It was a pleasure to capture the atmosphere and events of the The McCoys at Cheltenham racecourse. The awards were held in the Centaur at Cheltenham to celebrate jump racing in the South-West. 450 people attended the event which focused on performances at Cheltenham, Warwick, Wincanton and Exeter and so recognised some of the main talents in jump racing, amongst the many owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and horses.
A sparkling and elegant event, with entertainment provided by The Chip Shop Boys and Rebecca Ferguson.
Awards included One for Arthur for Horse of the Season, while chaser Sizing John was the Judges’ Choice Award winner. The late Many Clouds was awarded the Horse Performance of the Season for winning Cheltenham’s BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase in January just ahead of Thistlecrack.
Jockey awards, sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, were given to Noel Fehily (professional), Harry Cobden (conditional) and Page Fuller (amateur), while James Bowen won the Jockey Club’s Pony Racing Achievement award. Paul Nicholls collected the title for most runners for yards with more than 40 horses, while Jeremy Scott gained the award for yards with fewer than 40 horses.
J P McManus, was awarded the CHB Global award for owners with more than four horses, while Colm Donlon and Adrian Doyle received the three horses or fewer title.
Stable Person of the Year had a shortlist of six, but was given to Seanie Mulcaire, a former amateur rider with Phillip Hobbs.
Paul Nicholls took the leading trainer title and spoke about the competition he is expecting this season from Nicky Henderson. Nick Williams was awarded the title for yards with fewer than 40 horses.
The last award, for Outstanding Performance had a shortlist of four, including jockey Andy Thornton, whose 1,000th winner came on Boxing Day at Wincanton on Boxing Day, but went to former jockey Ollie McPhail, Lead Education Officer for Racing To School. The charity offers young people a unique and amazing learning experience at the UK’s racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards.