Cottage Craft Spirals, Georgie Spence’s ride in the gold medal-winning team at this year’s young rider European Eventing Championships, has been put down.

Rick and Billie Harding’s 11-year-old gelding developed complications after contracting a debilitating internal infection at the end of September.

Cottage Craft Spirals was produced by Caroline Pratt, and taken on by Sarah Cohen after Caroline’s death at Burghley 2004. He won the British Intermediate Championships at Gatcombe with Sarah in 2005.

At the end of last season Sarah recommended the Hardings send the horse to a young rider and the ride passed to Georgie Spence.

Cottage Craft Spirals finished second in the final trial for this year’s young rider European Championships at Blair Castle — to another of Georgie’s rides, Song For Gull. The pair went on to win a team gold medal at the young rider European Championships, finishing 12th individually. Most recently, they won the under-21 open intermediate at South of England.

“I feel very honoured to have ridden Cottage Craft Spirals — he was a lovely horse and always tried his best,” said Georgie.