Macchiato, who won at CCI3* and CCI4* level under William Fox-Pitt, has been put down, aged 18.

“He was a bit of a one-off — he tried very hard and did like to win, although he wasn’t the most talented” said William, who bought the horse through Sharon Ridgway in Australia from a video.

“I competed him for a bit after he came over, to see what he was like and after a while I thought, ‘He’s not a world-beater, he’s just a do-er and wants to do his best’. Then Jane and Hector Kier got involved [as the horse’s owners] and we formed a great friendship, thanks to Mac, and had a lot of fun. He took us round Europe.

“His ability didn’t hit you in the face when first saw him — he didn’t move very well and was an awkward jumper, but he really wanted to please.”

Macchiato was by Octante and was bred in Argentina before racing in Australia.

In eventing, he first came to the fore when he won the British intermediate championships at Gatcombe in 2006. The following year he took top honours in the CCI3*s at Bramham and Blair. In 2008, he won the CCI4* at Luhmühlen, moving up from ninth after dressage. He was also fifth at Badminton 2009 and sixth at Burghley 2010, as well as ninth at Luhmühlen 2011.

In all, Macchiato completed seven four-stars and racked up 1241 British Eventing points.

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“He was a thoroughbred and coped with all terrain,” said William. “One year at Badminton he was the first out and just went and showed everyone how to do it.

“What an extraordinary horse he was because he didn’t have the talent of Chilli Morning, but he certainly had the will and desire to please and to do the job. He was bought for a bit of fun but did far more than that and gave the Kiers and Fox-Pitts a lot of pleasure.”

Macchiato was retired from competition in 2012 and spent his last years with Lucy Jones, who worked for William and looked after the horse during his competition career.