Buddy Bunn, winner of the 2004 Hickstead Derby winner, has died.

The 21-year-old, who was owned by Hickstead founder Douglas Bunn and latterly by his son-in-law, showjumper Shane Breen, was put down yesterday (Tuesday, 14 October).

He was one of the greats. He will be remembered with love by all who had the pleasure of being involved in his career,” said a spokesman from the Bunn family.

“He was put to sleep after a long and happy retirement.”

The bay gelding spent his competitive career with William Funnell, but John Whitaker took over the ride for the 2004 Hickstead Derby as William had a groin injury.

The combination won the Derby — beating John’s niece Ellen Whitaker who was just 18 at the time in the jump-off — despite John having only sat on him for the first time the day before.

This was a long shot that paid off,” John said at the time. “When William Funnell phoned me, explained that he couldn’t ride because of his injury and asked me to take over, I certainly wasn’t expecting it. But full credit to the horse, he was really good.”