Former Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby has been retired.
The 10-year-old gelding, trained by Harry Fry, sustained a tendon injury after his win in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on 21 November.
Harry broke the news about his “horse of a lifetime” on his website on 27 November.
“There were quite a few tears shed by our staff in the tack room this morning when I told them the news,” he said.
“No wonder, because he is a much loved character and a bit of an institution here at Seaborough.”
Rock On Ruby’s owners — The Festival Goers syndicate — have given the horse to Harry’s wife Ciara.
“She will ensure that he remains the elder statesman of the yard for the rest of his life,” he added.
“If he was a younger horse we might have considered treating the injury and bringing him back a year or more later.
“But he would be almost 12 by then, he does not owe us anything and it would not be fair on a horse who has taken us all to the highest peaks of jump racing.”
The horse, by Oscar, will have a break for the rest of the season and a “good summer holiday” before coming back into work next autumn.
There are plans for him to continue leading the string, which he has done for the past six years.
Winner of the 2012 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, while in training with Paul Nicholls, Rock On Ruby has had an impressive career.
Of his 27 starts under Rules, he notched up 12 wins, eight seconds, five thirds. Only once did he finish unplaced.
Rock On Ruby was bred by the O’Dwyer family, who live in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, and was sold at Doncaster sales for £23,000 as a three-year-old.
In his final race on 27 November, he was ridden for the first time by Barry Geraghty and was one of three winners from Harry’s yard that day.
“It is quite fitting that, like a true champion, he bows out at the top of his game,” Harry added.
“What a phenomenal athlete.”