Owners in the UK can see how popular their horse’s name is via a new name-search facility on the National Equine Database’s (NED) website this Christmas.
“It’s a fun opportunity for users to interact with NED and is aimed mainly at one-horse owners,” said spokesman Jan Rogers.
“It’s been launched for the festive period, but if it’s popular we might leave it up permanently.”
NED holds more than a million horse records and according to the data, traditional equine monikers like Dobbin are losing out to names more typically given to children.
The top 10 horse names in order of popularity are Rosie, Charlie, Molly, Jack, Murphy, Billy, Toby, Misty, Ben and Holly. All of them — except for Misty — also appear on the top 50 list of most popular baby names.
“There was a time when a Dobbin, Trigger, Flicka or Beauty could be found in every other stable at a riding school,” said NED chief executive Nick Wallbridge. “But, these days, they have been relegated to the pages of children’s fiction.”
“With nine of the top 10 names being ‘human’, it seems more and more people consider their animal as a member of the family.”
Food, seasons and Christmas-inspired appellations are also popular — especially Santa’s trusty reindeer.
Ms Rogers added: “We have 426 equines called Dancer, 177 Comets, 37 Prancers, but less than 30 each of Cupid, Vixen, Blitzen, Dasher, Rudolf and Donner.”
Devon-based horse owner Julia Woodman, said: “I bought my horse Rosie as a 12-year-old so I was not able to name her, but was very surprised to hear she has such a common name.”
To find out the popularity of your horse’s name, type it into the interactive box on NED’s home page. The system will then tell you how many other horses on the database have it too.