National Hunt racing in Ireland has been dealt a significant blow this afternoon after the Gigginstown House stud, owned by Michael O'Leary, announced he will be winding down the operation over the coming five years.
While they have insisted they remain committed to their current horses in training, they will not be purchasing any more young horses.
Eddie O'Leary, the operation's racing manager, explained the decision to the Irish Field.
Michael is a big family man and his children are now growing up and, given his very extensive work commitments, he now wants to spend more time with his wife and family.
As a result we are not going to be buying any more stores or young horses. We've just had the best season we have ever had in Ireland in terms of winners and it's been an amazing year, capped by Tiger Roll winning the Grand National for the second time last month.
Michael O'Leary also spoke to the publication, and maintained he would retain his interest in the industry for five years.
We wish to sincerely thank all our trainers and their teams for the enormous success we've enjoyed over the past decade but, as my children are growing into teenagers I am spending more and more of my time at their activities and I have less and less time for National Hunt racing, a situation that will continue for the foreseeable future.
I hope that by running down our string over an extended four or five-year period it will give our trainers ample time to replace our horses without disruption.
Alongside JP McManus, Michael O'Leary is the biggest owner in the sport, investing millions every year. In this year's renewal of the Irish Grand Natioanl, there were 12 runners in the famous maroon and white Gigginstown silks.
Among the horses to have been owned by the operation are two-time Grand National winner Tiger Roll, Cheltenham Gold Cup winners War Of Attrition and Don Cossack, and renowned mare Apple's Jade.