An influential coloured sport horse stallion has died aged 27.
Country Top Gun was the foundation sire at Country Farm Stud and has hundreds of offspring, who have gone on to enjoy success in all disciplines.
Owner Karen Raine bought “Percy” when he was 18 months old and described him as an “absolute gentleman”.
When Karen went to view Percy for the first time, his owner loose-schooled him over some jumps in the arena — but Percy decided to take on an extra fence.
“The indoor arena was sectioned into two parts and he jumped the dividing fence — it was a five-foot wall,” said Karen, adding that he “loved to jump”.
“He was lovely to ride and was like a cat — like a pony inside a horse’s body.
“He was an absolute gentleman and everything he bred loves to work.”
Percy was put to numerous mares, including a significant number of ponies, passing on his temperament and length of leg and stride.
He enjoyed a successful showing and showjumping career, achieving grade B status and competing up to 1.30m-level at many of the top county shows.
“He was my horse of a lifetime,” said Karen, adding that Percy would now be classed as grade A due to changes to the grading system.
“All those years ago, when he started competing at British Showjumping, coloured horses were never seen at that level and he was a huge influence in improving the quality and ability of the coloured horses in this country.”
Percy was an elite graded stallion with both the Coloured Horse and Pony Society and the British Show Pony Society.
He was also the only coloured stallion in the UK to be awarded premier elite status due to his two elite graded sons, Country Top Dollar and Country Marksman.
Although he had retired from ridden and stud duties, Country Farm Stud still has his frozen semen.
“At the grand old age of 27 he has gained his angel wings and will be chatting up mares in the stars,” added Karen.
“It has been an absolute privileged to have owned him, loved him and competed him.
“Adored by all who met him and have worked with him over the years he was an absolute gentleman, famous for his temperament.
“His legend will live on in his graded sons.”
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