Diamond White, one of the UK’s most prolific show hunters, has died after suffering a twisted gut. He was only 12.

Diamond White, who contested heavyweight hunter classes, was jointly owned by Wendy Gibson and Jean Waldron, and based at Wendy’s yard near Exeter, Devon.

The grey gelding’s showing highlights included winning the supreme hunter championship at Royal International in 2005, and taking the overall title at the National Hunter Show at Addington — where he received a standing ovation. He also stood fourth at last year’s Horse of the Year Show.

“I’ve lost my best friend,” said Wendy, who has partnered White Diamond since 2003. “He had been jumping with Helen West and we were now planning to start working hunter classes this season. He had proved himself in both straight and ladies classes and his next step had been the workers.”

“Patrick”, as he was known at home, was taken to Western Counties Equine Clinic near Cullompton in Devon, with a twisted gut.

“The vet said he had suffered a 380 degree twist and had been an extremely rare case,” said Wendy, who was preparing Patrick for Devon County Show at the end of the week.