There is a lot of discussion among the breeding community right now about a suggested rule change proposal that would make it mandatory for people to keep a breeder’s prefix or suffix on a horse’s show name. You could change the name part itself, but not the prefix or suffix. So basically if you had a horse that was named Looney Tunes WTF, you could change the Looney Tunes part, but not the WTF part.
Like most things breeding related, I have a lot of feelings about prefixes and suffixes (this is shocking, I’m sure). I would never take a prefix/suffix off of a horse’s name, just because I know how important it is to breeders to have that easy recognition for their horses. It’s a nod of respect and recognition to where the horse came from, and all the blood, sweat, tears, money, and time that someone put into creating that horse. That’s not to say that there aren’t terrible ones like BRA or MF… I’d be less thrilled about those too, so I understand if someone wants to change a bad one. I still don’t think I personally would do it, but I would understand.
I also find it annoying how a lot of big sale farms just tack their prefix/suffix onto a horse they got in, jack the price up because it’s a (insert whichever one you want here – Fernhill, Cooley, RF, CR, FE, etc), and it becomes more of a “look where I bought this horse from” thing instead of a nod of credit to the person or farm that created the horse in the first place. Pretty brilliant for the seller though, since now everyone knows who sold the horse. I can hate it all I want, but it’s effective.
Even though I am a big fan of breeder prefixes and suffixes, I don’t really support this rule change proposal. I don’t think it should be up to USEF to monitor their useage and application. They got enough problems, man. Not to mention, what do you do about the fact that there are plenty of prefixes and suffixes out there that are used by more than one breeder. Who gets the “rights” to the letter R? What do you do with the ones that already have it? Sticky. Way too sticky.
I do have plenty of respect for the breeders who put into their sale contracts that the buyer can change the name but not the farm prefix/suffix. That seems totally reasonable to me. Granted, if that person sells the horse on, the next person isn’t bound to keep that.
All the new microchip recording stuff with USEF will help a lot of this, I think. Horses will no longer be able to just go *poof* and reappear under a new name with a new age. All of the information is much more likely to follow a horse throughout it’s career, and I think people will be a little less inclined to change the name. If nothing else, hopefully we become a bit more diligent about making sure the breeder information and the pedigree information get recorded with all the other microchip information too, and stay with the horse even if any prefixes or suffixes are dropped or names are changed.
But the most interesting thing that I’ve seen while following along with all these discussions in the last few days was that several people (non-breeders) said that they would not buy a horse with a prefix or suffix if they weren’t allowed to change it. Like even if the horse was otherwise perfect, it would be an absolute dealkiller to have any kind of prefix or suffix on it’s name. That seemed kind of crazy to me, but I guess names are THAT important to some people?
Presto of course is registered as Like Magic WTW – with the Willow Tree Warmblood suffix. Because I’m proud of my friend and her farm and the horses that she produces, and I want Presto to be a bit of a “spokesman” for her program, wherever he goes. He will wear his suffix with pride.
What do y’all think? Hate prefixes and suffixes? Love them? Would they be a deal breaker if you couldn’t change them?