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By Leppy Pardalis

“Ooh, a carrot - what a fitting reward for my years of hard work,” said a somewhat sarcastic Olympic dressage horse earlier today.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and I know all my fellow dressage horses feel the same,” added the successful animal, who asked not to be named for fear of being deprived of a peaceful retirement and sent to a glue factory by his wealthy owner.

“An entire carrot! I am truly an equine quadruped rich beyond the dreams of my kind! What’s that you say - it seems somewhat unfair that the person who sat on their arse on my back, enjoying the view, got a nice shiny medal, while I, the one who actually did all the work, the one who danced around a ring in a way no horse could do in the wild without all the other horses in the herd laughing until they pissed themselves, got a root vegetable.

“Not at all! Nay. Or indeed Neigh. It would be churlish of me to even think such a thing. Putting your four legs through moves of a kind typically seen being performed by drunken two-legged middle-aged dads at wedding receptions is far tougher than parking your bottom in a saddle and twitching a rein now and again.

“No, my carrot is ample reward, thank you very much. I might even have it encased in resin and wear it as a souvenir pendant - a bit like a medal.

“Failing that, I might just invite the person who handed the vegetable to me to cram it right up their ringpiece, thick end first.

“Or better yet, sideways.”