Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Freddie’s “get”

Pedigrees for registered horses are big business and big bucks are spent for champion stallions to sire offspring (known as “get” in the horse breeding industry) with the hope that their foals will inherit those award-winning character traits from both parents.

Naming the foal to acknowledge its pedigree means going back through the breeding lineage (usually the male side) and finding two or three names taken from the father or grandfather, mix them up, and that becomes the foal’s registered name. If the registered name becomes too unruly for common usage (i.e., Colonel Freckles My Darling), then the horse will usually be given a “barn name,” which is a whole lot easier to remember and pronounce.

So, how does Freddie factor into this horse naming business? There are at least two horses that I know of, thanks to my time spent at a horse magazine, that have the name Freddie Mercury. One belongs to a teenager in Ontario who regularly shows him in competition, and the other is owned by a woman from Oklahoma, I think, who actually has a video of him up on YouTube.

Some questions I would have for these owners might be:
- Are these horses’ names merely the result of pedigree coincidence in their naming?
- Are these barn names? If so, then why use FM?

Freddie’s naming legacy now includes a star, a rose, an insect, a cat, a jet airliner, and now, two horses. Not bad for someone who never had kids.

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