Three-time Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours is retired

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Sun 9 Dec 2018

Three-time Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours has been retired, trainer Nicky Henderson announced on Sunday afternoon.

The 11-year-old, owned by JP McManus, was a hugely popular character at Seven Barrows and also developed a great following among jump fans – not least for what became almost annual near-misses at the Cheltenham Festival.

“It is with great sadness that I have to announce we have decided to retire dear old My Tent Or Yours,” Henderson said in his blog for Unibet.

 My Tent Or Yours finished runner-up at the Cheltenham Festival on four occasions
My Tent Or Yours finished runner-up at the Cheltenham Festival on four occasions

“He has been a really special friend to all of us here at Seven Barrows, and Corky absolutely adored him but his old joints were starting to get a little bit rickety and when he’s galloped around for so many years like he has, the wear and tear starts to show so he deserves an honourable retirement.

“Luckily nobody retires horses better than JP and he can now join all his old friends like Binocular and the rest of the pensioners at Martinstown where he will be looked after like nothing else on earth – of which he deserves every bit of it.”

My Tent Or Yours finished a half-length runner-up to Champagne Fever in the 2013 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and a year later was beaten a neck by Jezki in the Champion Hurdle.

He missed the 2015 Festival because of injury but beat all bar Annie Power in the 2016 Champion Hurdle after an absence of almost two years. Twelve months later he chased home Buveur D’Air.

My Tent Or Yours finally got the Cheltenham win he deserved last season

It seemed he was destined never to win at Cheltenham but he put that right in glorious fashion, a year ago, when edging home from The New One in a thrilling International Hurdle. He had finished runner-up to the same horse in the previous year’s renewal.

“I think we brought him for about £12,000 at Doncaster Sales and the journey has been fun the whole way through, although AP McCoy may disagree because he used to pull his arms out in his races,” Henderson said.

“People have said he is the best horse never to have won a Champion Hurdle and I think they’re right – he was second in three and second in a Supreme which must be a record itself to finish placed in four Grade Ones at consecutive Cheltenham Festivals.

“As well as that he won a Christmas Hurdle and a Fighting Fifth but he really had his day in the sun when winning the Unibet International Hurdle last December. That was a fantastic performance and the appreciation he received from the crowd was quite remarkable and it was a day I’ll never forget.”

So close, yet so far in the 2013 Supreme Novices' Hurdle

In total, My Tent Or Yours won nine of his 25 races. He was placed on 14 other occasions and never finished worse than fourth.

Henderson never considered running him over fences because of his free-going nature.

“If he’d had brakes he’d have been a fantastic chaser but you just couldn’t do it with him because he was so strong but he was a smashing fellow and was with us for seven years,” Henderson said.

“Everybody loved him it now is the time to draw stumps. He had a good innings, retires in one piece, and I have no doubt he’ll enjoy a long a happy future at Martinstown.

He signed off his blog by saying: “Thanks for all the great times, Tent, you’ll be sadly missed.”

And so say all of us.

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