Guy Williams’ former top showjumper Torinto Van De Middelstede has been put down after suffering an elbow injury in the field last week.
The 19-year-old gelding, who proved a prolific winner during a long and illustrious career with the Kent rider, had been enjoying his retirement at the Williams family home for the past couple of years.
“We brought him in from the field and he obviously wasn’t right,” Guy told H&H.
“So we had him scanned and found he’d done something to his elbow and there was nothing they could do. We still don’t really know how he did it.
“It’s been really sad — all the family have been upset about it — but he’s had a good life, we’ve looked after him and he’s enjoyed being out in the field for the past couple of years since he retired.”
Guy first teamed up with “Eric” in 2008, after a friend recommended he try him at the Belgian yard of breeder Eric Larnen, after whom the gelding is named.
“I saw him jump one cross-pole and immediately said that I’d have him,” said Guy.
Guy and Torinto proved formidable opponents against the clock, but he and the Belgian-bred son of Remondo could turn their hands to almost every type of competition — and win.
Their victories included everything from a Nations Cup in Abu Dhabi in 2010, where they jumped double clear and earned the British Showjumping accolade of “performance of the month”, to Horse of the Year Show, Antwerp and Olympia.
Guy also credits Torinto as the horse who really helped to kick-start his international career.
“One of his best moments was winning the five-star grand prix in Mechelen [in 2009] — in fact he won two grands prix there — in front of his owners,” said Guy, who is now based near Deauville in France. “But he won anything and everything — there aren’t many places in the world that he didn’t win!”