Escapado, the gelding who played a pivotal role in Carl Hester’s international career before teaming up with the Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud, has been retired.

And the story has a happy ending for British dressage fans — the gelding is back in England and living out his retirement at home with Carl, who picked him up from Hans Peter’s yard on Sunday.

“I owe so much to Escapado,” Hans Peter told eurodressage.com. “He enabled my transistion to Grand Prix and I was able to ride beautiful shows with him. I am very happy that Escapado returns to Carl where he can enjoy his retirement.”

Carl and Escapdo finished best of Brits in 13th at the 2004 Athens Olympics, before putting in a career-defining performance to take fifth at the 2005 European Championships.