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Anna Ross-Davies, best of the British dressage team at the 2007 European championships, has lost the ride on her top horse Liebling II.

“Donald Mactaggart, the horse’s owner, called me into a meeting on Thursday and told me Liebling was going to Carl Hester’s yard to be sold,” Anna told H&H. “I went home and someone from the yard called to say he was picked up that evening.

“My priority is, and has always been, Liebling and that he is alright. I’d always hoped he would retire in my back garden — I just love that horse.

“I would rather he stayed in Britain. I trained him for seven years so of course I miss him, I’ll miss him terribly,” said Anna.

British Dressage did not select Liebling for the Olympic team in Hong Kong last month, despite Anna scoring plus-70% internationally with the 11-year-old gelding.

The pair also handled the pressure on their championship debut at the Europeans in Turin, where they finished 10th and best of the British.

“I’m proud of what I achieved with him and just want the horse to be happy, whatever happens next,” Anna added.