Any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks in advance – I really appreciate it!
Finding the perfect bay horse names is often challenging because of the sheer number of bay horses in most breeds. And if you’re like us, you don’t like recycling names, so here are some of our favorite bay horse names for stallions, mares, and geldings.
|Bay Stallions||Bay Mares||Bay Geldings|
Bay horses come in various shades, some so dark they almost look black, for these names like Black Rose are fitting. But there is more to naming a horse than just looking at its coat color.
Choosing a name for a bay horse
If I had to choose a favorite horse color, it probably would be bay. Many of my friends like much more exotic colors, but there is something special about a bay horse for me.
Of the thirteen horses to win the Triple Crown series, six are bay. Some of the most incredible horses of all time are bay, including War Admiral, Seabiscuit, Citation, and Seattle Slew. To read about Triple Crown winners, check out my article: What Horses Won the Triple Crown? Meet 13 Great Champions
There are many bay shades, but all have a reddish-brown coat color and black points (mane, ear tips, tail, and lower legs), and their underlying skin is always dark.
The basics in naming a bay horse.
When choosing a name for a bay horse, you have a few options; you can relate it to the horse’s color, personality, famous bay horses, or choose the one you think sounds good.
The animal’s genetic structure determines horse coat colors. A bay color pattern is created by a specific genetic combination and pairing of the horse’s chromosomes. All bay horses have a similar genetic structure, but there are variations.
Dark bays may look black, and a sandy bay can resemble a buckskin, so the color variation may be a deciding factor when choosing a name for a bay horse.
Standard bay is the coat color most people think of when bays are mentioned. This color pattern is brownish-red with black points, and the hair color is consistent; no light or dark hairs are mixed in the coat.
Bay roans have evenly intermingled white hair in their coat with solid black points. The effect of the roan pattern makes the horse’s coat lighter and gives it a sheen.
There are also blood bay horses, amber bays, and silver bays. Blood bays are dark red with black points, and some are so dark they resemble a shade of purple.
A champagne gene dilutes amber bay horses, and the animals have light eyes and coats with chocolate points. Silver bays have silver points and a chocolate coat.
Some good bay horse names, regardless of sex, are:
Famous bay horse names
You may not want to name your horse for its coat color but rather after a famous bay horse, and there are plenty to choose from. “Figure” was an outstanding bay stallion that became the foundation sire for the Morgan horse breed.
I wrote an article on the Morgan breed that includes some interesting information about “Figure.” Morgan Horse Breed: Facts, Colors, Origins, and Temperament
Comanche was a bay gelding credited with being the lone survivor of the battle of Little Bighorn. Even after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds, he continued to be used by the U.S. cavalry in future wars. He was recognized for his bravery upon his retirement.
Frankel is one of the great racehorses of all time and is the pride of Great Brittain. He is a bay stallion that was unbeaten in fourteen starts and the highest-rated racehorse ever.
Seabiscuit was a light bay grandson of Man O’ War. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, he captured the hearts and minds of the American public. He was an ugly duckling of the racing world but took on all comers and beat them.
The movie about Seabiscuit is the highest-grossing racehorse film of all time. Check out my article Seabiscuit: 10 Facts About An Unlikely Champion Racehorse.
War Admiral won the triple crown, a big bay stallion, but he is listed as brown in some references. He won horse of the year and was a leading sire. He is best known for his match race against Seabiscuit. The two were heralded as the greatest racehorses of their day and met head to head to determine the best.
Ruffian was an unbeaten bay mare. She dominated every race by large margins, but her career ended in a horrible tragedy. During a match race, she severely injured her leg and couldn’t finish. The injury caused devastating damage, and the champion mare was euthanized.
Storm Cat was a bay stallion famous for its ability to produce superior offspring. He was the sire of over one hundred graded stakes winners and was the leading sire of two-year-olds seven times and the leading sire in North America for two years.
To find out how racehorses get their names and why so many are strange, click on this link: Why are Racehorse Names so Weird? 15 Funny Examples!
General Ulysses Grant owned many fine horses during his lifetime but dubbed Cincinnati, a bay thoroughbred, the finest horse he had ever seen. Grant cherished the horse so much that he only allowed two men to ride it, Abraham Lincoln and a friend who once saved his life.
General Grant rode Cincinnati to meet General Lee at Appomattox and is the horse depicted in the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Two of the three foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed were bays, The Godolphin Arabian, and The Darley Arabian. The third, the Byerley Turk, was a dark brown or black stallion.
These bay stallions are the most influential sire in horse racing and the Thoroughbred breed’s development. Most modern racehorses have some of The Darley Arabian blood flowing through their veins.
Researchers estimate that 95% of Thoroughbred racehorses have The Darley Arabian in their pedigree. Horses that can trace their ancestry back to The Godolphin stud include Seabiscuit, Man o’ War, and Tiznow, to name a few.
Male and female horse names, including geldings.
Some horses exhibit predominately male or female traits from the time they are born. A filly foal may move in a certain way that brings to mind a little girl. Or you may notice a colt throwing a tantrum you associate with boy behavior.
A gelding is a castrated stallion and is a male horse. Although for some reason, people often consider them separately. Here are some horse names that are color neutral for boy and girl horses:
Names for bay mares
Names for bay stallions and geldings
Choosing a fitting name for a bay horse can be arduous, but I hope this article provides you with some ideas. You can name your horse based on its color, after other famous bay horses, or the horse’s personality.
We expect a name to stick with a horse for a lifetime; however, on occasion, we decided to call our horse by a nickname that was more suitable after the animal aged and developed a different personality.
If you’ve taken the time to read this article to the end, you’re the person that surely chose the perfect name for your bay horse.
Below is a YouTube video on bay horse names you may find helpful.
- Registered Thoroughbred Horses: What Colors Are Permitted?
- Colors of a Classic Roan Horse
- All About Dun Horses: Colors, Markings, and More
- Buckskin Horses: Facts, Colors, Origin, and Characteristics
- Palomino Horses: Facts, Characteristics, and Unique Colors
I love animals! Especially horses, I’ve been around them most of my life but I am always learning more and enjoy sharing with others. I have bought, sold, and broke racehorse yearlings. I have raised some winning horses and had some that didn’t make it as racehorses, so we trained them in other disciplines.