Retired jockeys Pat Smullen and Ruby Walsh were joint recipients of the Irish Racing Hero Award at the Horse Racing Ireland Awards in Dublin on Tuesday evening.

Dual-purpose trainer Jessica Harrington, top National Hunt rider Rachael Blackmore and Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll were also among the winners.

The winners in 11 categories were announced at a ceremony at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road which was attended by many of the industry's leading figures.

Smullen and Walsh are widely regarded as two of the all-time great jockeys in their respective codes and both men retired within days of each other earlier this year.

Smullen, a nine-time Flat champion, hung up his boots in early May and was then central to a celebrated fundraising campaign for pancreatic cancer trials and awareness of pancreatic cancer research.

The charity drive culminated with the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh this summer and a sum in excess of €2.5m was raised for charity.

Walsh bowed out after Grade One success at the Punchestown Festival on board Kemboy. 

The 40-year-old was crowned National Hunt jockey on a record 12 occasions and he partnered more winners at the Cheltenham Fesival than any other rider in history.

Tiger Roll, owned by Gigginstown House Stud, is one of the most popular horses in training and was the runaway winner of the Horse of the Year Award.

In April of this year, he became the first horse since Red Rum in 1973 and 1974 to record back-to back victories wins in the Grand National for trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Davy Russell.

That famous victory came just a month after the son of Authorized notched a fourth win at the Cheltenham Festival.

The National Hunt Award went to Rachael Blackmore, who finished second in last season’s jockeys’ championship.

Blackmore booted home a string of big-race victories throughout the season, winning three Grade One races on Irish shores and partnering A Plus Tard and Minella to Cheltenham Festival wins.

Jessica Harrington collected the Flat Award, posting her highest ever tally of winners.

Harrington assembled a particularly formidable team of juvenile fillies, with the exciting Albigna landing the Group Two Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Derby weekend before winning the prestigious Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc day.

There was also top-level success for the stable when Millisle won the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Tony O'Hehir was presented with the Contribution to the Industry Award.

One of the country's leading racing journalists for over 30 years, O'Hehir was the voice of racing on RTÉ Television since the mid-1980s, a role that ran in tandem with that of chief reporter with the Racing Post newspaper.

The winners of the 17th annual awards were:
Irish Racing Hero Award: Pat Smullen & Ruby Walsh
Contribution to the Industry Award: Tony O'Hehir
Horse of the Year Award: Tiger Roll
Emerging Talent Award: Darragh O'Keeffe
National Hunt Award: Rachael Blackmore
National Hunt Achievement Award: Gavin Cromwell
Flat Award: Jessica Harrington
Flat Achievement Award: Wayne Lordan
Point-to-Point Award: Colin Bowe
Ride of the Year Award: Billy Lee
Racecourse of the Year Award: Naas Racecourse