Zara Tindall’s longstanding competition horse, Toytown, has died, the equestrienne today announced.
A statement from Princess Anne’s daughter this morning said she was ‘heartbroken’ at losing the 24-year-old chestnut horse.
A spokeswoman for Mrs Tindall said Toytown was put down for medical reasons.
“I’m heartbroken to say that yesterday morning I had to say goodbye to my greatest friend and horse of a lifetime, Toytown,” the statement read. “He was the most incredible athlete with the biggest heart, European and World champion back to back!
“He made my career and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for the amazing times we had together — he was a huge part of my family, an amazing animal and a true champion.
“I will miss you for ever.”
Husband Mike Tindall also tweeted the news yesterday evening.
— mike tindall (@miketindall13) June 27, 2017
Toytown had been Zara’s horse for almost 20 years, competing at European and international level, but never made it to the Olympics due to injuries each time.
The pair won their first medal in 2002 (individual silver), and though he was retired in 2011, Zara and Toytown came back for London 2012, where they bore the Olympic torch. Zara’s current horse, High Kingdom competed at the games, winning silver.
The horse, with distinct white spots, spent his retirement on Princess Anne’s Gatcombe estate, and was paraded by his owner for The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Horse Show.