One of the most successful ridden Welsh D geldings of the present time, who was killed in a tragic road accident has been described by his owner and breeder as the “horse of a lifetime”.

Menai Cosmpolitian — a 13-year-old bay who stood just over 16hh — died while  travelling  home from Pembrokeshire County Show on 16 August, when the lorry came off the road on a narrow bridge. That day, Cosmopolitan and his rider Richard Jones had been crowned overall ridden Welsh champions at the show.

“He (Cosmopolitan) was a lovely colt foal,” said his owner and breeder Peter Jones of the renowned Menai stud. “We had already retained some stallions, so rather than sell him, we had him gelded at three months, realising his potential as a ridden pony.”

“Destined to make 15hh, or just under, he kept growing until he was seven or even eight, ending up at just over 16hh when he obtained his first Joint Measuring Board [height] certificate.

“Several prominent riders had been to see him as a youngster, but I don’t think they appreciated what had to offer as it took him a long time to mature into the magnificent specimen he became.”

When he was 16, Peter’s son Richard took Cosmopolitan on and under the guidance of his instructor Sue Thomas, the pair quickly made a name for themselves on the ridden circuit.

Peter said: “He became ‘Mr Consistent’ . He qualified for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) for the first time in 2015 at the Royal Welsh — of all places — where he was overall ridden champion. He since qualified three times and it was with immense pride that both Menai Cosmopolitan and Menai Cardi Llwyd, both sons of Menai Cosmos and ridden by the two brothers Richard and Thomas, had qualified for and were ridden at the 2017 final.

“He had qualified again this year, after winning at Northleach Welsh Pony and Cob show. He was a larger than life character who thrived on attention. He had his own high security box at Menai as he was the Houdini that could get himself out of anywhere.

“He had become the gentle giant who endeared himself to so many people.”

Peter said the accident occurred as the lorry and a car were approaching the bridge at the same time. Richard pulled over as far as he could but the lorry wheels caught on the bridge wall and it toppled.

“ By the time the lorry had been recovered, Cosmo had died,” he added

Richard’s Facebook tribute to Cosmopolitan described him as a his “best friend” and a “big boy who gave it his all”.

Richard also said: “From a rather sharp eight-year-old, he became the go-to company horse for taking a sharp youngster out on hack, and that he enjoyed.”

It is safe to say the show scene has lost a true legend.

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