Toytown: Zara Tindall's horse put down for medical reasons, aged 25

Zara Tindall on Toytown
Zara Tindall and Toytown carried the Olympic Torch at Cheltenham prior to London 2012

Zara Tindall's best-known horse Toytown has been put down at the age of 25 for medical reasons.

The Queen's granddaughter and Toytown won individual European eventing gold in 2005 and the world title in 2006.

Toytown was retired from equestrian competition in 2011.

"I'm heartbroken 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," a statement from Tindall said.

"He made my career and I couldn't be more grateful to him for the amazing times we had together. I will miss you forever."

She bought Toytown as a seven-year-old in 1999, but injuries to the horse prevented them competing at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

However, they won both European individual and team gold in 2005, followed by world individual gold and team silver the following year, and a European team gold in Italy in 2007.

Tindall's husband, and former England, Bath and Gloucester rugby player Mike, said on Twitter: "Sad to say goodbye to the big man today, been a massive part of our lives giving us so many highs!"

Analysis

BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Paul Furley:

At the peak of their partnership in 2005 and 2006, they were unbeatable.

There should have been Olympic appearances, but twice injury was to deny Toytown a place on sport's grandest stage.

Toytown was retired on home turf at Gatcombe in 2011, but got his moment in the Olympic spotlight at Cheltenham Racecourse a year later during the Olympic Torch relay.

Ironically just a few weeks later, Zara Tindall competed at the London Olympics on High Kingdom, winning team silver, but it's Toytown who'll always be the horse associated with her.

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