28 Famous Horse Names: Racehorses & Olympic Favorites

28 Famous Horse Names: Racehorses & Olympic Favorites

Inspiration for your horse’s name can come from many places — the color or breed of your horse, the gender, or even a popular name you once heard and fell in love with. Yet another option is to get inspired by the name of a famous horse you admire. After all, maybe your horse will live up to the name! Here are some famous racehorse names to spark your creativity for naming your own horse. 

Famous Dressage Horses

There are a number of famous dressage horses we’ll never get out of our minds! Maybe one of these names will resonate with your horse:

  • Dutch Courage — This impressive stallion won Britain’s first medal in dressage, then later a bronze in the World Championship. His progeny continues to impress dressage lovers.
  • Salvino — A charming and impressive dressage horse, Salvino has the opportunity to continue impressing judges and fans alike.
  • Totilas — This stunning, record-breaking black stallion lifted dressage to a global awareness with his Dutch rider. 
  • Valegro — Britain may have been an underdog in dressage, but that was no longer the case after “the girl with the dancing horse” appeared on the circuit. This famous bay-roan had record wins and was a two-time European champion and Olympic winner. 

Learn more: Beginner Equestrians Guide to Dressage Riding

Famous Jumper Horses

If you’re looking for names from famous jumper horses, look no further than this list!

  • Big Ben — This tall horse was a force to be reckoned with in the show ring. He won many awards and medals, including the World Cup, multiple Canadian National Show Jumping Championships, and over 40 Grand Prix titles. He was the second horse to be inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Boomerang — Part of an incredible jumping team from the US, Boomerang won the Hickstead Derby four years in a row. He’s known as the most successful horse in the history of this competition. 
  • Idle Dice — This champion was the first horse inducted to the Show Jumping Hall of Fame for his career wins, including 31 Grand Prix titles, America’s Gold Cup winner, and more. He was the Grand Prix Horse of the Year in 1977 as well.  
  • Milton — This gorgeous gray horse was one of the first millionaire prize money winners. He seemed to levitate right over the fences, winning two World Cup finals and many medals.
  • Stroller — This pony stands out as the only pony to compete at the Olympics, winning a silver medal at the Mexico Olympics at 18 years old.
  • Foxhunter — Foxhunter was a champion show jumping horse who won Great Britain’s only gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics in the Team Jumping equestrian event. 

Learn more: A Guide to Show Jumping for Beginners

Famous Eventing Horses

If your horse is an eventer, you may draw inspiration from some of the most successful eventers in history. Here are a few great options:

  • Avebury — Named a history-maker after winning a third consecutive Burghley victory, this gray horse was named after a World Heritage site.
  • Charisma — This “fat and hairy pony” astounded the world, winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals. The legendary horse was the only one to open the Commonwealth Games.
  • Columbus — Mark Phillips, former son-in-law to the Queen of England, won multiple awards on Columbus. What’s more, Columbus was actually the queen’s horse, clearly traveling in royal circles.
  • Priceless — Winner of many European and world titles, as well as two Olympic medals, this cross-country horse was not just “priceless” but also fearless.
  • Sam — This unremarkable-looking horse was the first to hold European, World, and Olympic titles for eventing all at once. 

Famous Racehorses

While there are many famous horses worthy of being included in our list, it’s impossible to share them all in a single post! But here are a few more of our favorites:

  • Eclipse — This horse had an incredible career and is considered the 18th century’s greatest racehorse. US Eclipse Horse Racing and France’s Prix Eclipse were named after him.
  • Kelso — This champion American Thoroughbred racehorse holds one of the top spots among the greatest racehorses in history. He set a world record for speed and won an unprecedented five “Horse of the Year” titles.
  • Seabiscuit — Seabiscuit was a small but mighty champion thoroughbred horse who beat a Triple Crown winner. He was voted into the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame, and there was also a movie made about his impressive win.
  • Secretariat — What list of famous horses would be complete without this one? He is still considered the greatest racehorse of all time, winning the Triple Crown and setting records at the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes that still stand. Ariat, one of our favorite brands, was inspired by Secretariat!
  • Sefton — This horse survived the IRA bombings in Hyde Park after undergoing hours of surgery.
  • War Admiral — Though this Thoroughbred racehorse lost the “Match Race of the Century” to Seabiscuit, he’s still a champion in his own right. He was the fourth winner of the American Triple Crown and has a line of descendants that race today.
  • Warrior — Known as the “horse the Germans couldn’t kill” during World War I, this brave horse lived an extraordinary life.
  • Winning Brew — If you’re looking for a fast horse, look no further than Winning Brew. She is known to be the fastest horse in history and has a Guinness World Record for the quarter mile.
  • Dancing Brave — Dancing Brave was a bay colt bred by the Glen Oak Farm in Kentucky. Over a two-year period, he ran ten times and won eight races and was the outstanding European racehorse of 1986 when he won the 2000 Guineas, the Eclipse Stakes, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
  • See the Stars — Considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time, See the Stars won the 2000 Guineas, the Derby, the Eclipse Stakes, the International Stakes, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same year. 
  • Dawn Run — Dawn Run was an Irish Thoroughbred who was the most successful racemare in the history of National Hunt racing. She was the only racehorse ever to complete the Champion Hurdle-Gold Cup double.
  • Native Dancer — Nicknamed the Gray Ghost, Native Dancer was one of the most accomplished racehorses in American history and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1963. 
  • Citation — Citation was a champion American Thoroughbred who won 16 consecutive stakes races. He was the first horse in history to win a million dollars! 

If you’re still looking for inspiration after reading through our list of famous racehorse names, you can also check out this list of popular horse names!

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1 comment

What fun to see these names! My new horse goes back to native dancer and secretariat. His race name was a Geyser. I’ve decided to call him Ty, after the fellow I bought him from.

L smithson

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