Chel­tenham Racecourse:

It’s time for the Mc­coys – the Os­cars of the Jump world

Cotswold Life - - NEWS - WORDS: Tracy Spiers The Mc­coys take place on Fri­day, Septem­ber 28. For more in­for­ma­tion please visit www.chel­

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.

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