Asmussen, who was born in South Dakota, first went to France in 1982 and has been a leading rider in Europe ever since, having won five French riding titles and numerous big races. A long-standing relationship with the Niarchos family has come to an end, which is the main reason for Asmussen's decision to end his European involvement."I have worked for 25 years, and now it is time for a new chapter," he told the Racing Post. "It was never the plan for me to be riding until I was 60, and now I am going on to the next stage. It was the plan to do what I could as a pilot and then explore other avenues in life. Every season since 1979, I've won at least one group I race, so I don't think I've too much to complain about."Whether he has retired completely from riding remains an open question. His brother, Steve, is a successful trainer.
Cash Asmussen won the 1979 Eclipse award for being the leading apprentice. His American successes included two Washington D.C. Internationals (gr. IT), the 1992 Arlington Million (gr. IT) on Dear Doctor, and the 1997 Breeders' Cup Mile on Spinning World (gr. IT). In Europe, he won the 1991 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) on Suave Dancer, captured the French Derby (Fr-I) four times, the Irish Derby (Ire-I) twice and had 10 Royal Ascot victories.