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Carl Hester’s popular grand prix partner Dolendo has been put down aged 21.

The 17.2hh chestnut gelding, by Donnerhall, died on 13 July.

Dolendo joined Olympic medallist Carl’s yard when he was a three-year-old. He was initially ridden by Carl’s pupil and former partner Spencer Wilton.

The gelding was part owned by Carl with Ann Cory.

Under Spencer Dolendo won the intermediate I at the 2003 and 2004 British Championships.

The partnership then hit the spotlight taking the National Championships in September 2007.

The pair finished second in the freestyle where Dolendo was a little tense, but his previous day’s grand prix win was enough for them to take the overall title.

Later that year the ride was taken over by Carl, Spencer’s trainer.

With Carl Dolendo was shortlisted for the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, but was ruled out due to a small injury.

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At the time Carl told H&H that it was “not career threatening” but that the horse needed time to recover.

Carl then suffered a second blow when injury struck his second horse, Lecantos, ruling the Gloucestershire-based rider out of the 2008 Games.

Dolendo’s last international show was in 2010.

In his retirement he lived with Classic Dressage’s Julia Hornig, for whom he acted as a school master.

However, in latter months he had severe arthritis in his neck, which led to the decision to put him down earlier this month.