Sir Mark Todd announced his retirement at the Camphire International Horse Trials in Ireland, going out on a high as part of the New Zealand team to win the Nations' Cup at the event.
The FEI Rider of the 20th Century can lay claim to a haul of victories including two individual gold medals from the Olympic Games, four Badminton titles, five Burghley crowns and more.
He has competed at seven Olympic Games for New Zealand, including two where he rode in both showjumping and eventing.
"I had been thinking about it for some time," said Sir Mark, who will now turn his focus back to racing.
“This has not been an easy decision and it basically came down to when and not if I would finish. Carolyn and I discussed it at length, with thoughts of do I stay for another go at the Olympics or call it a day at the end of the year. But having made the decision on the end of the year, I then started to feel pressure at each event so decided to bring it forward to this weekend.
"Having been persuaded back into training racehorses earlier this year I also found I wanted to spend more time on that and was not as focused on eventing.
"It is not just about the competition and unless you are 110% focused and driven towards that goal, you won't succeed, and I certainly wasn't. In fairness to the owners, horses and others hoping to get on the team, this was the best thing. I have been here once before but there will be no comeback this time."
He added that while it wasn't an easy decision to make, he feels hugely relieved to have done so.
"This is not a retirement but a change of direction, one which will allow me to follow a long held passion.
There are way too many people to thank for this journey so far, and it has been an absolute honour to have been able to represent NZ on the world stage for so long and to feel the love and support back.
“I will still be involved in Team NZ in some way so it’s not a total farewell. It has been a real privilege to have been part of this team and this journey."
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here