A gold medal-winning German dressage pony has died at the age of 16 following a bout of colic.

Deinhard B won multiple golds at pony European level and started his dressage career in 2005 with Anna von Negri.

His owners, the Rothenberger family, said the pony had seemed unwell on 13 October.

The vet was called and the pony was treated and closely monitored for the following two weeks.

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On 24 October, the family said that “Deini” had colicked severely overnight, leading to the decision to operate.

The following day, they added he was awake, had an appetite and was “doing well under the circumstances”.

They also thanked people for their support.

However, on 28 October Semmieke Rothenberger revealed that “Deini” had died.

In her tribute to him she wrote that he will “always remain in our hearts”.

“You were not just one pony, but a family member,” she said.

“I hope you now gallop in the sky and enjoy it. I know that you will always look down and support me in everything I do.

“You’re my little personal guardian angel who is always watching from above. I love you infinitely.”

The pony, by Dornick B, won his first medals at Freudenberg, Germany, in 2007, where he picked up team gold and individual bronze.

Deinhard B went on to win team and individual gold at the 2008 Pony Europeans as well as gold and silver medals at the 2009 championships.

Lena Charlotte Walterscheidt took over the ride in 2010 and went on to win silver and bronze medals with the palomino stallion at European level.

The following year he went to Semmieke, who has also enjoyed numerous successes and medals with him at European and international level.

These included triple gold at the 2014 Pony European Championships at Millstreet, Ireland.

Deinhard B has been in the top three at every international competition he has competed at over the past five years and this year he took titles in Nice, Hagen, Vidauban and at Addington.