Three-time Cheltenham Festival winner Vautour has been put down after breaking his leg in a freak accident.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2014, the JLT Novices’ Chase 12 months later before running out a dominant winner of the Ryanair Chase on his return to Cheltenham last March.
“It’s been a lovely, dry day here and Vautour was out in the paddock with his usual companion Shaneshill,” Mullins said.
“One of the girls went out to feed him. There didn’t appear to be anything untoward as Shaneshill was grazing away, but Vautour was found to have broken his foreleg.
“He goes out there every day and it’s just a freak accident.
“It’s tough to take.”
Vautour won 10 of his 16 starts overall, including five Grade One races and was last seen finishing second at the Champion Chase at Punchestown in April.