Popular National Hunt mare Lady Buttons has been retired from racing after connections trainer Phil Kirby found his stable star to be lame in the same leg she had suffered a tendon injury earlier in her career.

In a tweet, Kirby said: “It’s been a significant morning here at the yard and time has been called on a wonderful career. Our horse of a lifetime and the people’s favourite, Lady Buttons, has been retired.

“Keith, Jayne and all of us here would like to thank you so much for sharing her incredible racing story with us. What a legend she has been and the decision to retire her this morning was typical of her devoted owners, putting their mare first.

“A small setback meant she would have been on the sidelines until Christmas and a spring return would not have been in Buttons best interest. With a few months now to chill, her second career begins in the spring and we’re delighted she will remain with us to become a broodmare.

“We can’t wait to see her in the fields with a foal by her side… one chapter is over but the next one begins.”