Trehewyd Brenin Arthur — one of the most successful private driving ponies of the past decade — has been put down after collapsing at home on Monday (20 April).

The 18-year-old Welsh section C won the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) harness championship on three occasions with owner Nigel Fuller, taking the title in 2006, 2007 (pictured below) and 2010.

Well-regarded for his easy temperament, exemplary looks and eye-catching extensions, the gelding was prolifically successful in the show ring, securing many major driving titles including the British Driving Society Annual at Smiths Lawn. He was also partnered to numerous young driver successes by Nigel’s niece Oakley and pupil Angus Rowe before switching to driving trials two years ago.

“He was a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” said Nigel, who bought the pony as a six-year-old after spotting him being exercised on local roads. “He was a really special person who did it all so effortlessly. He went on to prove it was possible to do two disciplines successfully.”

After retiring from the show ring, the drive was handed over to Minta Winn, who took the pony on to a new career at the age of 16. Last year he took his first advanced pony win in the national driving trial at Lowther.

“After his marathon at Lowther I could’ve stopped driving right then and there because I had the best drive of my life,” said Minta. “He was looking fantastic and he loved the job.”

HOYS 07 10 2010

Following a run of form, British team selection had been firmly in their sights this season.

“We competed at the weekend and he was just awesome. I thought ‘we’ve cracked it, bring on the worlds’ [championships],” said Minta. “On Monday morning he came out a bit stiff, which you’d expect in an 18-year-old, so I turned him out for a bit in the sunshine and kept an eye on him.

“I thought he didn’t look happy so I went to bring him in, he came round the corner and his back legs gave way,” she explained. “We called the vet and when he did an internal it looked like everything had flipped over and wasn’t where it should be. We got him relaxed and rehydrated him but he collapsed again and we decided it was best to put him down.”

She added: “It took a long time to get into his inner circle but when you were in you were there. He drew everybody in, everybody knew him and wanted to watch him.”