The champion in-hand Connemara mare Walstead Sea Pearl has died suddenly at the age of five.Owner and breeder Sonia Burt is unable to discover the reason of the mare’s unexplained death.

The five-year-old mare died recently at her place of birth in Hartfield, East Sussex.

According to her owner, the prize-winning grey mare collapsed and died suddenly in her stable having been brought in from grazing and washed down.

Sadly, owing to FMD carcass movement restrictions in place, vets have been unable to carry out a post mortem and the cause may now not ever be known.

Patricia Turner, who has produced the ponies for Sonia Burt for the past 25 years and was at the mare’s birth was also there at her death.

Walstead Sea Pearl’s mother, Cutlers Lucky Gem, won Royal Windsor when Sea Pearl was three and her daughter took the title as a four-year-old.

The mare was set to surpass her mother’s achievements having already beaten her on several occasions.

Sea Pearl was shown with tremendous success as a foal when she won the South of England and South East Breed Show, going on to win both youngstock and adult sections at The Royal and therefore taking the overall championship as a three-year-old.

As a four-year-old Sea Pearl was covered by Atlantic Prince Of Peace, Walstead Stud’s new stallion, then won the main Connemara Breed Society show at Malvern as a broodmare, going on to take the championship over her mother who stood reserve having won her own section.

The stud had intending having just one foal from the mare before breaking and producing her to go out under saddle next year.

By Tiercel Topcat, Walstead, Sea Pearl had an exceptionally kind and honest temperament and will be best remembered for her floating action as she lit up the ring and those around her.