Naming a horse can be a tricky task, so it’s no wonder many owners take inspiration from their favourite singer, actor, sporting hero or a great leader when choosing a fitting moniker.
Name your racehorse after Usain Bolt and you’re bound to have a champion sprinter on your hands; Nureyev if you want a toe-pointing gold medal-winning dressage horse. But Ronan Keating…? Yes, despite some strict restrictions issued by the various governing bodies, there are indeed horses who have been named after some rather unlikely celebrities — racehorse Hugh Hefner, Irish-bred jumping pony Louis Walsh and eventer Tina Turner are just the tip of the iceberg. Here are our top picks for originality (or the downright weird) — they certainly raised a chuckle…
1. Mick Jagger
Hitting the headlines recently after jumping to grand prix success in Florida with new rider Santiago Lambre, this 12-year-old only arrived from Mexico in July but had previously been competing in Europe under German rider Laura Klaphake. Could the gelding become a bigger star than his namesake? Watch this space.
2. Bling Cobsby
The famous crooner inspired the naming of the 2018 reserve cob champion at Horse of the Year Show. The lightweight gelding was ridden by Cheshire-based Vicky Smith and co-owned with her partner Allan Marnie.
3. Hugh Grant De Muze
There’s obviously a very famous connection between Hugh Grant and Horse & Hound thanks to the film Notting Hill, but the De Brabander family at Belgium’s famous De Muze stud must have enjoyed a laugh when naming the now 13-year-old showjumper, who is currently jumping at three-star level in France (pictured next to Hugh Grant, top).
4. Tinie Tempah
This nine-year-old son of Fifty Cent shares his name with the South London rapper and was competed at advanced medium level dressage with regular rider Hayley Keatinge.
5. Lester Piggott
That’s right, named after the legendary flat jockey, this bay gelding was a German-bred eventer, who competed up to four-star level in USA and soared to a top-10 finish at the Pan American Games when ridden by Holly Hudspeth.
6. Brad Pitt
In Sweden, there’s a top little dun jumping pony named after the Hollywood hunk. We want him.
7. Elton John
There’s a very musical connection for Louisa Milne Home’s now retired CCI3-s* eventer, who secured many wins to his credit including the open intermediate at Burgie in 2014.
8. Cortney Cox
When Swiss rider Pius Schwizer entered the showjumping arena on a horse named after the Friends actress we did a double take — especially when we realised it was a gelding.
9. Robbie Williams
The racehorse version sadly didn’t quite reach the same dizzy heights of success as the former Take That star — finishing 11th in a 17-runner field at Bangor was the pinnacle of his National Hunt career, much to the dismay of his owner Robert J Williams.
10. David Beckham
For a couple of years, the Swedish-bred equine version of the legendary footballer was a regular on the international showjumping circuit, latterly ridden by Ireland’s Conor Drain.
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11. Kenneth Williams
The 16hh gelding’s career as an eventer may have been short-lived, but any horse named after the comedy great is a hero in our book.
12. Kate Winslet
The US racehorse named after the Titanic star was out of a mare with an equally amusing moniker, Frances Synatra.
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