At Monday afternoon’s eighth annual Irish Horse Racing Awards, Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Big Zeb followed in the footsteps of the brilliant Sea The Stars by claiming the coveted 2010 Horse of the Year award.

Champion Trainer Willie Mullins won the National Hunt Award for the second successive year while Michael Halford won the Flat Award for his immense achievements with Casamento, who was giving the trainer his first Group 1 success when landing the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster back in October.

For the first time in the history of the awards there were joint winners in the Outstanding Achievement Category as trainer Jessica Harrington and Jockey Katie Walsh shared the illustrious award.

Jockey Derek O’ Connor claimed the Point to Point Award for the fourth successive year.

In addition to the five main categories, Horse Racing Ireland presented RTE broadcaster Colm Murray with the Contribution to the Industry Award.

Colm was recognised for the wonderful service that he has provided to racing since 1990. His engaging and eloquent reports from racecourses and training yards all over Ireland have helped to bring racing to the attention of millions of people over the past two decades, illuminating the sport in a constantly positive and entertaining manner.

Reflecting on the year, Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: ‘2010 has been a challenging year for Ireland and Irish racing. Today’s award winners are a reminder of the resilience and professionalism of our racing men and women, which maintains and strengthens Ireland’s position as a leading racing nation.’