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‘He was our dependable rock’: Farewell to legendary riding horse

A multi-garlanded riding horse known for his supreme victories at both the Royal International (RIHS) and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has passed away after a sudden illness.

Paul and Frances Atkinson’s Broadstone Doulton (Dolly) and his full sister Broadstone Dresden were the start of the well-known “D” line at the Norfolk-based Cullinghurst stud.

The bay gelding was produced by Robert and Sarah Walker for the duration of his career and dominated riding horse classes with Rob at the helm.

By the Hanoverian Demonstrator out of thoroughbred mare Debra Coy, Dolly was crowned supreme at the RIHS in 2006, and in 2007 he topped the supremes at both HOYS and the British Show Horse Association national championships.

“We bought Doulton from Elizabeth Walkinshaw as a foal, after we’d purchased his full sister and liked her so much,” said Paul. “He  always stood out but as youngsters do, he went through an ugly duckling stage. At around three, he started to blossom.”

After Dolly was backed by Frances, dressage rider Paul Hayler had him over winter before he went to the Walkers’ yard to begin his showing career as a five-year-old.

“It was the relationship that Rob and Sarah had with him which stood out to us,” continued Paul. “They both loved him and it was Sarah who gave him the name Dolly.”

Doulton’s destination at the top was cemented on his first two outings, as he won and took champion on both occasions, one of which was Royal Windsor.

“It was amazing to watch him take the Winston Churchill cup at Hickstead. He did three and a half years at top level and bowed out after taking supreme for the second time at the BSHA championships,” said Paul.

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“He became an outstanding horse for everything; he jumped, led out youngsters from his back and we even broke him in harness. He was our dependable rock.

“He wasn’t just a show horse,” said Frances on social media. “He was loved for his generous versatility and his amazing temperament. Best of all Dolly was the gentlest and biggest-hearted friend anyone could have wished for.”

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