Jane Cosham and her part shire Chunky were familiar faces in Shoreham, whether it was down on the beach, on a summer evening trotting down High Street or on a Sunday visit to Apres Chocolat in East Street where she works.
The 21-year-old horse passed away on November 27 after an old hind leg injury made it hard for him to get up any more.
Jane, 50, from Hawkins Crescent in Shoreham, said: “Together we shared an exceptional bond, a real understanding of each other. His life was one filled with love and kindness.
“A very special horse has left us, but left his mark and memory with the people of Shoreham too.
“He was an awesome companion, and he really was the love of my life.”
Jane’s husband Ian bought Chunky for her in 2000. He came to live in Shoreham in 2006 after being in Steyning for six years at Pepperscombe Farm.
Chunky, who was 17 hands high and weighed three-quarters of a ton, received his nickname for being the biggest foal local vets had seen up to that time.
He won dozens of rosettes at showings, including Goring and District Riding Club and Riding for the Disabled at Upper Beeding. Chunky and Jane did sponsored rides for charity, including an annual event at Cowdray Park in Midhurst.
A post on Facebook where Jane paid tribute to her beloved horse received more than 100 likes and comments. She said: “It has been really comforting and helpful in the healing process at such a devastating time. The comments brought a lot of support and it was so lovely to see what Chunky meant to people.”