Move over Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin has a new 4-legged partner.

The reigning Olympic and European dressage gold medallist, and newly-crowned Reem Acra FEI World Cup Champion, has rehomed an RSPCA rescue pony called Santa.

The black yearling was recovered from a field in December.

Santa might not have quite the moves to match Valegro, but Charlotte fell for the tiny gelding from the moment she first met him through a friend who cares for horses on behalf of the RSPCA.

“He was so thin and scrawny, and he was wearing a dog rug,” recalled Charlotte, who had her rug maker tailor a rug specially for the tiny gelding.

I’m really excited about having him at home. He’s going to live out with my younger horses at Sandra Biddlecombe’s yard. I’m not sure what he’ll grow into – he might make a dressage pony!” she added.

RSPCA rehoming coordinator Gareth Johnson said:  “It is fantastic that someone of Charlotte’s standing is taking on a rescued pony.  We know that he will now have the best life in her care.

“There are more than 800 horses and ponies in the care of the RSPCA and we desperately need homes for them, so we hope that more people will now consider giving a rescued horse a second chance in life.”