Over the years I’ve received the odd quizzical email as to why the site is called Nags Head? Such messages are almost exclusively from abroad, because, well, if you’re from the United Kingdom you’ll certainly be familiar with the term. Rather amusingly, and unbeknownst to be there is actually a rather pretty looking beach town in North Carolina, US called Nags Head, and so this may be replacement for some of the confusion.
Essentially though, in UK terms ‘Nags Head’ (with a nag being a horse) is used as a popular name for pubs in the UK. You’re likely to have seen a Nags Head pub at some point, likely with a regal looking horse sign outside! Though of course the name itself wasn’t plucked out of thin air and it in fact heralds back to days of old in times of piracy. Legend has it that a look out on land would hang a brightly lit lantern around the neck of a placid horse on shore, and that this would be a guide to pirates to shore along with their various treasures and trinkets.
In modern times though, Nags Head, very much came to prominence due to being the name of the public house in the massively popular BBC1 comedy series Only Fools and Horses, which ran from 1981 – 2003. All of the well known characters of the show, which drew audiences of up to 24 million in its heyday. It’s well known characters Dell Boy, Rodney, Uncle Albert, Boyce, Trigger and co helped contribute towards some of the most iconic moments in UK comedy. Who can forget the bar scene, or that time Dell and Rodney went to the casino and emerged into the bright sunshine of the following day by the time they left. Of course this was pre-internet, long before https://www.choiceonlinecasino.com/casino-games/ and co. Other characters and scenarios such as the Driscoll brothers and Tony Angelina are as funny to think about now as 20 odd years ago.
As the height of the show there was even a show set in the USA, which is quite some way from the shoes Peckham, London roots. It was set in a top USA casino like the aforementioned hilarious UK scene, but instead Miami with all the sunshine, bright lights and mayhem that come along with it! So the next time you see a Nags Head sign, be sure to consider both the history of it, and also how it came to prominence in households around the country. Then do and guy yourself a pint!
Horse racing is certainly no stranger to oddball horse names. Just the other year Horsey McHorseFace (an homage to boaty mcboatface) gained worldwide attention when he won the Lathan Arthur Thompson Memorial Maiden in Australia. Other funny horse names that have raised anything between a titter and a belly laugh include the likes of Hoarse, Hugh Janus, Oh no it’s my mother in law, magic carpet burns and passing wind.
Funny horse names aren’t just a modern occurrence though. We see that here with a racehorse called Potooooooo born all the way back in 1773. His owner, Willoughby Bertie, already had the bright / strange idea of naming the horse Potatoes. This rather unflattering name was to take another twist though, when Bertie instructed a stable lad to write down the horses name. Instead of writing Potatoes, he wrote down Pot-8-O’s, as in literally the word Pot followed by eight O’s. The owner found this error rather amusing and so instead of correcting it the name stuck. It creates a funny little place for Potoooooooo in history, as the story lives on to this very day!
There’s not many achievements that Richard Johnson hasn’t bagged during his long and illustrious career in racing. From becoming Champion Jockey at just age eighteen in the 1995/6 season, to being awarded an OBE in the new year’s honours for his services to horse racing, he’s done it all. A Grand National win still eludes him though. Here, speaking to Betway, Johnson steers us through the highs and lows of some of his previous Grand National experiences and lays out the hopes and dreams that are part and parcel of his 2019 Grand National ride on Rock The Kasbah.
Night Nurse ran to 35 wins during his racing career that featured flat, hurdle and chase events. Trained in England by Peter Easterby, Night Nurse was originally a National Hunt race horse. The gelding was able to find success no matter what type of race or event he took place in.
Debuting in 1973, Night Nurse’s career didn’t start well. The horse lost six races during the season. If expectations weren’t high after the first year of racing, then the finish of his second season didn’t increase hope of success by much. Night Nurse won just once in six races in 1974. The gelding’s lone victory came at Ripon Racecourse.
Wins would come more often to Night Nurse in the following years. He raced to victory in two of three races in 1975 with wins at the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Irish Sweeps Hurdle. A year later, Night Nurse won the Champion Hurdle for the first of two times, the Scottish Champion Hurdle and the Welsh Champion Hurdle for the first time. In 1977, Night Nurse won his most remembered race at Aintree. Competing in the Templegate Hurdle, Night Nurse won a deadheat against Monksfield.
After being so successful in hurdle competitions, Night Nurse was switched to chasing, and more wins followed. Often ridden by jockey Paddy Broderick, Night Nurse raced until 1983. The duo was one of the most feared on the racetrack and many a race was most likely won before the horses even left the gates. During his racing career, the gelding earned over £170,000 in prize winnings.
In 1983, Night Nurse was retired and lived out his days for the next 15 years. Those final years saw Night Nurse live on the farm of his trainer, Easterby, and later buried on the property. In November 1998, the horse was put down just short of his 28th birthday.