A former four-star eventer has died due to a field accident.
Deltry Connoisseur, known at home as Nano, was put down on 10 October aged 26.
The gelding had been bred in Australia by Ron Delforce from Deltry Lodge Stud and was produced by Matt Ryan up to three-star level.
He then completed Badminton, Burghley and competed for Italy at the World Equestrian Games under Giovanni Menchi.
Nano was taken on by Sorrel in 2004 — after she spotted an advert in H&H.
“He was galloping around a huge field with his buddies that were turned out with him. He very sadly fell and broke his leg and pelvis,” his owner Sorrel Porteous told H&H.
“He was my first event horse. He took me from my first event to my first international. I was just somebody who dreamed of eventing one day.
“We only had one blip in cross-country in six years. But he hated dressage with a passion and I once ended up in somebody else’s dressage arena.
“He was as brave as a lion and taught me everything.”
Nano was retired in 2009 and lived at home with Sorrel.
“I was his last event rider and he retired with me. We both needed each other and it was the perfect story. I will miss him every day,” she added.
“Shortly after losing my horse in an accident I was reading through the horses for sale in H&H and for some reason his advert jumped out at me. I wasn’t looking for a horse and I hadn’t evented before apart from once many years previously.
“The advertiser was Didi Verdina. She explained that Nano needed a special home as he could be a little tricky on the flat and needed a sympathetic rider.
“She loved him and wanted him to go to a five-star home. He was owned by Giovanni, but now Nano was a little older with a settled tendon injury, their hope was to find him somebody who would want to do a lot less but wouldn’t mind him being a little quirky. When I tried him I loved him.”
The pair had training with William Miflin and began to compete. She then bought the horse from Giovanni, with the promise she’d give him a home for life.
Their first event was Tweseldown and then the pair were well on their way.
The horse was quite the character. As well as being a big fan of jam doughnuts, he reared every time Sorrel brought him in.
“If he was plaited then I couldn’t catch him,” she added. “I made the huge mistake of turning him out plaited the night before our first three-day so that he could get some time outside. I went out to catch him at 4am and it took me three hours. We were so late for the trot up. I also learnt not to wear heels at the trot-up. Even at 20 he still reared and thought the trot-up was very exciting and used to drag me along behind him.
“Thanks to him, I am involved in a sport that I love and I have met so many amazing people. He looked after me every day in so many ways and he taught me everything. I am so grateful to have had such an amazing opportunity and so many adventures.”