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Carl Hester’s three-times national champion Legal Democrat was put down on Wednesday, 18 July at the age of 22 following colic.

The Dutch-bred horse was 13th with Carl at the 1999 European Championships and was national champion from 1997 to 1999.

“To win that third grand prix title was so emotional,” said Carl. “The horse was a real superstar. His owner, Marcia Kelsey, paid £2,500 for him off a boat from Holland, breeding unknown, and he went on to be this amazing success story.”

Legal Democrat came to Carl after Marcia won a competition to have a lesson with him.

Carl said: “I remember looking through the entries and seeing this tiny lady on this enormous horse — and thinking, anyone that small on something that big needs all the help they can get.”