In the horse racing world, the name of a racing horse is considered equally important as its ability to run. All the credit for this goes to the rules put by the governing bodies of this sport; choosing a horse name is a creative activity.
While choosing a racehorse name, one should follow the strict rules set by The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. It also depends on where in the world the horse is, there might be some other rules that one must follow for naming the racehorse in that specific region.
Rules for choosing racehorse name
First of all, let’s learn about the rules set by The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities for choosing names. The first thing the racehorse name should not be longer than 18 characters, plus to make it more difficult, punctuations and spaces also mark counts in this 18 character limit. For this one particular reason, many horse owners don’t use any spaces or punctuations while picking names for their racehorse.
Okay, 18 characters seem good enough to name a horse. But there’s another rule by IFHA that makes picking a name more difficult is that no two horses, who are currently racing, can have the same name. It is to avoid confusion between horses, and similar-sounding names are also banned.
In addition to this, when a horse retires, its name cannot be used again by any other horse for at least 20 years. It can be extended to 35 years if the horse is taken to stud, again to avoid confusion. This rule is completely ignored if a horse wins any major event; in that case, its name is forever retired.
Reading this, you could start to understand why horse owners go for such weird names, but we’re not done yet. There are still more rules to know. E.g., a racehorse name cannot be offensive to any religious, ethnic, or political group.
Another rule is that a name cannot be used for promotion or advertising purposes, and it should not contain a trademarked term. A horse name should not contain any vulgarity. Lastly, you cannot name a horse after a living person without written content from that person.
To sum this up, the reason racehorses have such weird names is because of strict rules and regulations set by the governing bodies in horse racing, which makes it necessary for owners to come up with creative, unique, and memorable name for their racehorse. It’s said that around one-third of all the submitted horse names are straight-forward rejected because they’re breaking one or more rules. For this reason, many racehorse owners submit multiple name entries just to make sure if one name gets rejected, they should have another name that could be accepted.