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What’s In A Name?

Part 7 in the new fan education series

The National Horse Racing Authority (NHRA) is in charge of controlling the data and statistics concerning horse-racing in South Africa, with NHRA playing a vital role in both racing and breeding statistics.

Their informative website, www.nhra.co.za, provides first-timer buyers with a host of information, ranging from breeding and racing statistics, to an update list of various fees, and a list of racing rules in South Africa.

Sarah Whitelaw writes that when buying your first horse, your trainer and his/her assistant/secretary should assist you in the paperwork which accompanies racehorse ownership.

Among the admin which will need to take place, is registering your horse, while officially changing the horse’s ownership from the breeder to you, and officially naming (in some cases, renaming) your new horse.

Have you entered the Riverton Naming Competition?

It closes on 9 July – click on the image below and win a weekend away!

For many owners, one of the many pleasures in racehorse ownership is the naming of his/her colt or filly.

There is, however, a fairly strong control over what you may or may not call your horse.

Names in current use, some names belonging to past champions, obscene/religious themed names, or names with more than 18 letters are automatically disallowed.

Likewise, if you want to name your horse after a celebrity/specific brand, you do need express/written permission to do so.

For all this, choosing a name for your horse is one of the many joys of racing, and it is perhaps worth remembering the racing cliché, that no good horse ever had a bad name!

It should, however, be remembered that many breeders name their own horses, although it is always possible to rename a horse.

The full naming policies are laid out in the link below, while the following link provides the buyer with some idea of what names are or are not available.



The National Horse Racing Authority also provides guidelines on how to register as a syndicate as well as how to apply for either individual or syndicate colours.

As with names, one can only obtain colours/silks which are not currently in use or officially registered.

However, even with these restrictions, there is still a huge range of colour options to be had -from shocking, electric variations to more conventional, staid options.

Within the set of rules, anything goes as in terms of colours selection!

A list of the shirt designs and caps will be sent to you or you can find it on:


Kindly brought to you by Riverton Stud – click on the image below to find out more

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