4. We name the horses.

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So there we are, two horses, two dreams, two sets of bills! But as yet they are still being known by their sires names, “The Laverock gelding” sounded so inadequate. So the next discussion was “the rules” on what was or was not acceptable to the BHA. To start with there are some historic names which can never be used again, Red Rum, Frankel, Bestmate are all obvious examples. But alongside that, names which are currently in use, names which have the potential to be a little naughty either when pronounced quickly or by innuendo are also ruled out. To find out whether or not your chosen name is firstly, not in current use, you can type it into the BHA website and you are informed that it is or is not available. Then, when you apply, the secondary filters on naughtiness come in and you learn if your desired sobriquet clears that hurdle. That being the case you have named your new horse and the sense of ownership really kicks in. So, what did we choose? We hope to be owners for a long time and over the years develop a small string of horses. We live in Wincanton, at the bottom of West Hill, and that seemed to us to be a decent prefix for horses names. James came up with the first name for the Master of the Horse gelding, simply the initials of the Sire – MOTH. So West Hill Moth he became. The second lad took a little more time, but being much darker, almost black, we fell upon West Hill Shadow. So there we are, names now on the stable doors, with Kate’s colours printed alongside, we had every right to think of ourselves as owners – for better or for worse! Next blog, as proper “owners”, we are invited to the owners lunch at the stables.