The home of intelligent horse racing discussion
The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

Racehorse names – international 18 character limit?!?

Home Forums Horse Racing Racehorse names – international 18 character limit?!?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #7270
    non vintage
    • Total Posts 1268

    I thought this was a pretty rigid rule until today…

    NOBEL BLEU DE KERPAUL runs in the 5:10 at Bangor, and I make that a whopping 21 characters!

    Are there any other examples that anyone has spotted?

    Happy Jack
    • Total Posts 515

    It’s an International ruling for thoroughbreds only, it is not used in France when naming non-thoroughbreds, as your example is. Pointer QOUQUILLE DES SACARTE (21 characters) is another example.

    • Total Posts 196

    Sounds correct: NOBEL BLEU DE KERP is not a throroughbred: … _perf.aspx

    non vintage
    • Total Posts 1268

    Excellent stuff – thanks chaps!

    • Total Posts 2685

    Ideal Du Bois Beury would be another to fit that particular bill.

    • Total Posts 175

    Pakineo Des Pictons is another.

    • Total Posts 6965

    …and for them that may have missed her running in a Southwell bumper on Monday, Pauline Harkin’s mare

    Quand Je Reve De Toi

    is another example, her name clocking in at 20 characters.


    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    Neil Watson
    • Total Posts 1376

    Dont forget the racehorse called EIGHTEENCHARACTERS which ironically is 18 characters long.

    This is genuine.

    • Total Posts 660

    Now I know why Forpadydeplasterer doesn’t have paddy in the middle.

    • Total Posts 175

    Naming racehorses is a fun but tricky business.

    Our Only The Best, illustrates the point (we didn’t name him!). He looks a very promising horse but to name a horse "Only The Best" does saddle him with the burden of living up to his name. The similarly named "Best Horse" is another in the yard that suffers the same fate. DPRP also previously had Haut de Gamme which translates to "Top Specification" or "Best of the Best". There is not really a precise translation but I understand from French friends that it is a generic term referring to products like Bentley, Rolls Royce, Rolex etc.

    We have actually named very few of our horses, most having been bought with form & thus already named. We have named a few though & have thus had to observe the UK naming rules (18 characters maximum, 7 syllables maximum & not offensive or likely to confuse). The first partnership that we set up was one of ten friends & the first horse we bought was an unnamed horse that we called Ten Aces, a reference to the ten partners & also to a card game regularly played by them. The horse ran once in a bumper but was then injured & sadly lost. Undeterred, the same partnership bought another unnamed horse by Commanche Court & named him Ten Commanches continuing the "ten" theme & referencing his breeding, a common thing to do in naming a horse. The horse was 3rd in a bumper on his debut but was also sadly lost before making his 2nd run. The third horse of the partnership again followed the themes of ten & referencing the sire. He was a gelding by Fourstars Allstar & the partners named him Tenacious Star. He ran a few times before breaking a leg at Carlisle. The partnership had had 3 horses in 3 years and lost all to injury. Thus when a 4th unnamed horse was purchased, the eventual choice of name was very apt. He was a full brother to a horse called "The Dark Lord" & so they flirted with the idea of calling him Harry Potter or Voldemort or even Dumbledore but none of those really struck a chord. Having bought,named & lost 3 horses in 3 years it was with a sense of dark irony that they decided to call this horse Deja Vu!

    Another horse that we named was a 3yo by Alderbrook out of a mare called Bohemian Return & we took cues from both sides of his breeding to name him Bohemian Brook. We did not name him but Aces Four follows a similar pattern being by Fourstars Allstar out of Special Trix, as do Anglican, Lucky Nellerie & Divers being out of mares called Anglaise, British Nellerie & Divination respectively. Pistol Basc is by a sire called Maille Pistol (son of Pistolet Bleu) but the Basc part of his name remains a mystery…presumably not a reference to the Britiash Association for Shooting & Conservation!

    Pakineo Des Pictons name was interesting in that it was 1 character too long to comply with the BHA rules. However, as he had already been named in France, he was allowed to keep his name. The Pakineo prefix remains a mystery to me but the Pictons part of the name refers to the region where he was bred. You will notice lots of horses with "Pictons" in their name – all bred by the same people in the same area of France. French breeders tend to take the local region & use the name for naming their horses – all of the Sivola horses are bred in the same region & generally by the same people, incuding our own Nine de Sivola. He regularly gets called Nina de Sivola or Neen de Sivola by commentators. We were unsure of the origin & thus correct pronunciation of his name so one of the partners contacted the French breeder. It turns out that it is the English word nine, as in number nine! There was no Eight de Sivola nor indeed a Ten de Sivola so we still don’t know why he was called Nine de Sivola.However, we do know that the correct pronunciation should be as in the number nine!

    Delray Beach’s name owes nothing to her breeding & she seems to have been named after a Florida resort, presumably a favourite of her owners! Kalmo Bay sounds like it may be a similar story but actually I think that his name references his breeding in a traditional way. He is by Alamo Bay our of a mare called Kermesse – I think that they took the "k" from Kermesse & worked it into Alamo Bay

    Rich Lord’s name has no rhyme nor reason to it, except that his first trainer James Bethell had a few horses with the prefix "Rich" at around the same time & so maybe it means something to him.

    The other problem with Only The Best’s name is that it does not easily suggest a shorter,more familiar stable name for him. Clemax was "Clem", Aces Four was obviously "Aces", Nine de Sivola is "Sylvester" or "NDS" and Delray Beach was "Della". Lucky Nellerie you might think would be "Lucky" but he is more often referred to as "Nelly" though PJ Mcdonald (who won 3 on him) always called him "Smelly"! Any delusions of grandeur that Haut de Gamme may have had were shattered when we called him "Ginge" at home !

    I am happy to report though, that one of the Only The Best owners has suggested a super stable name for him; George…as in George Best! So he now has not one but two names to live up to!

    The truth is though, as long as they do the business, you can call them what you like!!

    • Total Posts 1665

    I remember reading that the 1918 Triple Crown winner, Gainsborough, was named by his owner, Lady Douglas, after the eponymous Lincolnshire town. She was looking through a railway guide in a desperate search for a name.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.