1) A line down a horse’s face, usually said to be white.

1512 a trotting stag, blak, with a rache in the face, Well

1556 my bay stagge with a long Rache, Farnley

1617 my blew Dand horse with a whyte racke, Barmston

1689 one bay guelding with a black list and a white rache down his face, Middleton

1726 an Old Single Eyed bay Mare, a White Rach down her Face, Whitkirk.

spellings racke
dates 1512 1556 1617 1689 1726

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2) A hunting dog which pursues its prey by scent.

1514 browght a grett multitude off dogges both grewhondis and ratches, Moor Monkton

1665 a strange noyse in the aire ... this winter called Gabriel-Ratches by this country-people, the noyse is as if a great number of whelps were barking and howling, Northowram. It was probably the source of a by-name given as a nick-name, although rache is also possible: 1298-9 domus Gilberti Racche in Halton.

spellings ratch
dates 1298-1299 1514 1665

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0