Nepos Van Limbo, the exuberant skewbald gelding ridden by both John and Robert Whitaker, has died after suffering colic.

The nine-year old, owned by Mark Stubbs, won a total of £23,892 over the course of his short career and was described as “fighting fit” when colic struck on Wednesday last week.

The Whitaker family are deeply saddened by Nepos Van Limbo’s untimely death. “He was a fantastic horse, just coming into his prime and proving his ability, it’s a sad loss”, said John Whitaker.

After being ridden on Wednesday the horse was due to fly to Vienna for the CSI4* but later that day he was found to have colic symptoms and was rushed to the veterinary hospital at Liverpool University.

On Thursday he underwent colic surgery but sadly did not recover.

Nepos Van Limbo was by Limbo (Concorde) and made his British Nations Cup debut at CSIO Gijon earlier this year, where he jumped clear in the first round.