TWO-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star has been put down, after suffering neck injuries in a fall.
The racehorse, who is widely associated with his successful pairing with Irish jockey Ruby Walsh, was 15 years old – and had been retired from professional racing for three years.
The injuries to the gelding’s neck and pelvis put Kauto Star’s spinal cord at risk – and the decision was made that it was in his best interests to put him to sleep yesterday.
His most current rider, Laura Collett, confirmed the news on Twitter.
“Devastated to announce Kauto Star sustained injury in the field, with his best interest at heart a decision was made to put him to sleep,” she wrote.
Ms Collett had been Kauto’s primary rider since his retirement from racing.
Together, the pair took pair in dressage events and Kauto made an appearance at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, where he was paraded.
Kauto Star will be best remembered in Ireland and further afield for his two Cheltenham Gold Cup wins – in 2007 and 2009 – with Co. Kildare rider Ruby Walsh.
Over the course of his career, Kauto was guided to 17 of his 23 wins by Walsh. Kauto's winnings over his nine-year career totalled over £2.3million.
Walsh paid tribute to the horse on his retirement from racing in 2012.
“He's the horse of my lifetime. I'm very lucky to be the one who got to ride him,” he said.
“He was an amazing horse to ride and an amazing horse to be part of and I loved every minute of riding him.”