John Oxx and Barry Geraghty were among the winners of the annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards 2020 announced today.
Both recently retired, they were honoured with the Contribution to the Industry Award and the Irish Racing Hero Award respectively.
Contribution to the Industry Award winner Oxx retired at the end of the 2020 Flat season, bringing to an end a 41-year training career that few could hope to match. He was champion trainer in 1995, the year that his European Champion three-year-old filly Ridgewood Pearl reigned supreme.
Oxx will long be remembered for his handling of Sinndar and more recently Sea The Stars, feted as one of the all-time great racehorses.
Geraghty thrilled National Hunt racing fans throughout his 23-year career during which few big prizes eluded him. Champion jockey on two occasions, he won both the Aintree Grand National and the Irish Grand National.
Two wins in the Gold Cup, four Champion Hurdle wins and a five victories in the Champion Chase featured among a Cheltenham Festival haul of 43 winners, with five of those coming at his final Cheltenham in March.
Al Boum Photo was the winner of the Horse of the Year Award. For the second year running, he added to a win in the Savills New Year's Day Chase at Tramore with success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend.
Jockey Gavin Ryan won both the Emerging Talent Award and the Ride of the Year award for his winning effort on the Ado McGuinness-trained Saltonstall in the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap at Galway.
The Flat Award went to jockey Colin Keane who was crowned champion jockey for the second time. He reached a three-figure tally for the season for a third time and among his 100 winners in Ireland were Siskin, a first Classic success in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and Even So, winner of the Juddmonte Irish Oaks.
For his terrific handling of Princess Zoe, Tony Mullins was the winner of the Flat Achievement Award.
Horse Racing Ireland Awards 2020 Winners
Contribution to the Industry Award: John Oxx
Irish Racing Hero Award: Barry Geraghty
Horse of the Year Award: Al Boum Photo
Emerging Talent Award: Gavin Ryan
National Hunt Award: Rachael Blackmore
National Hunt Achievement Award: Eugene and Maxine O'Sullivan
Point-to-Point Award: Colin Bowe
Flat Award: Colin Keane
Flat Achievement Award: Tony Mullins
Ride of the Year: Gavin Ryan