Geoff Billington’s “horse of a lifetime” It’s Otto was put to sleep yesterday, aged 23.

The dark bay Dutch-bred gelding, partnered Geoff to two Olympic Games, most recently at Sydney in 2000 and at Atlanta in 1996, where they took individual sixth place.

He also added European (1997 in Mannheim) and World (1998 in Rome) Team Bronze medals to his list of career highlights, along with 15 British Nations Cup team appearances. It’s Otto amassed over £650,000 winnings during his career.

It’s Otto was voted the Horse & Hound “Outstanding Horse of 1996”, won a Spillers Award in 1997 and received the BSJA British Team Lifetime Award in 2001.

He retired from competition in 2002 but continued to appear with Geoff around the country in his retirement.

Speaking from Dublin today, Geoff said: “It’s so sad, he was the best horse I have ever had, he truly was the horse of a lifetime. I look forward to winning the Aga Khan in Dublin in his memory.”