Three-time Grand National-winning owner Trevor Hemmings has announced he is scaling down the size of his string after 36 years in the sport.
Hemmings, 85, is one of National Hunt racing’s most successful owners, with his yellow, green and white colours a familiar sight on the racecourse.
However, he has decided to reduce the number of horses he has in training- and around 50 will be sold at the Goffs UK September Sale.
The impact of Covid-19 on his personal life and business interests has influenced his decision.
“The effect of Covid-19 is part of it. It’s a big reduction, but he’s still going to be involved,” said his racing manager, Michael Meagher.
“He’s a bit locked up in the Isle of Man now. It’s obviously disappointing he can’t leave the island and go racing.
“We’re not certain about which trainers Mr Hemmings will continue to employ as yet.”
As well as winning the National with Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds in 2015, Hemmings has lifted many other major jumps races.
His Cheltenham Festival account includes three wins for Albertas Run, in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase in 2008 and the Ryanair Chase in 2010 and 2011, while Trabolgan captured the SunAlliance and the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2005.
Hemmings had 22 trainers on his roster last season, including Nicky Henderson, Oliver Sherwood, Paul Nicholls, Philip Hobbs, Sue Smith, Donald McCain and Jonjo O’Neill.
In the last five seasons, he has had 106 winners and amassed nearly £1.8 million in prize-money.
Many Clouds’ trainer Oliver Sherwood said: “It’s a shame, but it’s totally understandable. He’s not completely getting out. He’s still going to have 25 or so horses.
“Bar JP McManus in jumping, there’s no bigger man in the game with the amount of horses – but as he quite rightly said, he’s 85, he has his health issues and he can’t get off the Isle of Man.
“Everybody has to thank him a lot for what he has put into the game.
“I wouldn’t want to be him to pick and choose from his unraced horses. We’re keeping two horses, which is good. I owe him everything for sending Many Clouds. I’ve been training for him for 10 or 12 years now, and had a lot of success.”
McCain, who trained Ballabriggs to win the National, said: “Mr Hemmings has been very good to me since dad (Ginger McCain) finished and I started training. He’s had horses with me and hopefully he will continue to have horses with me.
“It’s very sad, but it’s understandable. Obviously he’s not disappearing – but his runners, especially in the north of England, are going to be sadly missed. They are a standing dish.”