"Black Fella" is a common description used by white and indigenous Australians to describe Aboriginals, but attempts by a prominent horse trainer to call his filly Blackman has been deemed offensive by Racing Information Services Australia.
David Hayes has been forced to amend the name to Lady Blackman despite the horse being named after renowned Australian artist Charles Blackman.
The name of the two-year-old, whose father is Excellent Art, had to be changed after RISA, the organisation which controls the registration and naming of horses, received one complaint.
"The name itself is a surname and certainly respected the connection back to the artist Charles Blackman but RISA also found that where the name is not used without the known context back to a surname it could be construed as being offensive," said RISA spokesman Myles Foreman.
He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation it was agreed the horse would be known as Lady Blackman.
Hayes was not available for comment but South African-born Sydney trainer David Payne was unimpressed.
"I think it's crazy. What happens if you call a horse Whiteman? Would you have to change the name as well? It's just ridiculous," said Payne who had to rename his horse Islam when he lived in South Africa.
"One of my clients called it Islam and we had to change the name, but I think that's more serious than Blackman," he said.
Peter Jurkovsky from the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association of Victoria said the case highlights the perils of naming.
"The horse is by a stallion called Excellent Art and it was named after a famous painter and therefore in the context it is Blackman, not black man. It was one complaint. We find that a little bit incongruous."
Prominent racing journalist Max Presnell said the name change was a sign of the times.
"We've had horses going back more recent past - Richard Cranium - but they never changed it, so I think we are just getting a shade more, shall we say, temperamental about it," he said.
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