Julia Topham-Barnes’s prolific winning small hack Royal Mile has been put down due to a colic-related complaint at the age of 23.

The mare was novice champion at Royal Windsor as a four-year-old and overall champion the following year. Among her successes were small hack of the year at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) at Wembley; champion hack at the Royal International two years running, and the Winston Churchill supreme title in 1992.

Royal Mile’s son, Derwent Mr Worldly Wise, was also novice champion at Windsor at four and went on to take the championship the following year. He, too, was small hack of the year at HOYS.

”I fell in love with Royal Mile when I saw her at Wembley as a five-year-old and I followed her career with great interest,” said Julia. “She was my dream horse, and it’s been a privilege to own her for the past 14 years.”

Royal Mile bred four foals for Julia – in addition to Derwent Mr Worldly Wise, the 148cm show pony Derwent Anastasia (retained) was a prolific winner, finishing fourth at HOYS as a four-year-old. Another daughter, Derwent Mayerling, has returned home as a broodmare.

Julia had the misfortune to lose another broodmare last October. Chesswood Indigo Bird had bred seven foals, with one two-year-old being retained.