Former Olympia mountain and moorland ridden supreme champion Fly The Last Flute (William) has been put down suddenly age 15.
The prolific Connemara gelding, bred by Elaine Tomlinson, was owned and ridden by Sandra Burton and her daughter Emily.
William scooped the coveted Olympia accolade on his debut in 2013 with Sandra at the helm. The then eight-year-old, by Cocum Camelot out Sydserff Flute, had qualified at the final opportunity of the season after standing champion at Countryside Live.
“I went to Olympia just hoping he’d cope with the atmosphere,” reminicised Sandra, who had bought William — a relation to her former Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) winning Connemara Lintavon Ciro — just the year before. He led the 40-strong field after the ride section of the championship with two 45/50 marks.
William’s impressive tally included seven HOYS tickets in the open Connemara class. In 2015, he placed second at the final.
His last season in the show ring was in 2018 when he qualifed for the HOYS junior ridden final with Matthew Procter. William lived out his days with the Burtons at their base in Wigan.
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“He was always such a character and loved attention,” added Sandra. “He was still reguarly ridden at home and acted as the babysitter to the young ponies. We adored him and he will be dearly missed.”
Before he commenced his ridden career as a gelding William also sired some successful progeny, including 2018 143cm M&M working hunter pony of the year Woodbank Smokey Sam.
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