HRI Awards 2017 'Horse of the Year' - Sizing John. Jessica, Kate and Emma Harrington with Robbie Power and HRI Chairman Joe Keeling. PHOTO: Horse Racing Ireland
Kildare based horse trainer Jessica Harrington beat off stiff competition to claim this year’s National Hunt Award at the annual Horse Racing Ireland awards this afternoon.
Nominations for the 2017 award included Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. The ceremony was held this afternoon at Leopardstown Racecourse.
Jessica, who is based at Commonstown Stud, Moone, enjoyed a terrific season with the highlight undoubtedly the brilliant Sizing John which gave her a first success in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with her first runner in the race.
He also won the Stan James Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and the Punchestown Gold Cup becoming the first horse to win all three races in the same year.
Also at the highest level, Our Duke took the Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas and landed the richest prize in the National Hunt calendar in Ireland when taking the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
Jessica became the leading female trainer at the Cheltenham Festival when bringing her tally to 11 winners with the victories of Supasundae and Rock The World.
The winners of the 15th annual awards were as follows:
• Contribution to the Industry Award: Aidan O'Brien
• Horse of the Year Award: Sizing John
• National Hunt Award: Jessica Harrington
• Flat Award: Colin Keane
• Outstanding Achievement Award: Joseph O'Brien
• Point-To-Point Award: Barry O’Neill
• Racecourse of the Year Award: Down Royal Racecourse