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Julian Pritchard, Britain’s most successful point-to-point rider, has been forced to quit through injury.

Herefordshire-based Pritchard, 40, who won the 1999 Horse & Hound Cup at Stratford on the mare Grimley Gale, rode 386 winners between the flags and 34 under Rules. He broke the top of his right leg where it enters the hip joint during a race in May, when steadily closing in on his aim to reach the 400 mark.

Last week he said: “I’ve been advised by specialists that it’s time to stop. I wouldn’t have been able to ride next season in any case, and at my time of life there was no way back.

“I’m glad the doctors have made the decision for me, but I’m gutted because I’ve been forced to stop, rather than doing so at a time of my choice. I have never gone out just to ride the safe ones, and didn’t want to come back and worry about the next fall.

“It’s a shame I didn’t get to 400, but I’ve been lucky over the years to have the support of a lot of people. It’s been good fun.”