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Ben Maher’s ride Tackeray has been sold to a young Texan showjumper.

The sale was made while Ben was at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida.

But because of the way top horses are bought and sold in the US neither Ben, nor Tackeray’s former owners Quainton Stud, know the name of the rider.

Emma Phillips of the stud told H&H: “It’s all done through agents and trainers, so no we don’t know who has bought him and probably won’t until they bring him out.

We had been looking to sell him. He is 12 now and we have a number of good up-and-coming horses – we need to keep the wheels turning.”

And Ben tweeted today: “Although I will miss him as part of my string, I am sure he will have a great life with his new owners and I wish them the best of luck.”

Ben took over the ride last summer from Billy Twomey and before that the stallion was ridden by Michael and William Whitaker.

In 2009, while with Michael, Tackeray tested positive for the female hormone altrenogest and the rider was banned from competition for four months and fined by the International Equestrian Federation.

The inadvertent doping was blamed on a mix up of feeds at La Baule, with Tackeray receiving a feed laced with Regu-mate, meant for one of the rider’s mares.