Connections have refuted rumours that Woodlander Farouche, the new five-year-old world champion, has been sold.

A rumour circulating this week on the internet suggested that the horse had been sold for an estimated €5m to British dressage star Laura Bechtolsheimer.

But the rider is currently denying this is the case. “I wish!” she said. “It’s not true.”

Farouche became the first British-bred horse to take gold at the FEI World Breeding Championships for young horses, in Verden, Germany, at the weekend (6 August).

Bred and part-owned by Lynne Crowden the five-year-old Hanovarian by Furst Heinrich is currently ridden by 24-year-old Michael Eilberg.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Michael told H&H. “I’ve no idea where this rumour has come from.”

And Lynne posted on the British Dressage forum: “I can say categorically that this mare is not sold to anyone. There was and is a lot of interest in her, but we are looking at several options including further shares of ownership.

“In my mind she is almost without value as I always thought that she was remarkable with no weaknesses and with a convincing mechanic behind and not just flashy in front. Having seen her operate in Verden, I know I am prejudiced, but I think she is the best in the world, whatever age, and there may never be another like her.

“Her foals carry her stamp clearly and to me as a breeder and to the other owners, she is special in every respect.”