The late chaser Many Clouds has been named jumps horse of the year in a landslide victory described as “humbling” by trainer Oliver Sherwood.
The 2015 Grand National winner beat competition including Gold Cup victor Sizing John and this year’s National winner One for Arthur to take the title, with 65% of the public vote.
The news was announced to packed stands at Sandown on 29 April.
“It’s very humbling and an incredible honour, for the horse, the owner [Trevor Hemmings], the jockey and all my staff,” Oliver told H&H.
“I think Many Clouds captured the public’s imagination for what he did, and going out the way he did; doing something he loved, at the top of his game.”
The 10-year-old gelding collapsed moments after he narrowly beat Thistlecrack to win his second Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on 28 January. Despite immediate veterinary attention, he died shortly afterwards.
“He will be remembered for the rest of my life,” Oliver added. “He took me to places I hadn’t been before, certainly winning the National.
“He’s sorely missed but it happens to us all, equine and human.”
Many Clouds, who had also taken the title in 2015, won 12 races from 27 starts during his National Hunt career, including the Gold Cup trial in 2015 and the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2014, collecting winnings of more than £800,000.
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A post-mortem examination confirmed his death was caused by a pulmonary haemorrhage and that “no significant underlying health issues” were found.
More than 1,000 people wrote letters and emails to the Sherwoods after the death of Many Clouds, who Oliver described as a “horse of a lifetime”.