Three-time Cheltenham World Hurdle winner Inglis Drever has been retired.

The Graham Wylie-owned racehorse’s future had been uncertain since he sustained a hock injury in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last November.

Trainer Howard Johnson had originally hoped that Inglis Drever would be back to defend his crown at this year’s Festival, and he was entered into the race.

But today (Wednesday 21 January) Mr Johnson announced that the horse would not be returning to the track.

Lucy Forbes, Howard Johnson’s daughter and secretary, told H&H: ‘We retired him today and he will be heading up to Northumberland to live with Mr Wylie. He will be happy up there sharing a paddock with Lord Transcend.

“We tried to work him on the road on the vet’s advice but he really wasn’t happy as soon as we put the tack on him.

“Maybe after he’s had time to relax and had a few months sun on his back then he’ll feel like being ridden again but we’ll do whatever is best for him.

“The vet has given him the all clear to be ridden — his X-ray came back 100% clear — but it depends what the little character wants to do!

“Howard had already half made his mind up as he’s such a lovely horse. There are too many good horses that are run once too often and it ends in a sad way — and we couldn’t have that happen to him. He’s given us all so much and he didn’t deserve it.

“Howard will be sad when he goes though as he’s been such a great horse.”