Harness Racing: All Stars' Natalie Rasmussen, Mark Purdon stepping away after two decades of dominance

Less than a week after winning their sixth New Zealand Trotting Cup in seven years, harness racing's most dominant stable has announced it's taking a break.

All Stars, run by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, have been the standard-bearers in the sport for more than two decades.

But the time and energy required to stay at the top level has taken its toll, so they have decided to disband the stable for the time being.

"You know, we've done it all and it will be nice now to enjoy life a little bit more," Purdon tells Newshub.

That brings the end of the greatest era of dominance by any racing stable in New Zealand history, winning more than NZ$58million in stakes since its inception in 1995

Last week, the couple made sure they went out in style - winning yet another New Zealand Trotting Cup.

"We were going to make the announcement - win, lose or draw - so to trifecta the Cup... was just amazing," says Rasmussen. 

"And that made us really happy to be leaving on our terms," Purdon adds. 

At the end of the year, the dominant days of the All Stars racing stable will be over. From January 1, the world-famous stable will be known as Cullen Racing.

But Rasmussen and Purdon are not out of the game completely, as they move onto mentoring the new stable.

"I think Hayden [Cullen] is the right man for the job," says Purdon. "He's got very high standards and great work ethic, and we have full confidence in him."

The pair admit they're not quite fully retired yet, calling their absence a sabbatical - opening the door for a return when they get the itch back.

But for now, the stable with more than 2500 wins to its name is calling it a day.