Dressage rider Carl Hester has set a first by being sponsored by a group of barristers.

A syndicate of 15 barristers from commercial set Brick Court Chambers – including head of chambers Christopher Clarke QC – has agreed to sponsor the top British dressage rider in what is believed to be the first Bar sponsorship of this kind.

Two of Hester's best horses have been renamed Legal Democrat and Legal Jaguar as part of the deal.

The syndicate said it was keen to promote a sport in which Britain has the potential to excel at international level but where lack of financial support is holding back the most talented .

Legal Democrat recently appeared under his new name in an international dressage competition, where he finished fourth out of 40.

William Wood, who came up with the sponsorship idea, said: “Barristers have formed syndicates to run race horses. I thought it would be more constructive to arrange a syndicate to sponsor a sport which needs support.”