Horse names and racing colours

The inside track on horse names and colours

Horse names and racing colours

Introduction to the naming of horses, and the choosing of racing colours

Horse Names

Naming your horse can be the most enjoyable, yet one of the most difficult decisions you may make as a racehorse owner or breeder. That’s why we are here to help. Our dedicated Names Team are on hand to guide you through this process as smoothly as possible. 

Whether you want to check the availability of a name you like or need some assistance on wording and characteristics, we are only a phone call away.

Do I have to name my horse?

You don’t have to, but if you want to do any of the following you must name your horse first:
•    Race under Rules or in a Point-to-Point
•    Breed from your animal as either a broodmare or stallion
•    Register any progeny with Weatherbys

How long does it take to name my horse?

We are responsible for registering horse names both in Great Britain and Ireland and most applications are processed and completed within two working days.

Am I restricted to the number of characters?

Your name choice can be up to 18 characters, including spaces. All names are registered subject to approval by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

For an application form please click here.

Are there any other restrictions?

The answer is "yes".

Approximately 3,000 names are internationally protected, which means they can never be reused; Frankel is a prime example.

There are also around 250,000 names on the current register. It is therefore advisable to check that the name you want is not already taken, before submitting your application. 

To check name availability please click here, contact our Names Team by telephone on +44 (0)1933 440077, or send us an email.

Racing Colours

One of the privileges of racehorse ownership is designing the racing colours, sometimes referred to as 'silks', and then seeing them worn by the jockey on your horse.

You do not need to be a registered owner under the Rules of Racing in order to register colours.

No two sets of colours can be exactly the same and must be based on a choice of patterns and shades laid down by the British Horseracing Authority. All new colour registrations must include a unique body and sleeve combination, conforming to these designs.

Online availability checks can be found on the Racing Administration and British Horseracing Authority websites:

Alternatively, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, the BHA hosts an annual auction of Distinctive Colours.

Racing Calendar

Available from the Bettrends Shop now. From £8.00

British Flat Pattern & Listed Book

Available from the Bettrends Shop now. £6.30

Programme Book

Available from the Bettrends Shop now. £184.00 (All 4 Volumes)

European Pattern Book

Available from the Bettrends Shop now. £51.00