Is your horse named Rosie, Jack or Star? If so, you’ve got company, after an online horse names survey of more than 3,000 H&H readers found these to be the most popular horse names, with Rosie topping the lot.
Jack also tops human boys’ names, which ties in with human names being favoured as horses’ stable-names. But if you haven’t gone down that route, the chances are you’ll have a Star, Dancer or Storm.
Sunny or King often imply a non-competitive leisure rider, while Paddy is common among event horses, implying the Irish heritage that so many of them have. But Disney references and foods such as Avocado, Cookie or Apple also prevail in event yards.
Meanwhile, passport names often indicate a horse’s job. Dressage horses are most likely to have references to the moon, stars and animals — Diamond Moon, Big Bear — while showjumpers frequently feature allusions to dance.
There is a strong trend in “joke” passport names among hacking and leisure horses, such as Duncan Disorderly or Brock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, or references to magic — Black Magic.
Names also bracket types or breeds of horse: cobs are most likely to have four-letter names, such as Thor or Olga, while show ponies tend to have multi-barrelled names such as Maddaford Jumping Jack Flash. On the whole, the majority of all passport names are double-barrelled.
Leisure rider Laura Amos called her favourite homebred Rosie.
“It wasn’t terribly imaginative, but no one got around to naming her, so our groom just called her Rosie,” she said. “We also bred a filly foal who remained ‘Filly’ her whole life. But we’re usually pretty strong — we’ve had Hopalong, Question, Dribble and Frog.”