RIP Toytown: why he holds such a special place in our hearts

  • Following the sad news that Zara Tindall has said her final farewell to her marvellous equine partner Toytown, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane to look back at some of his career highlights — and remind ourselves why he was such a legend of the eventing world.

    Toytown’s career in pictures

    Retiring at Gatcombe Horse Trials, 2011

    Gatcombe 07 08 2011

    Gatcombe 07 08 2011

    Zara officially retired Toytown in a parade at Gatcombe Horse Trials in 2011 when the gelding was 18 years old.

    “Toytown is my horse of a lifetime and he has given me more than I could ever have dreamed of. It seemed fitting to give him a proper retirement ceremony at home, at Gatcombe Park,” she said at the time.

    Watch our archive video marking Toytown’s retirement…

    Blenheim Palace Horse Trials, 2015

    Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials 20 09 2015
    Zara and Toytown in great form as they led the ‘parade of champions’ at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials.

    Cheltenham racecourse, 2012

    The pair carried the Olympic torch when the relay arrived at Cheltenham racecourse, Gloucestershire ahead of the London 2012 Games.

    Continued below…

    European eventing championships, Italy, 2007

    europeans 2007
    Zara and Toytown were part of the gold medal-winning European eventing championship team in Pratoni. The pair were in contention for an individual medal, but problems in the showjumping dropped them to sixth.

    World Equestrian Games, Aachen, 2006

    World equestrian Games 2006 Aachen
    Zara and Toytown clinched the individual gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, as well as the team silver.

    European eventing championships, Blenheim, 2005

    Zara Phillips on Toytown Blenheim 05

    Blenheim europeans 2005
    On her senior team debut at the European championships at Blenheim, Zara took the individual and team gold medals with Toytown.

    Burghley Horse Trials, 2003

    Burghley 2003

    Zara proved she was a force to be reckoned with at senior level by finishing second at Burghley in 2003 with Toytown. She led overnight but a single fence down in the showjumping let Pippa Funnell win and claim the Rolex Grand Slam. The previous year Zara and Toytown won the under-25 championships at Bramham.

    At home, Gloucestershire

    Zara Phillips at home with Toytown 2005 October 17
    The towering Toytown relaxes at home with Zara at Gatcombe Park.

    Don’t miss H&H’s full tribute to this special horse, on sale Thursday 6 July

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