Hurricane Fly, trained by Willie Mullins, was crowned Horse of the Year at the 11th annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards held at Leopardstown Racecourse today, becoming the first horse to win the award for the second time. He went through the season unbeaten in five Grade 1 hurdles and recently created a world record by winning his 17th Grade 1 in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.
Willie Mullins was announced as winner of the National Hunt Award after training 193 winners in Ireland last season, comfortably breaking the previous record of 155. Johnny Murtagh won his first Flat Award following a remarkable season which saw him ride 30 winners in Ireland, from just 125 rides, while he also saddled 15 winners in his dual trainer-jockey role.
Kildare jockey, Barry Cash collected the Outstanding Achievement Award, which was put to public vote for the first time, through the HRI Awards App. Barry was nominated for the Outstanding Achievement category having completed a remarkable big Festival double on the Peter Maher-trained Big Shu.
Wexford native Jamie Codd received his first Point-To-Point Award. With over 550 Point-to-Point winners to his name, Jamie is the third winning-most rider in the history of the sport.
The Racecourse of the Year Award went to Dundalk Stadium. It was selected by the Racegoers Consultative Forum based upon the best all-round customer experience.
In addition to the six main categories, Horse Racing Ireland presented Trainer Jim Bolger with the Contribution to Industry Award. Jim Bolger’s racing career began in the 1970s and he has had huge success as a trainer, owner and breeder.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland commented: “Irish racing gives us so much to be proud of and the HRI Awards allow us to commend and celebrate the best of our industry. All of the award winners are deserving of the accolades they received and I have no doubt that we will continue to see further successes at the highest national and international levels in the future.”
The award winners received newly-designed bronze trophies, created by sculptor Siobhan Bulfin.
The list of Winners and Nominees for the 2013 Awards are as follows:
Racehorse of the Year – Hurricane Fly
Nominees: Dawn Approach, Declaration of War, Magician, Quevega, Sir Des Champs
National Hunt Award – Willie Mullins
Nominees: Bryan Cooper, Tony Martin, Willie Mullins, Davy Russell, Ruby Walsh
Flat Award – Johnny Murtagh
Nominees: Jim Bolger, Kevin Manning, Aidan O’Brien, Joseph O’Brien
Outstanding Achievement – Barry Cash
Nominees: Charles Byrnes, Michael Winters, Chris Hayes, Dot Love, Eddie Lynam, Willie McCreery, Joanna Morgan
Point to Point Award – Jamie Codd
Nominees: Gordon Elliott, Declan McNamara, Derek O’Connor, Rodger Sweeney
Contribution to the Industry – Jim Bolger
Raceourse of the Year – Dundalk
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