It’s time for the Mccoys – the Oscars of the Jump world
As owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and horses look forward to the next season of Jump racing, this month marks the second Oscar-style awards ceremony celebrating all those who have performed exceptionally well this past year.
A year ago The Mccoys were launched to acknowledge outstanding performances both on and off the racecourse. Aptly named after Sir
A P Mccoy, the retired record-breaking 20-time Champion Jump Jockey, these awards recognise achievements within The Jockey Club’s Jumps racecourses.
Following the huge success of this launch, this year’s event will not only encompass Warwick, Cheltenham, Wincanton and Exeter, but has now become national, with all nine Jockey
Club Jumps racecourses taking place across the country.
Each winner will receive a statuette of Sir Anthony Mccoy on Friday, September
28, at The Centaur at Cheltenham, where a panel of four judges – including the award’s namesake - will announce their decisions.
“We believe in celebrating the success of the previous racing season as we enter into the new one. To be able to do that in a way that recognises the outstanding achievements of Sir AP Mccoy at the same time is wonderful,” says Simon Claisse, regional head of racing and one of the judges alongside Henrietta Knight, retired racehorse trainer, who trained Best Mate to win three Cheltenham Gold Cups and Sun racing reporter Steve Jones. The awards reflect on the triumphs and highlights of the 2017/18 season and appreciate every character in the sport, from owners to stable staff.
“It’s a wonderful way of reflecting on last year’s successes within the sport. It is a privilege to be involved and I am honoured to sit down with people like AP and Henrietta to make a judgement as to who in each category should be given the award,” adds Simon. “But is also a way of looking forward and recognising the young pony riders, novice hurdlers and novice chasers and the future stars – both jockey and horse – of the future.”
James Bowen was awarded the Pony Racing Achievement of the Season last year and has since been crowned Champion Conditional Jockey 2017/18. Other categories include Leading Owner, which recognises two owners committed to running horses and winning; Leading Trainer; Leading Jockey; and Horses of the Season which honour’ outstanding equine achievements.
Racing Ride of the Season which recognises horsemanship of the highest calibre went to Adrian Heskin last year with his ride aboard Sir Valentino in the Haldon Gold Cup 2016. Horse Performance of the Year was given to Many Clouds in the Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day 2017 whilst Ollie Mcphail received the Outstanding Contribution Award for his Racing to School initiative. Through this scheme he enables school students to have a VIP day at the races where they learn about the basics of racing and what happens on a race day.