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What's in a Name? (OTTBs)

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  • What's in a Name? (OTTBs)

    I own a small string of racing thoroughbreds, and have one that I retired a couple of years ago. She had me wrapped around her hoof while she raced, so I kept her as my own riding horse. I have been taking my mare to a wonderful facility with a great coach and have exceeded my aspirations and expectations. I can w/t/c my former runaway with pretty steady confidence, ride out the bucks and scoots and we're having fun learning to jump as that's where her heart lies and I'm along for the ride.

    My coach's barn is predominantly filled with OTTBs, since there's a steady supply of them in this racetrack town. Gorgeous bays and browns and chestnuts, a grey thrown in there. They do double duty as schoolies and show horses, winning a wall full of ribbons and shelves of trophies. I love seeing them all perform and rake in the rewards for their riders. But I wonder, who were they in a previous life? Not one of them goes by their registered name, if it was ever known at all. They have barn names and show names, tattoos and a few have signs of old track wear, but even flipping lips gives me no identities as the tattoos fade or are mottled beyond my quick glance can decipher. Is there a hard knocker in the barn? A minor stakes horse? Someone out there who use to groom one, wondering how he is?

    There's one new TB in the barn that I lead the barn to purchasing this year off another trainer. I know he ran 44 times, won 4, and made over a hundred thousand. That's long enough a career that someone might wonder how he's doing. But his barn name and future show name will not hint at who he use to be. When he shows in the near future, word will not pass back that the handsome bay out there was so and so.

    So that leads me to wonder, how many of you use your TB's registered name? Do you do so to show, or is it their barn name too? Anyone ever reach out to you because of that and say hey, I knew your horse when they were on the track? Share information about him?

    Just curious.

  • #2
    Didn't we just have a thread on this? (Or at least one on why to keep the name?)

    If I were showing Lucky I would use his registered name. Lucky To Cope. It's a pedigree name, and it allows people to track him as an OTTB. (Plus it's a 'negative' name and I fully subscribe to the racing superstition of never give a horse too upbeat of a name. One need only look at Lucky's record of $95k versus his half-sister, She Sure Can Cope, who barly eked out any money on the track.)

    As for his barn name, his trainer LOL'd when I asked over the phone and said they just called him Lucky. So Lucky he remains.

    My old horse, though (Bold McKinnon), was "Bold" at the racetrack, and "Benny" in the barn. He didn't seem to care one way or the other.
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    • Original Poster

      (laughing) Sorry if there was a recent thread. I don't read a whole lot in the H/J forum, though I probably should. I might learn some valuable things, eh? I'm glad Lucky will keep his past in his future. He's got a following already, but I'm sure he'll be an ambassador to future lucky Finger Lakes Finest wherever he goes. The one handsome TB we just sold we couldn't make anything good out of his registered name to use around the barn. He was the biggest sweetest puppy dog of a boy we'd ever had. He babysat my mother when she'd visit the track. I'd hand her a brush and tell her to go play with "Clifford" in his stall. Registered name of this sweetheart horse? "TooTainted"


      • #4
        I posted on a different thread as well. I never showed mine under their JC names. I made up new show names and off we went. My first good old man, I kept the barn name he came with just because I thought it was funny to hear people say " Holly, Ollie, Wally and Oscar" ( me, Jack RT, Horse, Norwich). The other got his name changed by original owners when he came home from racing, went from Barney to Woody. I could care less, he could care less. For all he knows, his name was *#!!! when I was trying to teach lead changes. My mom hated the name Woody though, she used to say " do not come to dinner telling me how you rode your Big Red Woody".
        Come to the dark side, we have cookies


        • #5
          I don't remember, was it in here or off-course?

          And I've been tempted to add "FLF" in front of his name for Finger Lake's Finest if he shows (and to horribly confuse the western people, as he seems heading in the direction of gaming anyway.)
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          • #6
            Originally posted by danceronice View Post
            I don't remember, was it in here or off-course?

            And I've been tempted to add "FLF" in front of his name for Finger Lake's Finest if he shows (and to horribly confuse the western people, as he seems heading in the direction of gaming anyway.)
            I posted under the thread about tbred in A circuit after it kinds of went in the naming direction.

            I like the idea of adding FLF! Cute!
            Come to the dark side, we have cookies


            • #7
              I haven't shown my girl yet (hoping for schooling shows this coming year), but I fully intend to keep her JC registered name as her show name - Million Pieces. I like it, and I feel like the fact that it makes me think of broken bones (lol) is sort of like telling someone, "Break a leg" before they go on stage - it's lucky.

              I have no idea what her barn name was on the track. I call her Velvet because her registered name also made me think of the song "Fall to Pieces" by Velvet Revolver. And I love that song.
              ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

              The equine love of my life: Gabriel
              4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3


              • #8
                Jenn, sign me up on the side of the list that says "keep the name". I did get a good chuckle when my old BO was announcing a show, and when my turn in the ring came, he called my name, and you could hear the confusion in his voice when he added "...on Cee Bee Cee". He only knew Boo as, well, BOO!!!
                I feel pretty fortunate that my other boys' JC names are also noble and reflect their backgrounds. Heart will still show as Heart Warrior! As for Grizzie (Burgandy Tower)...he is actually written about in a book about racing: http://books.google.ca/books?id=nHk1...wer%22&f=false
                so I feel that he gets some credit too!
                Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


                • #9
                  I like to use their JC names. I've got Timely Impulse, Missy's Joy, Bridlewood, and Mr. T. James and just lost my heart horse Stonecoldfreak.


                  • #10
                    Almost all the OTTBs in our barn have kept their JC names to show under...with the exception of one who goes by the first name her owners tried to register her under with the JC (and that the JC subsequently rejected...). Of the OTTBs I've ridden in the past few years, one has been recognized on more than one occasion by folks who knew him while he was still racing...granted, he was a giant 18-hander who won quite a bit and had an interesting name ("Surf Guitar")...but it was pretty cool to have someone come up to me at a show and tell me that they were his groom when he was a 2yo in training

                    My newest TB will be keeping his JC name - Lump Sum - not because I'm overly fond of it, but because I'm one of those folks who likes following TBs as they move out of racing an into other careers We do call him "Stash" around the barn...as all we could come up with from his JC name was "Lumpy"...and he's too cute to be called that!
                    ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                    www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/


                    • #11
                      I would keep mine's jockey club name, but it's not really suitable for showing - it's not horrible, but it's definitely a racehorse name "Great Warrior". So instead, I will be spinning off that name into something more suitable. Of course, I also went to the trouble of notifying his former owner and trainer of where he ended up, and it's quite obvious that he's a TB so I don't anticipate that there will be any questions.


                      • #12
                        Too bad there wasn't a stronger system in use with USEF- could attach Jockey Club number to horse and allow them to be tracked that way. Naturally that won't happen since its too easy to just create a new horse. Its a nice idea though.

                        The tb's I have known haven't had very stellar reg names...although I LOVED the name of the AA Hunter I had "San Soliloquoy" Didn't fit him though


                        • #13
                          My OTTB was JC named Nicky's World. I first knew him as Troy, then Zeus then Truce. When I bought him last April, my first horse - I named him Finnegan Begin Again to show and Finnegan as his barn name or, sometimes just Finn. Wasn't until after I named him that I found out his sire was Irish - so it fits.

                          Oddly enough, he seems to like it, when I holler from the pasture gate, I at least get an ear flip and, sometimes, he actually pulls his head out of the round bale to come see what I want.
                          And nothing bad happened!


                          • #14
                            JC name = A True Angel. I call her Angel but she also answers to Angel Pie....She actually answers to anything so long as you have food. Everyone who knows her thinks that she is an Angel so the name fits.

                            Show names I thought of but ended up not going with were (based on her habit of sticking her tongue out), Likity Split and Tongue Action. And based on her JC name "Hell's Angel" but she really isn't the Hell's Angel type. As JC names go, I sure can't complain.

                            Surf Guitar is a very cool name listen to some Dick Dale if you don't believe me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xymVx...eature=related


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mukluk View Post
                              Surf Guitar is a very cool name listen to some Dick Dale if you don't believe me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xymVx...eature=related
                              That's exactly where Surf Guitar's name came from - his owners were really into Dick Dale at the time he was named And his dad was Vaal Reef (so the "surf" part kind-of fits)
                              ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                              www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/


                              • #16
                                My first TB's show name was Marquis D, but the only "Marquis d' I knew of was the "Marquis de Sade" & it didn't fit the affable gelding. So we went by his barn name, Skeeter, to which he responded.

                                BUT when I bring a horse off the track myself, I DO show under the horse's registered name. In case someone wants to know how they are doing.

                                We own a TB stallion whose sire lines are known to produce jumpers. He was himself a very good racehorse (sprinter) & we have been tracked down variously by his ex-exercise rider, his former assistant trainer, and a few fans. I love learning what he was like "back in the day" and they love knowing he found a home-for-life.

                                He doesn't show, but when we do have a TB off the track to show, we try to make it easy for folks who know the horse to keep track of him/her.
                                Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.


                                • #17
                                  It really depends on the registered name. Some are better than others. Runaway Go is not good... Perfectly Blended is good.


                                  • #18
                                    I have no dog in this fight, but it seems to me that more h/j people would use the JC names if they weren't so terrible. Some certainly are better than others. Same with AQHA names.
                                    A proud friend of bar.ka.


                                    • #19
                                      We showed 2 at a little show last summer under their registered names. Nancy Perkins & Butwaitthere'smore. Actually, one of them we took to the show en route back to the track from a short break. I wanted her to wear her red ribbon to the paddock for her next race!

                                      I'd love for all TBs to show under their registered name, or have some sort of database if they don't. I'd LOVE to be able to go to one place and find out how some of my old friends have done in new lives.
                                      It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                                      • #20
                                        We show under JC name with a slight modification - it was one of those names with the words all run together, and I added the appropriate space to make it 2 separate words.

                                        I was recently connected with his breeder/owner & have kept in contact with them, he was a stakes horse & was the owners top-winning racer at the time. They are so excited to know that he has a loving home & enjoys his new job. I loved getting his baby pictures & hearing stories about him as a foal and on the track.