Racing fans often wonder how some of their favorite thoroughbred horses receive such unusual or memorable names. While the owner of a racehorse may incorporate words, names and phrases that have personal meaning, family history or some sentimental significance, the name given to any racehorse must abide by the rules and regulations of the Jockey Club.

Names may not include initials, a series of numbers or words that describe a horse such as colt or filly. A racehorse cannot be named after a person or historical personage, may not be named after any race track and the name cannot be an advertisement for a brand or trade name.

The racehorse name may not be any offensive or vulgar term or use any words that might be considered offensive to a particular ethnic, religious or political group.

Racehorses cannot be named after previous winners of major races. Racehorse names can have no more than 18 characters and must be approved by the Jockey Club before the horse can be officially registered.

Where Do Racehorse Names Come From?