Through out the years of raising and training registered quarter horses and thoroughbreds one of the most difficult tasks was finding good names for all of them. Not only that, we also used to come across names in our travels that would sometimes be down right hysterical. Often these horses would be named in succession as to the names of their sires or dams. As an example I can remember a beautiful palomino quarter horse filly with the registered name of Up To It. Her sire Do It To It had been a great racehorse back in Ontario and Ohio.
One year at the Woodbine racetracks’ Two Year Old In Training sale, I asked a groom to bring a very beautiful filly out of her stall for inspection. When I asked what her registered name was the groom snickered and mumbled “No Peeking”.
“What a wonderful name!” I said.
The groom just grinned as I began to leaf through the catalog to look up the pedigree to go with her hip number. Imagine my astonishment as I read – “No Peeking” sired by “Drop Your Drawers”. Oh my, no wonder the groom had such a silly grin on his face! I chuckled and laughed all day with those names ringing in my ears.
We once had a thoroughbred filly at our farm by the name of “Watch Me Walk Away.” Her sire was a horse called “Left at the Alter” by the stallion called “Blushing Groom”. Three generations of wonderfully thematic names.
Over the years I can also recall such names as “No Spankings For Me” by “Givemalicken” and “Dutch Treat” by “Separate Cheques”. Then there are the nicknames that some of the horses earned for themselves, names such as T Bone (because of her conformation), Mouse (because of her size), Bumper (because she regularly bumped her chest against her stall door to escape) and Boo Boo (the klutz).
Some of the greatest names in the horse industry are names that smack of distinction. Northern Dancer, Dash for Cash, Special Effort, Bold Ruler, Impressive, and the list goes on. Their accomplishments still remembered along with their legacy of foals.
We once owned a thoroughbred mare by the name of “Failure to File”. Her race history was one hard luck story after another. I still to this day am trying to figure out why anyone in his or her right mind would name a racehorse “Failure”. It was as if she was destined by her name to be unsuccessful at the racetrack.
We have also owned horses with such grand names as “Secret Soul”, “Shop Talk”, “Scandalous Rumor”, “Ancient Path”, “High Estimate”, “Honoramongthieves”, and “Fantastic Dash”.
One of our stallions was called “Elvis Be Good”. We had a lot of fun naming his offspring after Elvis Presley song titles. There were names such as “Pocketful of Rainbows”, “Moody Blue,” “Shake Rattle N Roll”, and “Jailhouse Rock”. Elvis was a very popular stallion and quite prolific. His advertising in breed magazines used to contain the line “Put a little music into your mares life – introduce her to Elvis!” A cartoonist had drawn a picture of a horse in a sequined “Elvis” suit singing into a microphone. The ad brought a lot of responses and quite a few chuckles.
But the strangest name that I have ever come across was a thoroughbred racehorse by the name of Hoof Hearted. Now you can just imagine the singsong voice of the race announcer calling out that name along with a string of others. “-and its – Hoof Hearted up in front…” If you haven’t quite got that name yet – then say it to yourself a few times. I’m sure you’ll get a whiff of it. Spike Jones’ “Bubble Gum sticking to the rear” move over.