Rich Ricci trio and former Cheltenham Festival stars Faugheen, Douvan and Benie Des Dieux were all retired on Friday evening, their owner confirmed.
The Willie Mullins trained three, who shared six Festival victories between them, stated in an exclusive interview with The Sun that the Closutton representatives had seen the last of the racecourse and would begin to enjoy life in retirement.
Ricci paid homage to his legendary, particularly to Faugheen, often dubbed “The Machine” by his merry band of loyal followers.
“Faugheen meant a lot to Susannah, our son George and me”, he said.
“He was also the favourite horse of my nephew Peter and was the impetus of his falling in love with the sport.
“Not always the most elegant at a hurdle or a fence, he was a trier and knew he was a dude.
“We have been blessed to have owned some special horses but Faugheen will always have a special place amongst them.”
The son of Germany won the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle back in 2014 before dropping back to two-miles to win the Champion Hurdle twelve months later.
Douvan, meanwhile, was an emphatic winner of both the Supreme and Arkle, while Benie Des Dieux secured the Mares’ Hurdle in 2018.
Paul Townend, who enjoyed multiple successes on the stable-star’s, paid his own tribute.
He told the Racing Post: “All three were very special for me at different times in my career because I managed to get on them to win a big Grade 1 at some point.
“I have never experienced anything like the reception Faugheen got at Leopardstown for winning the Flogas. He was special and it was the first time I saw a crowd go absolutely wild for a horse.
“We have had some great days down the years with Hurricane Fly, who always got a fantastic reception, but Ruby was usually riding him and by the time he had made his way back to the parade ring I would be back in the weighing room.
“Faugheen was special for me for that reason and the reception he got at Leopardstown showed the appreciation people had for him and what he achieved.”