Vinnie Roe was named Racehorse of the Year at the Irish Horse Racing Awards in Dublin today.
Dermot Weld’s remarkable performer, who won his fourth Irish St Leger in September and finished second under top weight in the Melbourne Cup, beat off the likes of Florida Pearl, Hardy Eustace and Moscow Flyer to win the accolade, which honours “extraordinary performance by a racehorse”.
Horse Racing Ireland hosted the ceremony, in association with the Irish Racing Yearbook, at the Westin Hotel.
The annual awards, voted on by members of the Irish racing and sports media, are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence in the sport.
Catherine Gannon, aged 23, won the Flat award “in acknowledgement of a remarkable feat” by becoming the first female champion apprentice in Ireland.
She got the vote ahead of Jamie Spencer, Aidan O’Brien and David Wachman.
Her National Hunt counterpart was Ruby Walsh, aged 25, who was honoured “to salute success at the highest level over jumps”, which included major wins on Strong Flow (Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup), Azertyuiop (Queen Mother Champion Chase) and Banasan (Kerry National).
The Outstanding Achievement Award, “to mark an exceptional accomplishment” was won by Colm Murphy for his handling of Brave Inca, the unbeaten winner of five races last season including victories at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals.
The Contribution To The Industry Award went to veteran trainer Con Collins, aged 79, who saddled Chelsea Rose to win the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes in his 52nd year with a licence.
Co Cork-based Liam Burke, who sent out 33 winners between the flags in the 2003-2004 campaign, won the point-to-point award.
The awards were presented by Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O’Donoghue.
Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of HRI, said: “We received an overwhelming response to our request for votes in these awards.
“Without the dedication of the trainers, jockeys and owners here, Ireland would not have the world-class reputation in horse racing that it has today. We are delighted to be able to give recognition to their hard work and achievements.”