win big. This type of approach is especially common in Asian countries, but bet brokers exist worldwide to ensure you’re able to effortlessly bet with confidence through numerous bookmakers and exchanges through help of a trusted, tried and tested service. No account closures, just the ability to place no hastle bets big and small.

Weatherbys, which has interests in banking and horse racing, was founded in 1770 by James Weatherby and the organisation responsible for processing horse names. The actual process of naming and registering is processed within one working day. However, there are a number of rules to be followed when naming a racehorse.

These include:

– Your horse’s name must be a maximum of 18 character including spaces.

– Initials are not allowed.

– Names may not end with ‘filly, colt, mare, stallion, stud or similar terms.

– Names must not end with 1st or 2nd.

– You may not use the name of a real person without written permission or they have been death for 50 years.

– You may not use the name of a racecourse or graded race.

– Names must not have any commercial significance such as trademarks

– Names must not be suggestive, vulgar or obscene (although some have slipped through the net)

– Names shouldn’t be offensive relating to religious, ethnic or political groups.

– Horses shouldn’t be named after famous horses as a mark of respect.

– You must wait five years after a horse has retired or breeding to use its name again.

– All names are subject to approval by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Internationally, over 3000 horse racing names are protected from use including Frankel and over 250,000 names are currently registered. For this reason, you should check the register to see if your chosen name is available before submitting your application. It is advisable to submit six names in order of preference. In the UK it’s The Jockey Club who choose which name is acceptable for use.

Many owners have submitted rather naughty names such as Ho Lee Fook, Cooking Fat and E Rex Sean, which were all turned down. Books have been written about it including David Ashforth’s Fifty Shades of Hay: The Extraordinary World of Racehorse Names.

It has been said that some of the biggest owners often give the most impressive names to their best horses. Perhaps this is a good way of finding a winner.