Kauto Star has left Ditcheat once and for all as owner Clive Smith decides to pursue a dressage career for the legendary chaser. Paul tells us the story...
"There were plenty of tears. Kauto was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much."
It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time.
It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.
And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.
Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford to have looked after him for the rest of his years.
But what upset me and my team here is when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse's future - but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had looked after him here for the past nine years.
That really upset us.
So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved - there were about six of us in the meeting - I rang up Clive, said I don't want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner's this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.
Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much.
I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse.
Good luck, old boy.
You were the best - and deserve the best.