The “phenomenal” show cob Tellytubbs, who scored successes at Hickstead, Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and Royal Windsor, has been put down at the age of 24.
Owned throughout his life by Paulette Cooper, the cob suffered a sudden bout of colic in the field at home.
“He was just coming up 25 this year and he looked so well — the day before he’d been bucking and flying round,” said Paulette.
“He’s left a big hole — he was a legend to us and he was my friend, I used to talk to him like a person.”
The bay gelding, by the Hancocks’ showjumping stallion Secret Rumour, was bought by Paulette as a just-backed three-year-old. He took his first major win in 1999 at the age of five in Search for a Star, ridden by Paulette’s daughter, but he was later partnered by Simon Reynolds for many major accolades.
“When I bought him my dad was really poorly and I just happened to spot him advertised — I wasn’t looking for another horse but something about him just attracted me,” Paulette said. “Verna Hancock said to me that he was a bit quirky and not the easiest to break but that I’d either take him to the top or sell him for a lot of money.”
The horse’s successes included champion cob at Three Counties three years in a row, as well a string of other major wins. He was also an H&H cover star after Royal Windsor in 2002.
“There were so many highlights with him,” said Paulette. “I remember when he took champion at Hickstead, his gallop round the arena gave me goosebumps.
“He also got a standing ovation for his gallop at the North of England. I don’t think there was another cob with a ride as good as him — you’ve never sat on anything like it.
“Robert Walker once said to me after he rode him at Hickstead ‘he’s another Superted’.”
Tellytubbs retired from major competition at the age of 13, contesting some working cob classes “for a bit of fun”.
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“I took him to do a bit of cubbing as well,” said Paulette. “He was a very clever little horse, with almost too much brain. He knew what you wanted him to do before you asked and he was nobody’s fool.”
Paulette added that Tellytubbs has been buried.
“I know his beginning and I know his end — he was one horse who was never going anywhere,” she said.
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