A lot of thought goes into naming a racehorse. Some take inspiration from the horse’s pedigree, while some make it more personal, naming the horse after something special to the owner: a favorite boat, a treasured memory or the nickname of a close relative.
All racehorses must be officially registered by name with The Jockey Club to run in competition, and the club does not make exceptions to its rules. First of all, there’s a character limit: no more than 18, including spaces. Second, names cannot be in any way vulgar or offensive.
From that point, owners are free to choose whatever name they want. Except — the name has to be unique; meaning, it can’t match any of the names in the Jockey Club’s racehorse registry database. According to the club registrar, at any given time there are about 450,000 active names in the database, so owners have to get creative.
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To help you get started choosing a name for your racehorse, this short quiz will generate a name based on some of your favorite things.
Nelson Hsu, Nina Lin, Emilie Mutert / NBC