File photo: Ruby Walsh
The world of racing was taken by surprise yesterday when Kildare jockey Ruby Walsh announced his retirement after winning the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Since his announcement tributes have been pouring in for the Kill native.
Trainer Willie Mullins, said it was out of the blue for him and described it as a "great way to go".
He told the Racing Post "I thought to myself - an end of an era, what a career he had, what a partnership we had, and he had some partnership with Pauls Nichols as well."
Here are some of the reactions on social media to the retirement of one of Ireland's greatest sporting stars.
Was struggling to get jockeys to ride Moscow Express at the end of his novice season, his jumping was so bad. Got 20 yr old @Ruby_Walsh on him & 4 straight wins ensued including Galway Plate. Best horseman you’ll ever see on the track - happy retirement Ruby— Frances Crowley (@francescrowley) May 1, 2019
Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh - "the steeplechaser of a lifetime" ridden by one of the jockeys of a lifetime.— Racing TV (@RacingTV) May 1, 2019
Happy retirement, Ruby. pic.twitter.com/xi6uXbCu8L
Racing legend Sir AP McCoy has described Ruby Walsh as the "greatest jump jockey of all time".— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 2, 2019
He announced his retirement on Wednesday after winning the Punchestown Gold Cup on Kemboy.
More ➡ https://t.co/p3R3Lb4Ajj pic.twitter.com/97HqR3Q8Nv
Momentous day in th history of our sport. Ruby Walsh was the best jump jockey I’ve seen. Was an honour to share the weigh room with & a privilege to then document his feats as a hack. He put our backs to the wall tonight but here’s my attempt at a tribute. https://t.co/7I0Q0snqYM— Richard Forristal (@R_Forristal) May 1, 2019
Congratulations to my great friend @Ruby_Walsh on an amazing career. He was like Lionel Messi on a horse. What he had is uncoachable unteachable just better than everyone else.— AP McCoy (@AP_McCoy) May 1, 2019
And so ends one of the most illustrious careers National Hunt racing has ever seen after winning the @Coral Punchestown Gold Cup @punchestownrace.— Horse Racing Ireland (@GoRacing) May 1, 2019
Take a bow @Ruby_Walsh, one of the greatest of all time! pic.twitter.com/vFJFOrZVld
Emotional scenes at Punchestown as the legendary Ruby Walsh retires pic.twitter.com/sIVo7ngqq4— David Coughlan (@canalend) May 1, 2019