“He gave me his heart and together we took on the world.”
Cabral, the 16-year-old horse who partnered Great Britain’s Natasha Baker to three gold medals at the Rio 2016 Para equestrian competition, and two golds at London 2012, has died.
Retired and having lived at the Baker family’s stables in West London, Cabral, or JP as he was known, sustained a small cut in his field which then became infected with the fatal, incurable Clostridia bacteria.
Writing on her website and Facebook page, Baker paid an emotional tribute to her “best friend.”
She said: “JP was a horse like no other, a true legend. He was discovered by fluke and I instantly knew he was 'the one'. He made my dreams come true over and over again.
“We've had the best journey together and he has given me memories I will treasure forever. I cannot thank him enough. He gave me his heart and together we took on the world.”
Together, Baker and Cabral won five Paralympic gold medals and numerous team and individual titles, as well as team gold and individual silver at the 2014 International Equestrian Federation (FEI) World Equestrian Games.
She added: “We defied the odds and he gave me absolutely everything he had. He had the kindest soul and his heart was made of gold.”