The British Horseracing Authority has stepped in to demand that a horse called ‘Jungle Bunny’ change its name after it was branded “racist and offensive” by some racing fans – although others have been left bemused by the step.
The horse, which is a descendent of famed racehorse Bungle Inthejungle, came an ignominious sixth in Saturday’s meet in Wolverhampton Racecourse – but, as soon as the race had finished, discussions about the supposed ‘racial insensitivity’ of the horse’s name began to ignite on social media.
The term ‘Jungle Bunny’ is thought by some to be a racially insensitive way to refer to a black person – something that BHA seemed to have missed before stepping into demand the change. The horse is now known by festive moniker ‘Jungle Bells’.
However, Emma Evans, wife of the horse’s trainer David Evans, was quick to point out the name of the horse wasn’t designed to be a racial reference of any kind – rather that it came about as a reference to their grandson’s favorite video game, as well as a nod to the horse’s lineage.
“David’s daughter gave us the horse and there’s a computer game called Jungle Bunny Run,” Evans said via the Daily Mail.
“I just thought, that’ll do. I had no idea. It was completely innocent and that is the gospel truth. None of the staff said anything, nobody else said anything and I’m totally flabbergasted.
“I’m upset because we’ve had our Sunday ruined by everybody ringing about it. It makes you look like a racist, which I am certainly not.”