Last updated November 6, 2006

This document was created to provide an easy reference for the customs, traditions, and registry requirements for naming various breeds of horses. Specific breeds have traditions which are followed in naming horses. Some registries have rules as to how a horse may be named. I welcome any additional information about traditions or naming rules I may have missed.

A few definitions:

“Family” Names:

A word or words (or variation of these words) that commonly appear in a particular breeding family.

Farm Prefixes:

Word(s) that precede a horse’s actual name and identify the farm where he/she was bred

Breed Customs & Traditions Registry Requirements
Akhal-Tekes Colts named with the first letter of the sire’s name; fillies named with the first letter of the dam’s name. (While this is not a requirement, most breeders still follow that tradition.)Horse names often incorporate similar elements: bird (kush), colors (mele–yellow), or markings.Horses with the same names are common, especially in Europe and Russia, but may be distinguished by a number (Gindarkh 13, for example).

Names commonly Russian or Turkmene in origin.

Akhal-Teke Association of America
American Saddlebreds Sire often credited in offspringís namePop culture names often used American Saddlebred Horse Association, Inc.
Andalusians Often have one-word Spanish namesFarm prefixes sometimes used International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Association
Appaloosas “Family” names common Appaloosa Horse Club
Limit of 20 charactersNo numbers, punctuation marks or similarly spelled namesNo naming after famous/notorious people or famous horses

No vulgar & suggestive names

Arabians “Family” names occasionally found
Farm suffixes sometimes used
Pre-2002, no more than 3 separate words with 17 letters and spaces2002 and later, up to 4 separate words with 19 letters and spacesNo numerals (Roman or Arabic)

No punctuation other than a dash

No Sr. or Jr.

Asterisk (*) denotes importation

Plus sign (+) after the name indicates cumulative awards

Arabian, bred in England Often have two word names including a descriptive adjective and a noun
Arabian, Egyptian-bred Usually have longer Arabic names w/ 2-3 wordsIbn (son of), bint (daughter of), bint bint (granddaughter of) sometimes used
Arabian, bred in Poland Often given one word names in language of country of originTend to be named with first letter of dam’s name
Arabian, bred in Russia Often given one word names in language of country of originCustomarily start with first letter of dam’s name
Arabian, bred in Spain Often given one word names in language of country of origin
Arabian, USA See “Arabians” above
Australian Stock Horse Stud prefixes are common, as are family names A horse’s name, including the prefix, will be no longer than thirty spaces, allowing a space for every letter and a space between words.Australian Stock Horse Society
Canadian Horse Canadian Horse names contain 3 parts.Herd name (name of the farm that owns the mare at the time of birth)Sire’s last name

Given name (first letter depends on the year foaled – 97 was the letter G, 98 was the letter H, I believe I read somewhere that the letter O was skipped since it so closely resembles the number 0)

A horse named Mapleleaf Sandy Garland might have been sired by Fantasy Farm Baron Sandy out of Mapleleaf Lalon Coquette.

Details at

Danish Warmblood Named with the first letter of the sire’s name
Dutch Warmblood The first letter of name dictated by the year of birth. A was last used in 1982; the letter for 1998 is R. Omit letter Q, X, and Y.
Drafts (general)-English bred Farm prefixes very commonSimple one word names common for work horses and geldings
Falabella Often use the word “Falabella” within name Names limited to 25 characters
Fjord pony One word, “viking-sounding” names common
Friesian Short, one word names common Year-based naming schedule: 1998 – TUV, 1997 – PQRS, 1996 – MNO, 1995 – JKL, 1994 – GHI, 1993 – DEF, 1992 – ABC, 1991 – WXYZ, 1990 – TUV, 1989 – QRS, 1988 – OP, 1987 – MN, 1986 – KL, 1985 – IJ, 1984 – GH, 1983 – EF, 1982 – CD, 1981 – AB, 1980 – VW, 1979 – TU, 1978 – QRS, 1977 – OP, 1976 – MN, 1975 – KL, 1974 – IJ, 1973 – GH, 1972 – EF, 1971 – CD, 1970 – AB
German Warmbloods Often use short, one word names
Haflinger Names usually one short wordAmerican breeders sometimes add initials to end of name Colts named with first letter of sire’s name; fillies named with first letter of dam’s name
Hanoverian Named with first letter of the sire’s name- very few exceptions Offspring entering the Hannoverian Verband breeding book must take name starting with the first letter of sire’s name
Holsteiners Colts named with first letter of sire’s name.Fillies named on year based-schedule provided by verband. – 1982 U, 1983 V, 1984 W, 1985 Z, 1986 A, 1987 B, 1988 C, 1989 D, 1990 E, 1991 F, 1992 G, 1993 H, 1994 I&J, 1995 K, 1996 L, 1997 M, 1998 N, 1999 O, 2000 P, 2001 R, 2002 S, 2003 T, etc.
Icelandic horse Often named for color or temperament or are taken from Icelandic mythologyNames are gender-specific – male names end in “I”, “ur” or “n”; mare names almost always end in “a”Named from (fra) or of (av/af) a farm or stable Must have Icelandic names
Lippizan Roman numerals common Stallions named first by sire line and then by the name of his dam. Roman numerals are added if the name has already been used.Mares are given names that begin with the same letter as their dams and end with the letter “a”.
Miniature Horse Farm prefixes common Names limited to 25 characters
Missouri Foxtrotter Farm names/initials allowedOften use sires names, esp. famous lines. (Since the stud books were closed to TWHs in only 1983, TWH names are sometimes found.)Mares, esp. older broodmares, tend to have very dull (human) 1-2 word names and sometimes an initial
Morgan Farm prefixes commonPop cuture names sometimes used Names limited to 25 characters, spaces and/or punctuation marks
Oldenburg Named with first letter of sire’s name
Paint “Family” names common
Paso Fino Names are usually Spanish or Spanish-flavored
Peruvian Paso Names are usually Spanish or Spanish-flavored
Quarter Horse “Family” names common 20 character limit including spacesNo Roman numeralsArabic numerals only at end of name and 3-5 spaces

Punctuation prohibited

Single initials at beginning or end of name prohibited

Selle Francais Year based naming schedule: A was last used in 1988 and L is the letter used for 1998. Omit W, X, Y and Z20 character limit including spacesNo numberal or initials

No more than one word

Shagya Arabian Roman numerals common
Shetland pony, American Farm prefixes usually not used
Shetland pony, British Farm prefixes common
Shire “Imp.” denotes importation
Standardbred 18 character & 4 word limitNames of outstanding horses may not be repeated nor may they be used a prefix or suffix unless the name is part of sire or dam’s nameNo prefix/suffix such as Junior, etc.

No roman numerals

Tennessee Walker Sire often credited in offspring’s nameSingle initial at beginning or end of name common
Thoroughbred Sire or dam’s name is often incorporated into the foal’s name Limit of 18 charactersMay not consist of initials onlyMay not end in horse related term (ex. “filly”, “colt”, “mare”, etc.)

May not be used if easily confused with name of previously named horse

May not consist of numbers (unless spelled out)

No numeral designations (“II”, “3rd“, etc.)

Prefixes prohibited
Names of living persons may not be used w/o written permission

Names of deceased famous persons may not be used unless approval granted by Jockey Club

Names of deceased “notorious” people may not be used

Names of racetracks or stakes races not allowed

Names w/ commercial significance not allowed

Copyrighted material (ex. names of books, movies, etc.) not allowed

Suggestive or obscene names not allowed

Names currently in use not allowed

Names that have been designated “permanent names” (means they canít be used again after the horse has died, often used for famous horses such a Secretariat) or names similar in spelling or pronunciation may not be used

Trakehner Fullbreds named with first letter of dam’s name.Halfbreds colts named with first letter of sire’s name, fillies with the first letter of the dam’s name.
Welsh pony Farm prefixes commonNamed in English or Welsh Length up to 30 characters
Welsh cob Welsh names sometimes used
Westphalian Named with first letter of sire’s name

This table was developed using the following sources:

Kathman, Lesli. Whatís in a Name? Selecting Authentic Names for Your Models IPABRA Newsletter – “Bloodlines”, Vol. I, issue 4 (Originally written for and published in The Hobby Horse News, reprinted with additional information added by Kim Bjorgo)

Personal Research by IPABRA Members & other hobbyists including: Melissa Addison, Amber Dana Berdie, Kim Bjorgo, Melissa Effenberger, Cynthia Gardner, Melissa Grimm, Mary-Ann Jantz, Shelly Kemmer, Julia Lord, Greg Mason, Anne-li Mell, Debbie Moore, Chris Wallbruch, Jean Sorensen, Sue Stahl, Jessica Syring, Shannon Tostanoski, Daralyn Wallace, Lissa Wickman, and Michelle Peck Williams.

This document was compiled by Beth Gustas. If you can provide additional information and/or updates please e-mail Cory with cited resources. Thanks!


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