You Probably Won't See A Racehorse Name Quite As Bizarre As This One

Everybody knows that racehorses frequently have exceedingly silly names. This is due in part to the sense of humor of those who name them, but also due to modern rules surrounding horse-naming conventions. The names of racehorses must be unique, and cannot be reused for five years. The names of famous horses and major race winners are also off-limits (via Horse and Hound). According to Great British Racing, some highlights include the likes of Geespot, Ha Ha Ha, and AARRRRRRR.

And then there's Potoooooooo — who was born and raised long before jockeys were running out of sensible names. Although it may sound like a Monte Python joke, Potoooooooo did indeed exist and was once owned by Willoughby Bertie, the fourth Earl of Abingdon (via Horse Nation). Surprisingly, Potoooooooo not only had a funny name he was also a very fine horse — one of the greatest racehorses of the 18th century with 28 race wins under his saddle (via Bloodlines).

A horse named pot8os

Unusually for a racehorse, Potoooooooo (or pot8os for short) received his ludicrous name by accident. The Lord of Abingdon had originally intended to name his horse "Potatoes" (which you may well object is not much more sensible). However, when a stable hand was tasked with writing the horse's name on a feed bin, the confused groom appears to have misunderstood, writing "pot" with eight o's instead (via the Paulick Report). Endowed with a good sense of humor, the Lord of Abington decided to keep the name — and so a legend was born.

Under other circumstances, the horse with the silly name may have been forgotten by history, but Potoooooooo was a great success at the race track. In fact, he was rewarded for his racing-prowess by being put out to stud (that means spending some quality time with the ladies, for those not familiar with horse terminology), and he subsequently went on to father an incredible 165 prize-winning racehorses (via Bloodlines)! Good for you Potoooooooo.

Return of a legend

Because you can't keep a good horse down, Potooooooo has since returned to us in modern times. Potoooooooo's body was once lost, but in 1990 a cedar tree that grew on top of his grave was knocked over — and a horse skeleton was recovered. Upon closer inspection, Potoooooooo's remains were identified.

Thanks to his many offspring, several centuries after his death DNA testing was able to confirm that the skeleton belonged to the famous racehorse (via the Paulick Report). His body was carted off and reassembled in Cambridge, before being used for an educational display at a museum in Newmarket.

Today fans of the silly racehorse can see his skeleton in person at the National Horse Racing Museum in the U.K. For those unable to make the trip — you can admire Potoooooooo's lovely visage online here at Art UK, painted by John Nost Sartorius, the great horse painter of the 18th century (via Tate).