If you're feeling a little down after all of the excitement of Christmas, take a look at H&H's most popular heart-warming stories of 2016 — they are sure to put a smile on your face...

1. Touching video of man helping horse and rider goes viral

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A touching video of a bin man helping a spooked horse in Wales went viral on the internet. Erin Connor was riding her five-year-old horse, Patch, on a country lane in Dyserth, Denbighshire, on 21 February.

2. Emotional Charlotte Dujardin takes individual gold in Rio dressage: ‘It’s on the cards to retire Valegro’

Read +51,200 times

Valegro retirement

The day Charlotte Dujardin successfully defended her Olympic individual title in Rio, clinching the gold with a massive 93.857% on Valegro.

3. Watch Valegro return as king of the arena in new Rio-themed freestyle

Read +47,700 times

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Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro announced their return to the competition arena in triumphant style, winning both the grand prix and the freestyle to music at Hartpury Festival of Dressage in Gloucestershire (6-10 July).

4. Uthopia auction update: Carl Hester confirms positive outcome

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Carl Hester and Uthopia

The day it was revealed that the long-running saga of the ownership of the London Olympic gold medal winning horse Uthopia was resolved. It was announced that the horse would remain with his long-time rider Carl Hester at his Gloucestershire base.

5. ‘One of the greatest creatures God ever created’: Watch Olympia’s emotional Valegro retirement video

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A video celebrating the achievements of dressage wonder horse Valegro was revealed by Olympia ahead of his retirement at this year’s show.

6. The placid stallion who yawns when it’s time to work: behind the scenes after Big Star’s homecoming

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Take a look at pictures and read accounts from the day Big Star arrived home triumphant from Rio.

7. Princess Charlotte has a passion for horses

Read +28,100 times

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (6061828o) Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Canada - 01 Oct 2016 Victoria, Canada. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive to board a sea plane in Victoria Harbour, Canada at the end of the Royal Tour.

At a special Buckingham Palace event for Olympic and Paralympics heroes, the Duchess of Cambridge revealed the Princess Charlotte’s love of horses.

8. ‘I’m five months pregnant’ says British Olympic dressage rider

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Laura Tomlinson - Duval's Capri Sonne

London team gold and individual bronze medallist Laura Tomlinson announced in November that she was five months pregnant and expecting her second child.

9. Nick Skelton and Big Star win GOLD in Rio showjumping showdown

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The moment Britain’s Nick Skelton and Big Star won gold in the individual showjumping competition at the Rio Olympics.

10. Tales from Rio: The incredible comeback from cancer, facial reconstructive surgery and a superbug

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Shane Rose AUS riding CP Qualified, during the Dressage phase of the Eventing Competition at the Olympic Equestrian Eyestrain Centre in Deodoro near Rio, Brazil on 7th August 2016

Read the remarkable story of Olympic event rider Shane Rose.