Joe Lively won nine of his 28 races and more than £200k in prize-moneyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Popular Joe Lively put down at Cheltenham
JOE LIVELY, winner of the Grade 1 Feltham Novices' Chase in 2007, had to be put down after breaking a hind leg in the Raceodds Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The popular 12-year-old suffered the injury when hampered at a fence in front of the stands on the first circuit of the 3m2½f contest, which was won by Blazing Bailey.
Regular rider Joe Tizzard, whose father Colin trained Joe Lively, paid tribute to the Flemensfirth gelding.
Colin Tizzard: paid tributePICTURE: Martin Lynch
"He was an absolute star for us and got us on the map," he said.
"He didn't deserve that. He's the only horse I've ever got emotional about and he gave me so many fantastic rides."
Joe Lively shone at Cheltenham, recording four wins and three placed efforts from 11 starts at the track. His last victory, and perhaps his finest at Cheltenham, came in the Letherby & Christopher Chase (now the Argento) in January 2009.
Despite his liking for Cheltenham, Joe Lively never ran in the Gold Cup. A leg injury denied him that in 2009, but his legacy will forever be remembered by the Tizzards.
"He has been a big player in our lives for years," added Colin Tizzard.
"Joe came back in tears and that summed it up. We were talking the other day about what he might do next year when he retires.
"We wouldn't be here today with four runners if it wasn't for him - that's for sure. Nothing will ever replace him.
"He's been brilliant for us. That's racing for you. I don't know how to quantify it, but it happens."
Owned by Richard Dimond, Joe Lively won nine of his28 races and over £200,000 in prize-money.
He excelled in the 2007-08 season, winning seven times. The highlight coming courtesy of his two-and-a-half length success over Here's Johnny in the Feltham.