Zara Phillips' beloved horse Toytown has died aged 24.
The 17-hands tall chestnut gelding who won many prestigious equestrian awards for the 36-year-old royal - who is the daughter of Princess Anne - has sadly passed away, her husband Mike Tindall has announced.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday (27.06.17), the former rugby player said: "Sad to say goodbye to the big man today, been a massive part of our lives giving us so many highs! #champ #RIPtoytown (sic)"
Zara and Toytown's riding relationship spanned almost two decades after she bought the horse when he was seven years old, and the pair have won numerous showjumping medals together.
The duo picked up gold medals in both the individual and team events at the 2005 European Eventing Championship in Blenheim, as well as scoring the individual gold medal and the team silver medal during the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Germany.
Zara was supposed to ride Toytown in both the 2004 Olympic games in Athens and the 2008 games in Beijing, but on both occasions the horse suffered an injury during training which meant they had to be pulled from the team.
Toytown retired in 2011, but made a brief appearance in 2012 when he helped Zara carry the Olympic torch during its relay when the games were held in London.
Speaking previously about Toytown's retirement, Zara said: I think it will be quite difficult. It's the end of an era. He was the horse of a lifetime for me. We grew up together, we went through the levels together, and it all just seemed to go our way.
"His movement, his character, it all combined to make the complete horse. And cross-country, he was just a machine.
"I don't think I am ever going to find another horse quite like him, but hopefully others that will be good enough to go to the same level as he did."
Toytown lived out the rest of his days at the Gatcombe estate where Zara and Mike live with their three-year-old daughter Mia, and Zara's mother Princess Anne.