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‘The first time I saw him he took my breath away’: heartbreak after loss of top pony

Welsh section B gelding Colby Silver Sprite (Toby) has died aged 10.

Following a minor hock injury in the paddock, he had a devastating reaction to anti-inflammatory medication.

The palomino was a big winner under saddle with producer Sam Roberts, winning at the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), standing champion at the Hickstead Derby meeting, qualifying and being placed at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and taking best of breed at Olympia. He was also successful in junior ridden ranks, qualifying for HOYS with Chloe Lemieux.

After Olympia in December he was sold to Sharon Wilson and Jenny Vaux for Sharon’s daughter Hannah.

Sam brought Toby from his breeder, Gemma Trevenna, from Cornwall two and a half years ago.

“I had followed him closely,” explained Sam. “The first time I saw him he took my breath away. It took three years of me watching him in awe — and stalking Gemma — to finally get her to sell him to me.”

More of Toby’s career highlights included a second at the RIHS, two seconds at HOYS and a third overall at Olympia. He was champion at Lincoln and Cheshire county shows, won at Royal Windsor twice and took supreme at the British Show Pony Society Heritage championships. He also netted the supreme at the National Pony Society dressage championships and competed regularly in affiliated British Dressage competitions, scoring over 70 percent.

“He was such a gorgeous pony,” said Sam. “He gave a feel like no other; he was like riding a trampoline, so bouncy and powerful with natural cadence and athleticism.

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“He was big-moving and big-hearted, and always had a smile on his face. He’d follow you anywhere for a Polo. It’s just heartbreaking. I think he was just coming to his best.”

“Toby was the most wonderful pony inside and out, and the short time he was with us he completely stole all of our hearts,” added Sharon. “Hannah and I nursed him throughout and were constantly by his side, we are all totally devastated.”

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