Event Horse Names Part II: Battle of the Booze

Probably because they drive us to drink, it is a common practice among eventers to name their horses after adult beverages. For part two of EN’s “Event Horse Names” series, I combed the USEA Horse Registry for alcohol-inspired names, from wine to whiskey, Guinness to PBR, drinks with little umbrellas to high-end cocktail concoctions. Here is what I discovered, with some analysis thrown in for good measure.

(If you missed part one of the series, “Authors, Books & Characters,” you can check it out here).


People who name their eventers after wine and champagne are going for an air of sophistication, which is especially helpful in the dressage ring. Let me put it this way: If you’re entering at “A” on a horse named Pinot Grigio or Veuve Clicquot, it’s probably not going to be some big clunker with cinder blocks for hooves and the turning radius of a semi truck. Nah. It’s going to a supple, light-bodied ballerina of a horse, with gaits like silk bedsheets and an elegant finish. Or at least that’s what you want the dressage judge to think. Names in the USEA Horse Registry include …


CATEGORY 2: Hard Liquor

These are the cross-country horses, the ones who live for the burn, who march into the start box with the swagger of a businessman bellying up to the bar: “I’ll take mine straight up, no ice.” Scotch, bourbon, whiskey — picking your horse’s namesake poison is a matter of personal preference. The important thing is that your horse be able to “hold its liquor” out on course. Names in the USEA Horse Registry include …


CATEGORY 3: Gin and Vodka

If a wine name feels too frou-frou but a hard liquor name feels too hardcore, this category might be right for your horse. Hawley Bennett’s four-star mare Gin & Juice is a good example: She’s got just the right blend of class and pizazz in the dressage ring, but when you see her tomboyish cross-country style, you know that a watered-down girly girl drink name just wouldn’t do. Names in the USEA Horse Registry include …


CATEGORY 4: Beach Drinks

If your horse’s life soundtrack is a Jimmy Buffet album, this is the category for you. Some eventers get their knickers in a twist over the silliest things — a late transition in the dressage ring, a few time cross-country time penalties, a knocked-down rail — but not your horse. He/she is just in it for a good time, and so are you. Names in the USEA Horse Registry include …


CATEGORY 5: Irish Imports

If your horse is from Ireland or just needs a little luck, look no further than an Irish pub for inspiration. The USEA Horse Registry includes a whopping 33 horses named Guinness and several other variations on the theme. These horses are stout; they’re fighters; and when it comes to cross country, they’ll drink you under the table any day of the week. Names in the USEA Horse Registry include …



First things first, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the fact that somewhere out there, there are horses named “Free Beer Tomorrow,” “Bar Tab” and “Miller Genuine Draft” (if it’s a draft horse, I can’t even handle it). These are the horses you can count on to show up at an event, red go cup in hand hoof, looking for a party. Domestic or import, doesn’t matter — these horses make friends wherever they go. Names in the USEA Horse Registry include…


Are you the owner of an event horse with a boozy namesake? Share your horse’s name (and story/photo if you like!) in the comments section below.

Go Eventing.

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