Gemma Tattersall’s first four-star horse, Jesters Quest, has been put down, aged 25.
The British Olympic rider and her family had to make the decision when the horse suffered a bout of colic while Gemma was away competing at Osberton last week.
“Wallace” started his career under Clare Heron and was then ridden by Katy Lawrence and Molly Key, winning the JRN (junior regional novice) championships at Weston Park with Molly in 2002.
He was also competed for a short period by Tamsin Cracknell before Gemma teamed up with the horse in 2004, when she took on the ride at short notice before the CCI2* at Windsor. The pair finished 28th with a double clear and won their next run, an under-21 open intermediate at Brightling.
The grey claimed the under-21 national championships at Weston Park that autumn and went on to collect team gold medals at the young rider European Championships in 2005 and 2006, finishing fifth individually in 2005 and seventh in 2006.
At the same time as their young rider career, the combination were starting the step up to the top level, finishing seventh in the under-25 CCI3* at Bramham in 2005 and fourth in the CCI3* at Kreuth in 2006 — a trip Gemma made in order to complete her qualifications for Badminton the following year.
In 2007, the pair completed their first four-stars, finishing both Badminton and Burghley with one stop across country. Their 34th place earnt Gemma the under-25 prize at Badminton.
Jesters Quest, who was by Dandy Dos Vales, retired in 2009 with 544 British Eventing points and spent his retirement with the Tattersall family. He was “looking so well and happy” until colic struck last week.
“I would not be where I am without that wonderful horse,” said Gemma.”I will be forever grateful to him. He was the most gentle, wonderful character you could imagine.”