Posted: 7th Dec 2015
Two sets of connections celebrate the Horse of the Year awardPICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
THERE was a first dead-heat at the annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards at Leopardstown on Monday afternoon, with Don Cossack and Faugheen sharing the Horse of the Year award.
The Grade 1-winning duo received an equal amount of votes, resulting in the pair becoming the first joint winners, with Eddie O'Leary - representing Don Cossack's owners Gigginstown House Stud - and Rich Ricci on hand to collect the award.
There was little surprise when the winner of the National Hunt award was announced, with champion trainer Willie Mullins scooping the prize. Mullins landed a record-breaking eight winners at the Cheltenham Festival in March and ten Grade 1 wins at the Punchestown festival in April during an astonishing season.
Pat Smullen received his first Flat award following a season which saw him crowned champion jockey for the eighth time, while Cork jockey Jonathan Burke won the Outstanding Achievement award, which was decided by a public vote, after the 19-year-old recorded a host of landmark wins, including Grade 1 victories at Leopardstown and Aintree.
Jonathan Burke with his Outstanding Achievement awardPICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
Cross-country supremo Enda Bolger picked up the Point-to-Point award following his clean sweep of the three main hunter chases at the big Spring festivals, courtesy of On The Fringe.
Legendary racecourse commentator Des Scahill, whose iconic voice has been part of Irish racing for over three decades, also collected the Contribution to Industry award from Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of HRI.
Kavanagh said: "The reputation of Irish racing and breeding is built on the achievements of the extraordinarily talented people in our industry.
"The HRI Awards allow us celebrate these trainers, jockeys and horses who give us so much to be proud of and I wish all our winners and nominees continued success in 2016."
Winners at the HRI Awards
Horse of the Year Award: Don Cossack and Faugheen
National Hunt Award: Willie Mullins
Flat Award: Pat Smullen
Contribution to Industry Award: Des Scahill
Outstanding Achievement Award: Jonathan Burke
Point-To-Point Award: Enda Bolger
Racecourse of the Year Award: Leopardstown
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