Henrietta Knight (left) leads in Best Mate after his Gold Cup victory in 2004PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Best Mate trainer Henrietta Knight retires
Knight, 65, will relinquish her licence next month, with the majority of her horses - including Somersby - expected to join her neighbour and close friend Mick Channon.
The announcement comes just seven months after her husband, former champion jockey Terry Biddlecombe, suffered a stroke and Knight feels it is the correct time to call it a day.
"I've had it in my mind for the last couple of months and I feel that I can't go on training since Terry's stroke," said Knight on Thursday morning.
She added: "Although Terry is well in himself, he finds it hard to get around and I've struggled trying to do everything myself. I'm 65 myself now and it seems the right time to announce my retirement."
Discussing her plans for the future, Knight added: "I will still be involved and will do most of the pre-training before they move on to Mick. We are both excited by the prospect and it should be an interesting venture for the two of us.
"I would also be more than happy for people to send me horses to work on their jumping. That's what I used to do and is what I enjoy. I will also continue to go racing and help Mick when needed."
Mick Channon: inheriting horsesPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Channon released a statement on his website, which read: "I've been friends with Hen and Terry for many years now and, as a near neighbour, their help has been invaluable as we frequently use their schooling grounds to prepare many of our Flat horses for the next stages of their careers.
"As Hen has stated, I will be inheriting some of the horses currently in her care and she will now become an integral figure and a part of our team at West Ilsley. It's with a sense of real anticipation and excitement that I look forward to the coming months and seasons ahead."
As well as the exploits of Best Mate, who won the last of his three Gold Cups in 2004, Knight enjoyed big-race success with the 2000 Champion Chase winner Edredon Bleu, who like Best Mate also won the King George at Kempton.
Knight added: "The highlight has to be Best Mate's third Gold Cup - that was a huge thrill. Edredon Bleu winning the Champion Chase in 2000 with AP [McCoy] was also great. We've had some wonderful days."
More recently Knight was back in the headlines with Somersby, who lifted the Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase in January and will continue with Channon next season.
Following an outpouring of tributes on Twitter, Knight tweeted: "Amazing day, so many messages and calls, it feels like we have just won a big race! Thank you all."
Get Friday's Racing Post for in-depth reaction to Henrietta Knight's retirement