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New Zealand equestrian circles are mourning the loss of one of the nation's best ever event horses.

Ready Teddy, the plucky little chestnut who carried Blyth Tait to gold at both Olympic and World Games level, died yesterday of complications from colic.

Ready Teddy was discovered by Tait on the local Northland equestrian scene who knew immediatly the chesnut gelding was a talented horse.

Sadly, Tait, who recently announced his comeback, was in the United Kingdom when the 23-year-old horse died.

The news of his death quickly spread the globe and messages of condolences have been flooding in from all over the world.


"He was certainly a very special horse," Tait said.

"He was a pretty important part of my career and a great favourite. He had plenty of character, was capable and very successful."

Ready Teddy is believed to be the only horse to have ever won individual gold at both the Olympic Games (1996) and World Equestrian Games (1998). He also won at Burghley (2000).

His Olympic win made even more special because the horse was just eight years old at the time  very young to be winning at that level.

"He was always so keen and enthusiastic and meant an awful lot to me. He probably had more stamps in his passport than most people," Tait said.

He had seven good years of retirement and was never ill or lame.

Ready Teddy has been buried at Tait's Karaka property.