Tina Cook‘s top horse De Novo News has died due to an infection that developed after he fell sick while travelling.

The 12-year-old, who helped Britain to team silver at last year’s World Equestrian Games, competed at Strzegom, Poland, with Tina in June.

On his return home she felt he was “a little quiet”. It turned out he had contracted shipping fever, which developed into pleuropneumonia.

This is very unusual, especially as Tina broke up the journey with adequate breaks. The other two horses on the lorry showed no ill effects.

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De Novo News was moved to Newmarket Equine Hospital in early August as he had fluid in his chest cavity and given only a 10% chance of survival. While some of the fluid could be drained, an abscess also formed at an inoperable site at the top of the chest cavity under the shoulder blades, which the vets were trying to break down with strong antibiotics.

Last month H&H reported that the horse was “showing positive signs”, putting on weight and going out in the field.

“Everything is still very slow, but it’s more positive that he will survive,” said Tina on Monday, 21 September.

But De Novo News took a turn for the worse and was put down today (Tuesday, 13 October).

We thought he was going the right way and not far off coming home,” a devastated Tina told H&H. “The infection got into his joints and they couldn’t manage it.”

Tina bred De Novo News — he was by Last News — and she rode his dam Douce De Longvaut round Burghley when the mare was in-foal with him. He was part-owned by Jim Chromiak.

The pair fell at The Lake at Badminton this spring, but returned with 15th in the CIC3* at Bramham.

They were named third reserves for the British squad for the European Championships at Blair last month before the horse fell ill.