Stable names vs. race names - Why we use them

Jul 22, 2014

We get a lot of questions from owners about a horse’s stable name so we thought we’d answer a few of the common questions we receive.

Why does a horse have a stable name?
Stable names tend to be short and only one word. They are much more aligned to human names than racing names. They might be as simple as Chris or Wendy. These are the names that a horse is identified by when around the stable.

When is a horse assigned a stable name?
A horse is assigned a stable name when they are input into our system to be trained by Tony Noonan or when Tony buys them at a sale. This is normally when they are a yearling. 

Do the staff call my horse by their stable name or race name?
Stable name. Race names can often be long or difficult to pronounce. Because the horse is identified by the stable name before they have an official race name, they are simply known better around the stable by their stable name.

Who came up with my horse’s stable name?
It will usually be the Racing Manager who is responsible for inputting the horse into our system.

Can I give my horse its stable name?
No. In order for us to ensure there are no misunderstandings within the stable, every horse in training must have a distinct stable name which cannot be confused with another horse. It would be very unfortunate if Ally was given Sally's medication! 

Does my horse respond to their stable name?
Yes! They will have a stable name assigned to them by the time they commence breaking in which is the name the breaker will identify them by. Once they come into the stables and are assigned a strapper, the strapper will continue to call them by their stable names. Over time, they respond to their strappers voice and their stable name.

Does my horse respond to their race name?
No. Horses are rarely referred to by their race name when in the stables and therefore they are unlikely to respond to them. 

Why is my horse’s stable name spelt odd?
Our system does not allow a stable name to be used more than once. If there was a Sally in our system from ten years ago, the next one would need to be named something like Salli, Sallee or Salley.

Does Tony refer to my horse by its stable name or race name?
Both. They are interchangeable with Tony because he refers to them by their stable name when talking with staff and their race name when talking to owners.