(CNN)In a shock to the world of horse racing, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has announced he is winding up his Gigginstown House Stud racing and bloodstock operation and quitting the sport.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary to quit horse racing over five years
The Irish businessman has invested vast sums in jump racing and become one of the dominant owners over the last decade, but he said in a surprise statement Tuesday he intends to spend more time with his wife and four children as they become teenagers.
O'Leary's Gigginstown operation owns hundreds of horses stabled among some of Ireland's top trainers, including Gordon Elliott who saddled his Tiger Roll to a second straight Grand National triumph at Aintree in April.
"We wish to sincerely thank all our trainers and their teams for the enormous success we've enjoyed over the past decade," said the 58-year-old O'Leary, who built his fortune from the Ireland-based no-frills airline Ryanair.