Kanselier, Ellen Whitaker’s speed horse, could be retired immediately after this year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

The 18-year-old horse will jump his last ever HOYS class on Sunday (10 October).

Kanselier is one of Ellen’s best-known horses, having hit the spotlight when the pair qualified for Olympia when Ellen was just 16 years old.

His last ever HOYS class — and possibly his last ever championship show — will be the Speed Horse of the Year category on Sunday.

Kanselier has suffered damaged ligaments in one of his legs. Vets will then decide whether he should be retired immediately or compete at Olympia in December.

Yesterday (Thursday 7 October) Ellen triumphed in all three international showjumping classes — including the Xerox Special Events Services Cup on Kanselier.

Kanselier has twice won Speed Horse of the Year at HOYS, including last year, as well as numerous other speed classes and grands prix around the world.

Ellen said: “Kanselier has always been such a gentleman and I am really, really sad to see him retire. He has had a fantastic career and has been incredibly loyal to me. We really know and understand each other well and I’m going to miss him loads.”

Ellen’s father Steven Whitaker added: “Kanselier is one of the most prolific horses you will ever come across. There has never been a speed horse that has lasted as long as Kanselier has.”

“He is 18 but he looks and behaves like a nine-year-old. You could carry on with him for another year but we don’t want anything to happen to him, so we would rather retire him now than have something happen to him in the ring.”