He’ll have an honourable retirement,” said trainer Paul Nicholls about popular hurdler Big Buck’s yesterday (Thursday 13 March).

The record-breaking staying hurdler, who has won the World Hurdle a record 4-times, was retired after this year’s race in which he finished 5th.

This horse has been a legend and we don’t want him to get hurt or something like that so we are going to end on a good note,” said Paul.

“He is an amazing horse to have been involved in. He will be well looked after and he deserves to retire.”

Paul added he expected the horse would continue to be looked after by his long-time groom Rose Loxton.

On speaking to H&H for the Big Buck’s Stripped Bare feature earlier this month (6 March issue) Paul said he thought the horse could excel in any discipline, except dressage as he has “a moderate trot, to be polite”.

The 11-year-old had been unbeaten in 18 starts before picking up a tendon injury in December 2012. After more than a year off he returned to the track in January to finish 3rd in the Cleeve Hurdle.

After Nicholls’ announcement, the popular gelding did a couple of laps of the paddock, parading for fans.

Owner Andy Stewart added: “The public reaction has been very flattering. I received 22 Christmas cards, while Big Buck’s received 174, a reflection of why the horse is a lot more important than I am.”

More about Big Buck’s

Six-time Badminton winner Lucinda Green was treated to a ride up the gallops on board National Hunt star Big Buck’s as part of Horse & Hound’s exclusive ‘Lucinda Rides’ feature.

Watch our exclusive video

Since his retirement, Big Buck’s has enjoyed being busy in the hunting field, alongside former fellow representative of Paul Nicholls Ditchett racing yard, Denman,

Find out how the pair are getting on