McGuigan, Alistair Holder’s 14-year-old stallion ridden by Jeanette Brakewell to victory at Chatsworth CIC*** last year, was put down on Wednesday, 17 September. Vet Tim Greet had been treating McGuigan at Rossdales, Newmarket.

“The horse had an ethmoidal haematoma that grew to his cranium, rendering him blind. There was nothing we could do,” said a devastated Alistair.

The 15.2hh by Hanoverian Furisto and out of Paulvilles Last, had been owned by Alistair for 10 years and feels he cannot continue at Potwell Farm Stud, Dorset, without the stallion.

“I’ve lost my best mate. If he’s not here my heart’s not in it,” he explained. “He had a huge personality for such a little horse, and made everyone smile who came into contact with him.”

McGuigan was top British horse at the world young horse championships for seven-year-olds at Le Lion d’Angers in 2001, and was placed at CCI*** level. A limited amount of frozen semen is available through Tessa Clarke at West Kingston Stud.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (25 September, ’08)