AVEBURY, the horse that partnered Marlborough-based New Zealander Andrew Nicholson to three victories at the Burghley Horse Trials and four Barbury International Trials triumphs between 2012 and 2015, has been put down.

The 16-year-old was put to sleep after a malignant tumour in his jaw, which was diagnosed several weeks ago could not be treated further.

Avebury was retired in April after a glittering eventing career having been bred by Nicholson, who eventually took over the ride in 2007.

After victory in the CCI* at Tattersalls, second in the British Novice Championships at Gatcombe and fourth in the World Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in their first season, they followed up with multiple further successes, including CCI3* and CIC3* wins at Saumur and Blenheim in 2009.

Tenth at Badminton in 2011, they added their first Barbury and Burghley triumphs in 2012.

A fourth Barbury win came in 2015, but Nicholson's career-threatening fall at Gatcombe prevented an assault on a fourth Burghley crown last year.