The event horse King Solomon, who took Mary King to her first Olympic silver medal in Athens, has been put down.
The 24-year-old had been suffering with lymphangitis since last year, although the condition was being managed. However, one hind leg had started to fill and Mary’s vet advised euthanising the horse before the skin started to split.
Mary said on her Facebook page that she was “so sad that dear Solly had to be put down”.
The pair had great success during their years together, although Mary didn’t expect "such a sweetheart” to ever become a four star ride.
“As a young horse he was very spooky and careful – so much so I felt he would never be a top class event horse,” she said. “It was the gradual build up of trust which enabled him to produce the wonderful results we had, as he was not naturally brave!’
As well as their Olympic medal, career highlights include winning three consecutive CCI*** events, finishing third, fourth and fifth at Burghley, and coming fourth at Badminton.
Solly was owned by Gill Robinson and after his retirement aged 16 she passed him on to Paula Lee, who gave him a second lease of life as a dressage horse.
“She looked after him beautifully giving him a wonderful retirement he so deserved,” said Mary. “Goodbye Solly and thank you.”