British based New Zealand eventing rider Jonelle Price lost a member of her top string with the passing of The Deputy late last season.
The Deputy had a minor injury which worsened, leading to Price to make the heart-breaking decision to euthanise the horse in early September.
He was known as “Hero” at home, and was owned by Lucy Sangster, Tim and Jan Morice and Selwood.com.
The Deputy was by the Canadian Thoroughbred stallion Cult Hero out of Catania, by the Holsteiner stallion Calypso II. He was bred by James Maguire in County Wexford.
A tribute on the Price eventing website said: “His character encapsulated that stable name over the years as he became renowned for his phenomenal cross-country performances. He completed five out of his six four-star starts which saw him blitz around Badminton, Rolex and most successfully Burghley where he finished in the top 10 twice.
“We know that it’s all about the heart in the best eventers, not just ability. Hero had the biggest heart which is probably why he loved Burghley more than any other event and always went his very best there. He had fought back from the mysterious head shaking problem that affected him a few years ago and he was fit and well and heading for Burghley again in September when a minor injury turned into a major problem that there was no coming back from.
“Hero was not just Jonelle’s top horse for so many years, he was her friend and everyone at Mere Farm loved and respected him. He was a big horse for a small girl but they had a unique partnership.”