Toy­town, Zara Tin­dall’s best friend

A horse fit for roy­alty, we pay trib­ute to Zara Tin­dall’s horse of a life­time

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AS WON­DER­FUL AS all horses are, ev­ery rider will al­ways have one who stands out above the rest. Zara Tin­dall is no ex­cep­tion. The royal event rider made an emo­tional farewell to her horse Toy­town last month af­ter he was put down at the age of 24. The 17hh geld­ing of­fi­cially re­tired from com­pe­ti­tion in a cer­e­mony at Gat­combe held in 2011, bring­ing the cur­tain down on an in­cred­i­ble ca­reer spent with Zara. To­gether, the pair con­quered Euro­pean and World Cham­pi­onships – win­ning the Blen­heim Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in 2005 and tak­ing the world ti­tle in Aachen the fol­low­ing year. They reg­u­larly fin­ished in the top 10 at three- and four-star events, in­clud­ing a win at Bramham and a sec­ond place fin­ish at Burgh­ley. Fol­low­ing the news of Toy­town’s death, Zara said: “I’m heart­bro­ken to say that I had to say good­bye to my great­est friend and horse of a life­time, Toy­town. 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.

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