Racehorse Names Inspired by 50 Years of Star Trek

Pop Culture
Racehorse owners and Star Trek fans are sometimes one and the same. (Image via HeraldNet)

Fifty years ago, a new TV program hit the airwaves and boldly went where no show had gone before. Since then, “Star Trek” has grown in ways its creators likely never foresaw; so far, Star Trek has engendered six TV franchises (with a new series set to launch in 2017), 13 films, and countless fan fictions ranging from books to short stories to movies.

I’ll never be classified as a “Star Trek” superfan, but I fell in love with “The Next Generation” when I was a kid for several reasons: Captain Picard was basically the Platonic ideal of grandpas, Deanna Troi had the best hair I had ever seen, the Holodeck was the coolest thing ever and I badly needed one for Christmas, and I was 90 percent sure Commander William T. Riker and I were destined to be married.

OK, more like 100 percent sure.

As I got older, my obsession with “Star Trek” faded, but my early love affair with the series has carried over to my adult years. While I never did wed Captain Riker – the fact that he was fictional turned out to be an obstacle impossible to overcome – I’ve maintained a fondness for the franchise throughout my life, and I know that I’m very much not alone in my affections. So, with the world celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic series, here are some racehorse names inspired by “Star Trek.” Before we begin, let’s set the mood with a little music. Hit play before you start reading!

Let’s start with the basics: the franchise title. Naturally, the name Star Trek has been taken several times over. Racehorses have been named for the show all over the world, including the U.S., New Zealand, Jamaica, Argentina and Germany. I’m delighted to inform you that South Africa has a horse named Galaxy Quest, which is also the title of a favorite movie of mine that lovingly parodies “Star Trek” and its massive fandom. Speaking of the fandom, a horse named Trekkie was born in 2004; the cleverly-named Thoroughbred’s father is Cloud Hopping and his mother is Cosmic Puzzle.

Some famous “Star Trek” characters also have their own racehorse namesakes: Spock and Mr. Spock have both taken to the racetrack, as have Kirk and Captain Kirk. In fact, the Star Trek character-inspired racehorse names are so prolific that it’s easiest to list them in chart form:

"Star Trek" Captain Kirk 2004  Fog Horn - Right Nanc Won three races
Captain Kirk 1973  Space Commander - Nerine Won two races
Gaila 1992 (Australia)  Military Plume (NZ) - Cottonwood Queen Unraced
Kirk 2009 Ecclesiastic - Points for Patty Unraced
Kirk 1999  Wayne County (IRE) - Gone Silver Ran six times
Mr. Spock 2011 Good Reward - Twilite Charm Ran 16 times
Mr. Spock 2001  Mt. Livermore - Seductivelyelegant Won seven races
Mr. Spock 1974 Summa Sword - Laughing Lady Ran four times
Spock 2011  Gun Power - Lady Dancemore Unraced
 Uhura 1973  Bold Stroke - Pillow Slip Unraced
"The Next Generation" The Borg Queen  2000 Fruition - Knight Olympienne Won seven races
Lt Data 1988 Two Davids-Irene Sez Ran ten times
Picard 1993  Loyal Pal - Le Cheval Devant Ran 77 times, four wins
Riker 2013 Include - Desviacion Won four races, Canadian champion
Riker 1994 Marine Brass - Le Cheval Devant Won 21 times from 104 starts
Worf  1994 (Quarter Horse) American Native-Caralina Cash Ran five times
"Deep Space Nine" Neela 1996 (Ireland)  Bluebird - Scammony (IRE) Unraced
"Voyager" Chakotay 2013  Candy Ride (ARG) - Welcome Surprise Unraced
Kathryn Janeway 2002 (Ireland)  In the Wings (GB) - Freak Out (FR) Unraced
Kathryn Janeway 2001 Wild Colony - Sugar Tot Won one race
Quark 2010  Dr. Caton - Continue a Dream Ran three times

Oddly enough, I found a few horses with “Star Trek” names who predated their equivalent characters on the show: Nakamura ran in 1974, but didn’t appear in the show until 1987; and Zek the Thoroughbred was born in 1972 while Zek the Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance first appeared up in “Deep Space Nine” in 1993. Ayala took to the races in Australia in 1975, but didn’t appear in “Voyager” until 1995. Perhaps these are examples of characters being named after racehorses? I’d like to believe it.

The vessel central to “Star Trek” is also honored by a racehorse: Starshipenterprise was born in 1996.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Tim Williams

The motorcycle pictured here doesn’t really have any bearing on this story, but it’s dope so I thought you should look at it. 

Starfleet or a variation thereof has inspired seven racehorse names all over the world: horses have been named for the Star Trek organization in the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Great Britain and Peru. Four racehorses have been named Warp Speed: a Quarter Horse in 1984 and Thoroughbreds in 1978, 1992 and 2002. Some phrases familiar to all Star Trek fans have also been used as horse names: there have been five horses named Star Date (1975 [Quarter Horse], 1985, 1994, and both American and Irish versions in 2009.) The series’ opening credits have inspired racehorse owners, too: the name Boldly Go is also popular, with Thoroughbreds bearing that moniker born in 1995 (Argentina and America), 2004 (America) and 2005 (Great Britain); and there have been four Final Frontiers: in 1987 (America), 1990 (Ireland), 1991 (an American Quarter Horse) and 2013 (Ireland again).

Beam Me Up has been registered four times, and five versions of Beam Me Up Scotty have been used. Captain Picard’s catch phrase of “Make It So” inspired five racehorse names. Prime Directive, the often-cited but rarely followed guiding principle of the Star Trek universe banning Starfleet personnel from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations, has inspired a whopping six racehorses: in 1973, 1986, 1996, 1997 (a Quarter Horse), 2002 (a Thoroughbred in South Africa) and in 2009.  An intimidatingly-monikered Resistanceisfutile was born in California in 2012, named for the famous warning from the Borg in the movie “Star Trek VIII: First Contact.”

Alien races from the “Star Trek” universe have racehorse representation as well: there have been five horses named Vulcan, another five named Klingon, two Romulans, and even a Ferengi.

A “Star Trek” fan (left) cosplays a Ferengi at a convention in London. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/X-PRIZE)

“Star Trek” has become an integral part of pop culture in its 50-year run, and its influence has trickled into everyday life around the globe. From cinema to conventions, online forums to horse farms, “Star Trek” has given us a lot to celebrate over the past half-century.

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