Billionaires get to have all the fun, with their boats and bank accounts and racehorses. And, as if that weren’t fun enough, they get to come up with whimsical names for their fancy toys, like “Vitamin Sea” and “Maythehorsebewithyou.”
But just because they’re absurdly wealthy doesn’t mean billionaires don’t have to play by the rules — at least when it comes to naming racehorses.
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.
U.S. & World
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.
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.
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. Unfortunately the quiz does not generate the money you’ll need to buy a thoroughbred, but it’s always smart to have an idea for the perfect horse name in your back pocket.
Interactive: Nelson Hsu, Nina Lin/NBC
Copy: Emilie Mutert/NBC