'It's time to drop the curtain' - Punchestown regular Enniskillen retired at 16
There has not been a Punchestown festival in the last decade without an appearance from course stalwart Enniskillen, but the popular veteran has appeared at his favourite track for the final time, with connections announcing his retirement at the age of 16.
The Peter Maher-trained mainstay was seen in action twice at last week's meeting – slipping up on the first occasion before finishing a well-held fourth in the hunter chase for the Bishopscourt Cup – and those efforts took his number of Punchestown festival appearances to a remarkable 17.
Enniskillen was by no means the most talented horse to ever grace the five-day extravaganza, but the Punchestown regular gained the admiration of plenty through his regular sightings in banks and farmers races.
The track – located just over ten kilometres from his stable door – was the scene of his five career successes having competed there on 38 occasions.
"He's been part of the furniture and a much-loved member of the yard since arriving at our gates 13 years ago," said Maher.
"He might not have been the best horse but he wore his heart on his sleeve and always gave you value for money."
The trainer added: "It's a shame he didn't get his final run in front of a packed house at Punchestown this week because he had a great local following.
"He's home safe and well after his 17th festival run and he still looks a picture. As always, he even picked up a bit of prize-money but at 16 it's time to drop the curtain on the Enniskillen stage!"
Enniskillen's finest festival moment came when winning the 2017 Kildare Hunt Club Fr Sean Breen Memorial Chase under Jamie Codd and he is to spend his retirement with long-time ally Kirsty McCann.
Owner Albert Weld said: "It's a sad day for us but we're delighted he's retired in one piece and he'll now enjoy a long and happy retirement after years of consistent performances, giving us so many thrills along the way.
"Enniskillen is a credit to Peter and all the team caring for him to have enjoyed such longevity throughout his career."
Enniskillen's Punchestown record in numbers
110.6 miles raced
38 course starts
35 times he jumped Ruby's Double
22 top-five finishes
17 festival appearances
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