A unique partnership has come to an end with the death of Romeo, probably Britain’s smallest advanced dressage pony.

Northumberland-based riding instructor Wendy Howes bought the 13.2hh gelding as an unbroken six-year-old, intending to bring him on as a child’s pony.

However, he showed great promise and, encouraged by the late Lady Joicey, the diminutive pair reached Prix St Georges level, as well as excelling at dressage to music.

“He always got the biggest cheer of the day because he was so little,” says Wendy.

Romeo, who had recently qualified for the Prix St Georges music regional championships, was put down, aged 23, after a bout of colic.