Champion race horse Kauto Star has been put down after suffering a fall in a paddock.
The two-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner suffered a number of number of fractures, including one to his spine, leaving him unable to stand, according to the Racing Post.
His owner, Clive Smith said that he was “devastated” at Kauto Star’s death.
He explained: “He had been turned out in Laura's [Collett - rider] paddock, as has been done normally with him at this time for years, and he looks to have jumped something, and stumbled, we're not really sure, but he injured himself - and it became obvious it was serious.
"The vets at Valley Equine Hospital did all they could but it became increasingly apparent the injuries were too serious and that it was in the horse's interests to be put down.”
Many from the racing world tweeted their condolences, including his former trainer Paul Nicholls…
RIP my friend you were a true Legend. Once in a lifetime. pic.twitter.com/tGBsz5wfZf— Paul Nicholls (@PFNicholls) June 30, 2015
Sad news about KAUTO STAR the most complete chaser of the modern-era RIP pic.twitter.com/LpxUd867UV— AP McCoy (@AP_McCoy) June 30, 2015ADVERTISEMENT
Very sorry to hear the sad news about Kauto Star - a great horse and true champion.— David Pipe (@DavidPipeRacing) June 30, 2015
So desperately sad to learn of the wonderful Kauto Star's death. Rarely can a horse have brought so much joy to the lives of so many.— Lee Mottershead (@leemottershead) June 30, 2015
Some, however, used Kauto Star’s death to raise questions about animal welfare…
Kauto Star murder yet another reminder of animal cruelty cleverly branded as 'horse racing'. Killing innocent animals unacceptable.— Kevin Troiani (@KevinTroiani) June 30, 2015
Kauto Star has been put to sleep because the cruel bastards injured him by exploiting him for financial gain. I hate people. #KautoStar— ☭ Robbie ☭ (@is0lation_) June 30, 2015
Kauto Star being put down isn't "Terrible news for horse racing", it's terrible news for our species that we do this to animals.— Ben Thompson (@BThompson1993) June 30, 2015
Poor Kauto Star :( He'd be living happily in a nice paddock if he wasn't forced to participate in a cruel sport.— Cezbollah (@le_petit_cochon) June 30, 2015
Kauto Star had retired in 2012 after winning over £2million.
He went on to a career in dressage, in which he he was ridden by Laura Collett.
She said: 'It's an honour and a privilege to have been involved with him.”