Italian former eventer Andrea Verdina has been banned from driving for 12 months following a drink driving offence.

Police stopped the 41-year-old Italian, who runs a sport horse yard near Taynton in Gloucestershire, on 30 July on the A40 between Cheltenham and Longlevens.

A breathalyser test showed he had with 51 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath. The legal limit for driving is 35 microgrammes.

He pleaded guilty to the offence at Cheltenham Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay a £300 fine, £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge on top of his ban.

The former eventer, who won European team bronze in 2001 and rode at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, told the court: “I am really sorry for what I have done.

“I went to a hunt ball and planned to share a taxi back, but my girlfriend was ill so I drove her home.”