Desert Orchid, the well-known, much-loved steeplechaser, has died. During his 10-year long career he won 34 races in total, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase a record four times.

Former trainer David Elsworth said that Dessie died peacefully in his stable on Monday. Elsworth added: “There was no stress, he departed from this world with dignity and no fuss.

“He did his dying in the same individual way that he did his living. It was time to go.

“Dessie had not been well for the past week and was losing his co-ordination. He was 27 years old and we had been involved with this wonderful horse for quarter of a century both in his racing days and retirement.

“Everybody will miss him and our sympathy goes to his adoring public and fan club that never ceased to take opportunities to see him at his public appearances.”

Click here to see our sister site Countrylife.co.uk’s pictorial tribute to Dessie.