Eight Os
April 2, 2015 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Part of a famous lineage of racehorses, Potoooooooo was allegedly named by a witty stablehand after Ireland's most famous crop. After a successful career, he was retired to breed offspring, two which were appropriately named Waxy and Mealy.
posted by bismol (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ha, I was just thinking of a post on daft racehorse names, but I hadn't gotten around to seeing if there were any other well known ridiculous ones. Wikipedia suggests that there have been well-known racehorses (on the flat, in harness, or over fences) named things like Albatross, Hambletonian, Arkle, Buckpasser, Frankel, and Gloaming.

I've always been fascinated by the traditions surrounding racehorse naming. You can often get a sense of a horse's lineage through its name, which often reflects one or both parents; but then again, sometimes they seem to be just fleeting fancies. The Jockey Club has an interesting and extensive list of rules for registering horse names, including rules for when you're allowed to use the name of a dead horse again. Of course, that only applies to Thoroughbreds; Quarter Horses, Standardbreds, and the assorted warmblood breeds used in steeplechasing would have different restrictions on naming (if any).
posted by sciatrix at 8:28 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, and it turns out you can look up names in the stud book to see if they're now active! For example, there's a 2011 mare named Fleeting Fancy out there somewhere.
posted by sciatrix at 8:33 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

oh my god someone named a horse Pizza and there's another one whose registered name is Bag. And there's some bright soul who has the names "Waffle" and "Bagels" on reserve, just in case a likely colt should come along and require the perfect name.

The next time I have to give an animal a registered name I am going to come up with something really hilarious, I tell you what
posted by sciatrix at 8:39 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hambletonian was quite famous. He was named after Hambleton Hills, where he won his first race.
posted by emjaybee at 8:40 PM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh yes, there's a bit about this in Byatt's Possession:

"The horses' names are jokes. White Nights, by Dostoevsky out of Carroll's Alice."

"We are literate," said Euan. "Whatever your sort might think. Look at The Reverberator. His sire was James the Scot and his dam was Rock Drill--I think the idea was that drills reverberate, and Henry James, the American, wrote a story or something called The Reverberator. A horse's name has to contain an allusion to the names of both its parents."

posted by emjaybee at 8:44 PM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

guys someone named a horse Butchy Coo. Butchy Coo.

oh god I have to go to bed I think I am enjoying this search engine way way way too much
posted by sciatrix at 8:47 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

All the O's. White O's. Burnt O.
posted by Zerowensboring at 8:49 PM on April 2, 2015

Butchy Coo is amazing.

Also worth mentioning are Snip and his more successful son Snap.
posted by bismol at 8:55 PM on April 2, 2015

It isn't only TBs that get ridiculous names. QHs and Arabs get them, too. Some people just have to give silly names to their critters.

A filly I knew had a sire with the name containing Juan, and foaled out of the mare Bumblebee, ended up with the registered name of Juana Bee A Bum.

The Morgan/Arab cross I owned, bred by a Mr.Day, who was by the stallion Saracen and out of the mare Prairie Dawn, was registered Saracen's Dawn o'Day.

My Fox Trotter, stable name Swisher Sweet (so I can call him Sweetie when nobody can hear me) is more usually referred to as Swish. His registered name is JJ Buckwheat.
I don't know why his breeder inflicted that one on him.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:33 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I used to read the racing results in the Washington Post when I was a kid, not because I was much interested in racing, but because I loved the names and the way they were usually a play on the parents name.
posted by tavella at 9:50 PM on April 2, 2015

sciatrix > [...]Quarter Horses, Standardbreds, and the assorted warmblood breeds used in steeplechasing[...]

I am pretty sure that "warmblood" must mean something different than its usual meaning here but I'm just kinda sitting here pondering what "coldblood" horses must be and rapidly leaping to the conclusion that these are super awesome reptile horse crossbreeds and wondering where the hell I can go to see those races because I want to now.
posted by egypturnash at 11:31 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I know a rodeo horse named "First Spitting Image", which is named for its resemblance to and after its dam "Spitting Image", which I'd assume was named for it's resemblance to one of it's parents.
I hope someday to see a "Second Spitting Image". Just a funny horse name thing.

(They lost a filly from First Spitting Image yesterday actually. Real bad birthing problems. Keep the owner and her in your thoughts if you at all love horses or those who love them. It's a bad time.)
posted by neonrev at 11:47 PM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

If I ever had a horse, I was going to name him "Richard Harris."
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:24 AM on April 3, 2015

If I ever had a horse, I was going to name him "Richard Harris."

Better make sure he can run forever.
posted by solarion at 1:09 AM on April 3, 2015

In that case why not name the horse A Flock of Seagulls?
posted by ardgedee at 3:56 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Horse names show lineage a lot of the time, and that's intentional. Let's look at Royal Blue Boon. Daughter of BOON BAR x Royal Tincie plus she was a "blue roan" in color. Royal is from her dam, Blue is her color, and Boon is from her sire. Makes sense, right?

Some of her offspring were Bet Yer Blue Boons, PeptoBoonsmal (he's a red roan, which is "sort of pink" as horse colors go) and Red White and Boon (all-time leader in money won cutting, retired 10 years ago). It's like free advertising and a hat tip to where they come from.

Oh, and Royal Blue Boon (now deceased) has a clone, named Royal Blue Boon Two. She's unregistered because the AQHA does not currently register clones. Cutting horses have been cloned anyway because they can be bred and the unregistered offspring can compete without papers. Smart Little Lena, another cutting horse, was cloned five times. There's a clone of Playboy's Ruby and one of Tap O Lena that I know of. The 2013 AQHA court case about registering clones suggested that there were "about thirty" QH clones running around but not all of those are cutting horses. Source.

For what it's worth, and I know this is a bit of a derail, the commercial cloning of horses is trucking quietly along even though it's not in the regular-people news. For about $150K you can clone your horse. I mean heck, that's the price of a decent house where I live. Heck, if you own high-end polo ponies, you can Make A Profit cloning horses. No lie. If it costs $150K to clone a polo pony and you sell the baby clone for $800K, that's a profitable business right there. (Source) I don't know how anyone can claim we are not Living in the Future when cloning horses for profit is an actual thing. Mind-blowing stuff, this.
posted by which_chick at 7:24 AM on April 3, 2015 [7 favorites]

Hence the lyric "he was sired by an old Hambletonian and damn'ed by everyone round these parts". Horse Named Napoleon.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:51 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is pot8o the dawn of l33t/SMS/meme speak?
posted by zippy at 9:00 AM on April 3, 2015

Because that potoooooooo link article, with all its old timey efs for esses, I'm imagining a time-traveling steampunk Cory Doctorow coming up with that.
posted by zippy at 9:03 AM on April 3, 2015

Holy crap, which_chick, I had no idea about that. Have there been studies on how the cloned horses do, healthwise, compared to non-clones? Also, this , from your second link:

“For example,” said Veneklasen, There are a lot of genetic diseases in cattle, particularly the curly calf syndrome in Angus cattle. They got rid of it by breeding it out. But now there is a new disease where the calves have six legs and they are also going to have to breed away from that.”

(I think the cloning stuff should be an FPP, if which_chick or anyone else has the research/more links. )
posted by emjaybee at 9:08 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, and it turns out you can look up names in the stud book...

Horsey Horse is still available.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:20 AM on April 3, 2015

Seems apropos to note that the potoo is one of nature's greatest triumphs
posted by capricorn at 1:44 PM on April 3, 2015

I can't speak to horses -- I work with cattle -- but cloned bulls don't have any particular health problems that their non-cloned relatives don't have. There are a surprising number of bulls whose name includes my name, probably because there's a popular rap artist who shares my name.

As a geneticist, I do wish that more thoroughbred horse folks would actually learn something about genetics. I've read more crackpot articles about "dosages" and other nonsense than I care to recall.
posted by wintermind at 3:33 PM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Actually StickeyCarpet, it looks like Horsey Horse is the name of British sport horse/pony, so while you maybe be able to race a horse with that name in North America, you probably don't want to compete with him in the British pony club/hunter jumper circuit.
posted by sardonyx at 8:38 PM on April 3, 2015

If you want to see a picture of Waxy it's there is one in the same database. His sire's photo, however seems to be a broken link. (Sorry, noticed upon preview that for some reason it's not letting me post a direct link to the photos, but if you still want to see the drawing, go to the Reports tab/pull down, and pick the last option which is labelled Photos).
posted by sardonyx at 8:48 PM on April 3, 2015

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