Corporal Clinger was 33 years old, the equivalent of 90 in human terms, and as all good servants should, he was enjoying a peaceful retirement. When racing, Corporal Clinger was trained by Martin Pipe, but for his last years he had a box at Andrew Crook's stable in North Yorkshire.
Crook said of him, "He was a really good horse and he was with me for eight years. He was fine when I let him out on Saturday, but this morning (Sunday) he couldn't get up, so we called the vet."
On his day, Corporal Clinger was a match for any hurdler over 2 miles. After victory in both the Bula Hurdle at Cheltenham, a major Champion Hurdle trial, and Haydock's Swinton Handicap Hurdle in 1985, he was sent off second favourite behind the reigning champion, odds-on See You Then in the following year’s Cheltenham showpiece. However, a heavy fall at the fifth flight seemed to knock his confidence, and he only posted a further two victories before being retired at the end of 1988.
Regular jockey Paul Leach recalled the partnership. "He was a great ride and a great horse. He was well fancied for the Champion Hurdle and was a brilliant jumper despite a couple of falls. It was a nasty fall he had in the Champion Hurdle but he came back and showed how tough he was. He also had a fibrillating heart diagnosed at one point."