Cheltenham Gold Cup winner dies following field accident: ‘He was more than a horse, part of the family’

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  • The hugely popular Cheltenham Gold Cup and Hennessy winner Bobs Worth has died aged 17 following a freak field accident.

    Tributes have poured in for the three-time Festival winner, who was “part of the family” in his retirement home with the Vigors family at Hillwood Stud.

    Bobs Worth, trained by Nicky Henderson for the Not Afraid Partnership, won 11 of his 22 starts during his stellar career including seven Graded races. He was partnered by Barry Geraghty on the majority of his runs.

    His six-length Gold Cup triumph in 2013 capped his hat-trick of Cheltenham Festival victories. The Irish-bred son of Bob Back opened his Grade One and Festival account with success in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2011, followed up with an RSA Chase victory in 2012 and the Gold Cup in 2013. His other major titles included the 2012 Hennessy (now known as the Ladbrokes Trophy) and the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in 2013.

    “It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Bobs Worth has suffered a freak accident in the field and has passed away,” said a statement from Hillwood Stud, where he has lived since his retirement from racing in 2016.

    “He was more than a horse to us, part of the family and will leave a huge void in our lives. RIP our friend and thank you for the amazing memories.”

    The family shared frequent updates of the gelding enjoying his retirement, following hounds, accompanying their two sons on hacks and acting as a gentle friend and companion to horses – and humans – at the stud.

    Barry, who also sold Bobs Worth as a four-year-old to Nicky, said it was “so sad” to hear of the horse’s passing.

    “He was loved and adored by anyone who was ever involved with him since we had him as a youngster to his time at Seven Barrows and in his retirement with Charlie and Tracy Vigors and their boys. He was a real star,” he said.

    Nicky also paid tribute to the “legend”, who was “having the most wonderful retirement”.

    “It’s tragic news, it really is,” Nicky told Sky Sport Racing. “You can call a lot of things legends, but Bob was one of them. He is a fellow we will never forget.”

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