Billy Lee of Ballingarry and Martinstown’s JP McManus were among those honoured at this year’s Horse Racing Ireland Awards.
Winner of the Flat award, Lee enjoyed a terrific season, pushing Colin Keane all the way in the jockeys’ championship. His season’s tally was easily the best of his career and included Group 1 wins on the Paddy Twomey-trained La Petite Coco and Pearls Galore. Rosscarbery, Rumbles Of Thunder, Treasure Trove and Teresa Mendoza were also notable winners for the likeable Limerick jockey.
Winner of the Contribution to the Industry Award, McManus is a 19-time champion National Hunt owner in Ireland. He has been associated with many of the top jump horses for over 40 years, enjoying well in excess of 4,000 winners, a list that includes Mister Donavan, Jack Of Trumps and Deep Gale, big early winners in the famous green and gold hoops.
The legendary Istabraq was a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle, a race McManus also won on five other occasions, while the Cheltenham Gold Cup went his way with Synchronised and there was Aintree Grand National glory with Don’t Push It and Minella Times.
Horse Racing Ireland Chairman, Nicky Hartery of Limerick, commented, “We are delighted to be hosting our annual awards in person for the first time in three years.
“While congratulating all our winners, a special mention goes to JP McManus who has given so much to the racing game and to the Kevin Manning who recently retired after a terrific 40-year career. Jack de Bromhead was among those who were remembered this evening. He is very much in our thoughts and I send my very best wishes to his sisters Mia and Georgia, to his parents Heather and Henry, and to his extended family and friends.”
Contribution to the Industry Award: JP McManus
Irish Racing Hero Award: Kevin Manning
Horse of the Year: Honeysuckle
Emerging Talent: Sam Ewing
National Hunt Award: Henry de Bromhead
National Hunt Achievement Award: John ‘Shark’ Hanlon
Point-To-Point Award: Liz Lalor
Flat Award: Billy Lee
Flat Achievement Award: Dylan Browne McMonagle
Ride of the Year: Wayne Lordan