HRI Awards for Bolger, Codd, Mullins, Cash, Fly, Murtagh and Dundalk

Horse Racing Ireland hosted their 2013 Awards ceremony at a glitzy glamorous event at Leopardstown Racecourse yesterday.
The great and the good of the racing world were in attendance to hear the announcements of which had been selected, some by public vote in addition to the racing press and industry.
These annual awards are an important recognition by the horse racing world of the achievements of 2013 across a muliti sector of industry interests.
With Awards covering Flat, National Hunt and the Point to Point world, covering jockeys, trainers, horses and racecourses the Contribution to Industry Award went to Jim Bolger. Christmas Day has always been special to Bolger as it is also his birthday I believe but this year he will have three further awards to place on his mantlepiece with this HRI taking pride of place beside the Cartier and French Racing Awards that he had received earlier this year. With his wife Jackie being crowned as Irelands leading Flat owner, following the Irish Derby win of Trading Leather a horse that they bred as well, Bolgers year was extraordinarily successful.
I won’t bore you with lists of achievements and winners but it is good to remember that Co Carlow based Bolger is a proud Wexford man and has been wonderfully supported over the years by his wife Jackie and their children in addition to his son in law and stable jockey Kevin Manning.
If you wanted to stroll down memory lane Bolger has put an awful lot of great names through his hands including St Jovite, Noora Abu, Give Thanks, Aidan O’Brien, New Approach, Tony McCoy, Finsceal Beo etc etc.
Speaking of great men and horses Co Kilkenny native Co Carlow based Willie Mullins received the National Hunt Award while his Cheltenham Champion Hurdler Hurricane Fly was nominated as the Horse of the Year. Mullins is now going from strength to strength as a trainer with the jumping game benefiting from his dedication and professionalism. Hurricane Fly reached a wonderful milestone this year having won 17 Grade 1 races over jumps with the ever so consistent son of Montjeu being a great advertisement for Mullins skill levels.
Staying in the South East, they seem to have more than just sunshine down there, Co Wexford man Jamie Codd picked up the Point to Point Award for 2013.
This young man is currently riding better than ever this year proving that over last weekend by riding a 5 timer at Tattersalls Farm at the Louth Foxhound meeting. He currently leads the national jockeys championship but it should also be remembered that last season was blighted with injury and his return to action in such great form is a tribute to himself. Now very much part of the home racing operation with his brother William at Mayglass in Co Wexford his years working with Willie Mullins have stood to him.
Barry Cash is one of the toughest jockeys in the business with the Co Kildare man getting the public vote of Outstanding Achievement for his winning ride on Big Shu over the cross country course at the 2013 Cheltenham. With so many other nominees in the running Cash was a surprise choice to many but his win on Peter Mahers horse was superb.
Trainer/Jockey Johnny Murtagh was the winner of the Flat category. The Co Meath native having an enviable record in 2013 being Champion Jockey at Royal Ascot with other Group 1 success on Novelist, Gordon Lord Byron in addition to training his own Group winners including Royal Diamond on Champions Day. It’s a rarity to be at the top level both as a jockey and as a trainer at the same time but he has done so.
Dundalk Racecourse was recognised as the Best Racecourse in Ireland which really proves just how well the All Weather track and facilites are regarded within the sport. Its a venue that all of us should visit at least once a year just to experience it!
HRI must be proud of their Award winners and lets hope that 2014 will be even better for the sport.
Guest Post By Dick White From