All in a Name (foxhounds and otherwise)

As is commonly known, Barbaro was named after the foxhound who flanks a group of dogs in the portrait Foxhounds Meute de le Mr. Le Comte de Barral (Count de Barral).

For those of you who have asked about the names of the other foxhounds, I have listed them in order from right to left. They are easily obtainable through an online search as well.


The search for these names prompted a conversation with Bob Curran Jr., Vice President of Communications for The Jockey Club, and a quick look at the rules for the Thoroughbred naming process as obtained from  American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements. One interesting option to note is that of reserving a name - for a fee of $75.00, that name is made unavailable for an entire year. If not used within a year it becomes available for any horse. However, the individual who reserved the name may choose to renew the reservation for an additional year and another $75.00 fee. Approximately 400-450 names are reserved per year.

Often, Curran said, national events inspire the creation of Thoroughbred names. Following the fallout from the 2001 presidential elections, for instance, registered horses included All Four Chads, Count The Chads, Dangling Chad, Don’t Countess Out, Florida Recount, No More Chads, and Tooclosetocall.

After Smarty Jones' 2004 Kentucky Derby victory, up popped Smarty Me (filly by Elusive Quality), Sleepy Jones (colt by Swiss Yodeler), Smarty Who (filly by Lucky Lionel), Smarty Dee (filly by Pepper M.), Party Jones (colt by Elusive Quality).

There are NASCAR names such as J. Gordon (a colt named for driver Jeff Gordon) and Dirtymoposse (a colt named for the close circle of friends of driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.), and Seinfeld names like Vandalay, Hello Newman, Puffy Shirt, Kramerica, Low Talker, Serenity Now, Hipster Dufus, Yada Yada Yada, and Manhands.

The following classes of names are not eligible for use:

Names consisting of more than 18 letters (spaces and punctuation marks count as letters)

Initials such as C.O.D., F.O.B., etc.

Names ending in "filly," "colt," "stud," "mare," "stallion," or any similar horse-related term

Names consisting entirely of numbers. Numbers above thirty may be used if they are spelled out.

Names ending with a numerical designation such as "2nd" or "3rd," whether or not such a designation is spelled out

Names of persons unless written permission to use their name is on file with The Jockey Club

Names of "famous" people no longer living unless approval is granted by the Board of Stewards of The Jockey Club

Names of "notorious" people

Names of racetracks or graded stakes races

Recorded names such as assumed names or stable names

Names clearly having commercial significance, such as trade names

Copyrighted material, titles of books, plays, motion pictures, popular songs, etc., unless the applicant furnishes The Jockey Club with proof that the copyright has been abandoned or that such material has not been used within the last five years

Names that are suggestive or have a vulgar or obscene meaning; names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups

Names that are currently active either in the stud or on the turf, and names similar in spelling or pronunciation to such names

Permanent names and names similar in spelling or pronunciation to permanent names. The list of criteria to establish a permanent name is as follows:
a. Horses in racing's Hall of Fame;
b. Horses that have been voted Horse of the Year;
c. Horses that have won an Eclipse Award;
d. Horses that have won a Sovereign Award (Canadian Champions);
e. Annual leading sire and broodmare sire by progeny earnings;
f. Cumulative money winners of $2 million or more;
g. Horses that have won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, The Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Breeders' Cup Classic or the Breeders' Cup Turf; and
h. Horses included in the International List of Protected Names.


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