The horse exhibition with no name…

We need your help to name our exhibition about horses in Australia.

Naming a horse is a complicated business. If you’re breeding horses, you need to register a unique moniker for every foal. If you own a racehorse, you’ll need to check that your preferred name isn’t already being used by someone else. And all horse-owners need to choose a name to use at the stables, one that doesn’t sound too daft as you call it loudly across a paddock.

Stuck for a name?

History can help. Perhaps you could borrow a word from another language? Phar Lap means ‘lightning’ in Thai and Zhuang. Or, make up a name by combining other names, like Tony Santic did when he named Makybe Diva using the first two letters from the names of five of his employees – Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa. And, really, who cares about snaffling a unique name, when two horses called Tim Whiffler raced in the 1867 Melbourne Cup?

Still struggling? You could try one of the many online horse name generators – if you don’t mind calling your trusty steed Evening Walnut or Dashing Rhubarb.

Sadly, none of these strategies is going to help us name our new exhibition about horses in Australia, due to open in September 2014. So we need your help.

Visit our Horses in Australia website, and take one (or both!) of the title surveys online. Let your family and friends know too – we are keen to get as many responses as we can. The surveys will be open until the end of January 2014.

Vote now – or we might call the exhibition ‘Little Miss Tiramisu’.

Before you go though – please tell us how you named your horse using the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.

[Feature image: Caretaker Jenny Schmidt and horses at Bowen Downs, Queensland, 2010. Photograph by Ruth Rickard, National Museum of Australia.]

312 Responses

  1. Many people buying an ex-racehorse change their horse’s name to something more personal and ‘everyday’, but when I bought my gorgeous chestnut thoroughbred after his short on track career I couldn’t bear to find him a new name. His own suited him so well. He’s called ‘Mr McEnroe’ after the American tennis star of the 1970s and 80s, John McEnroe, and was named for similar temperamental qualities. Think the equine equivalent of athletic brilliance, fast-talking charisma and a tendency to throw racquets and swear a bit when things don’t go as he would like them to.