Dressage stallion Lillenmarkens Arkibal (Archie) — ridden by Kyra Kyrklund and Emma Hindle — has been put to sleep aged 20.

Archie died yesterday, Monday 17 January, at his retirement home.

Archie was one of the Brookhouse Stud’s foundation stallions and qualified with Kyra for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but was injured.

He then joined stable-mate Wie Weltmeyer in Germany in the autumn of 2000, where the ride was taken over by Emma.

She had many wins and placings with him at grands prix before he was retired to her aunt and uncle’s farm in 2006.

Emma said: “He was not only an amazing horse but such a source of comfort, the kindest, most loving of all the boys.

“He loved his cuddles but hated other male horses.

“His career was blighted by injury but he was and always will remain one of the most talented and wonderful horses I ever had the pleasure to meet.

“He had such a wonderful retirement and was loved and cherished daily. My aunt has taken such good care of him — I am eternally grateful. Yesterday was a terribly sad day for us all.”