Gandalf's glorious horse Shadowfax has died

Horse frequently appeared in TV and film

Blanco, the famous horse who played Shadowfax in the Lord of the Rings series, has died.

The majestic animal burst into shot whenever Gandalf whistled for it in the fantasy series, his brilliant white coat gleaming in the sun.

He was first seen in The Two Towers, while Return of the King gave rise to one of the film's oft-quoted lines: "Run Shadowfax, show us the meaning of haste."

Blanco was something of an equine celebrity, with hosts of TV and film credits that also include Hercules and Horse Medicine.

His owner Cynthia Royal explained on theonering.net that the horse had been suffering from "serious issues with his intestinal tract and liver," and had to be euthanized, with Royal being present for his last seconds in the stable.

"Although my heart was breaking," she explained, "as my final gift to him, I stayed strong, balanced and focused, gently repeating "Relax Blanco. Let go. Walk into the light. Relax and let go” as the Blanco I’ve known so well and loved so deeply slipped away.

"While this leg of Blanco’s journey has passed and my heart still aches, I will live in peace knowing we gave our all to aid in his recovery.

"We spared no effort or expense, even though doing so in conjunction with the on-going expenses of my own health challenges has placed an additional financial burden on my family."

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