Mondriaan, William Funnell’s three-times Hickstead Derby winner, will be retired from top-level competition at this year’s event.

The pair won the iconic Derby in 2006, 08 and 09 — and won almost £250,000 throughout the horse’s career.

“We’ve had such success in the Hickstead main ring and he loves it there, so this will be the perfect place to retire him,” William told H&H.

William added that he had hoped to have “one more crack at it” to win a fourth title and equal the record of Eddie Macken and Boomerang from the 1970s, but recent colic surgery had ruled out the 17-year-old. The horse’s preparations for the 2010 Derby were also hampered by colic.

Hickstead’s Lizzie Bunn added: “Mondriaan was a true Derby champion. He loved Hickstead and when he cantered into the International Arena he grew several inches. He will be remembered as one of the all-time Derby greats.”

View H&H’s Mondriaan picture gallery

For more comments from William and Mondriaan’s owner Julie Slade read tomorrow’s issue (12 May) of H&H