Cob In Hood, Cob Only Knows, Cobsmopolitan, Cobswallop, The Cobmander — and so many more. If you glance at the cob entries in a show schedule you’ll probably find yourself smiling. But what is the thinking behind these stand-out names?
“A hack’s name has got to reflect their elegance, while a heavyweight hunter should sound imperial. Cobs are fun animals and powerful machines,” says judge and H&H columnist Stuart Hollings. “Plus, a lot of cobs have unknown breeding so there’s no name to start with.”
It’s Abracobdabra, Robocob and Strictly Cob Dancing are just two of myriad cobs named by Carol Bardo and Jayne Ross.
“It was actually my husband who started it off many years ago. One evening he said, ‘wouldn’t Incobnito be a good name for a cob?’. I didn’t have a cob at the time but I registered the name and then found a cob who was worthy of it,” explains Carol.
“From then on all our cobs followed the trend, until we got Darcey Bustle, which suited her because she really does have the head of a lady and the backside of a cook.
“Jayne and I get silly sending texts to each other in the evening and I’ve already got some cobs names ready to be used,” continues Carol. “I like it because it reminds you that they are cobs, and naming them has been a lot of fun.”
Carol and Jayne also christened Cobswallop, who finished third in the maxis at Royal Windsor Horse Show last weekend, ridden by H&H columnist Simon Reynolds.
“Cobs are charismatic and fun, and a quirky name can suit their personality,” says Simon’s wife, Natalie. “We try and name animals to do with their colour or temperament. Something that sounds impressive in the ring — you have to think how it will sound when a commentator says it over the loud speaker at a prestigious show.”
Simon’s prolific maxi winner Hallmark IX (pictured top), who is now contesting amateur classes with his owner Heather Clay, was originally named by judge Rosemary Hetherington.
“He was just Brandy when I found him in Ireland, but I’m a jeweller and I thought his lovely big white face was his Hallmark. Hence the name,” says Rosemary.
So how many cob names can you think of? Here are some of our favourites from the entry list at Royal Windsor:
The Cobmander — apt for a heavyweight, owned by Toni Zelazmy.
The Roadsweeper — well suited to a maxi, who also belongs to Toni Zelazmy.
Tank Top — another appropriately named maxi, owned by Sue Guild.
Bling Cobsby — this beauty is owned by Kellythorpe Stud.
It’s Abracobdabra — he has provided magical moments for owner Rachel McCourt.
Tuxedo Ted — Petra Frampton’s cob scrubs up well in the show ring.
Cob Only Knows — this piebald belonging to Jane Jones will put a smile on your face.
Cob In Hood — another of Rachel McCourt’s charges hoping to secure the silverware.
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Cobsmopolitan — owner James Woodington hopes he will go down well with the judges.
Don’t miss the full Royal Windsor report in this week’s Horse & Hound, out now (19 May).