The 57-year-old Englishman (pictured here early in his career in England) didn't say specifically that he was retiring, but he spent most of last winter overseas and half of his time last summer visiting Tapeta installations in five countries, leaving him little time for training.
He won't designate a successor for his stable because the number of horses has been diminishing gradually since last summer.
"I have been concerned for some time about the welfare of horses racing on unsuitable surfaces and really want to repay the horse in my own small way," Dickinson said in a statement released Tuesday by the Maryland Jockey Club.
Dickinson was a top steeplechase jockey and three-time champion jumps trainer in England before relocating to the United States in 1987. He trained winners of 85 stakes races in the United States. He made headlines in 1998 when Da Hoss won the $1,000,000 Breeders Cup Mile after a two-year layoff and only one win – in an allowance race at Colonial Downs.
Da Hoss (on the inside) was a $6,000 Keeneland yearling who was undefeated in his three starts at two.
At three, he took the Gr.3 Best Turn Stakes, the Gr. 2 Jersey Derby, the Gr.2 Del Mar Derby. At four, he won his first Gr.1 $1,000,000 Breeders Cup Mile under Gary Stevens as well as the Gr.1 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.
And at six he again won the Breeders' Cup Mile.
The BC Mile at six was done with serious true grit since Da Hoss had always suffered from foot problems, and after his win in the 1996 Mile by one and a half lengths, he was out of racing for almost two years: 1997 and 1998. He had only one prep race for the 1998 Mile and that was an allowance race at Colonial Downs which he easily won.
Under John Velazquez, Da Hoss took his second Breeders' Cup by a nose over Hawksley Hill in a truly thrilling stretch battle. NYRA and Breeders Cup announcer Tom Durkin, yelled, "Oh my, this is the greatest comeback since Lazarus. He's had one race in two years."
The comeback of Da Hoss is considered by most sports writers as the biggest comeback of all time.
In his twenty starts, Da Hoss won 12, placed in 5, and came home third twice. His career earnings amount to $1,931,558.
His Breeders Cup win helped put Colonial Downs on the national horse racing map.