Kildare Village played host to the annual Tipperary Crystal Curragh Racing Awards Oct. 17.
The awards were attended by some of Ireland's biggest names in horse racing including champion trainers Aidan O'Brien accompanied by his wife Anne Marie and leading trainer Jim Bolger with his wife Jackie. Also in attendance were leading jockeys Seamus Heffernan and Colm O Donoghue who was joined by legendary jockey Michael Kinane, as well as CRL Chairman Padraig McManus, Derek McGrath CEO of the Curragh Racecourse, and Ger Humphreys from Tipperary Crystal.
Other notable attendees included leading racehorse owners Luke Comer and John Corcoran, Brian Kavanagh CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, Joe Keeling, Chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, Martin Heyden TD, Fiona O'Loughlin TD, Joe Osborne CEO of Godolphin, Stephen Collins General Manager of Derrinstown Stud, Martin Miley Mayor of County Kildare and County Kildare Deputy County Manager Joe Boland.
Denis Hogan and Seamus Heffernan were the big winners of the evening as they were awarded the leading 'Training and Riding Performances of the Year' award. There was also a huge response to the public vote which was launched this year for the first time to allow racing fans vote on both categories from a list of five nominees. Denis Hogan was nominated for the victories of Tithonus in both the valuable Tote Rockingham and Tote Scurry Premier Handicaps, while Seamus Heffernan was awarded the accolade for his successful ride on Capri in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
The Special Achievement Awards, in association with Kildare Village and the Irish Daily Mail were presented to Curragh based trainer Takashi Kodama following the success of Elusive Time in the prestigious Tote Irish Cambridgeshire and to 17 year old jockey Cian MacRedmond, whose first ride in a race was also his very first win when he landed the Best Odds in Your Paddy Power Shop Handicap on Sweetest Taboo.
Aidan O'Brien was the Leading Trainer of the Season having won 34 races, while Ryan Moore was leading Jockey with a notable 17 victories. Mrs Sue Magnier was crowned leading owner for the 2017 season.
Community and Business Relations director of Kildare Village Maureen Bergin commented: 'We are delighted to host this annual event, which was first introduced in 2011 and which celebrates notable successes at The Curragh. With the racecourse being so close to Kildare Village it is a great opportunity to for us to showcase our support with this great equestrian body. Congratulations to all of the 2017 Tipperary Crystal Curragh Racing Awards winner and nominees.'
Derek McGrath, CEO of the Curragh Racecourse also commented: "We have witnessed excellent racing and great performances this year and I am very grateful for the support of trainers, jockeys and owners for the contribution they have made to help us enhance the prestige, quality and profile of our races. The world-renowned track was in excellent condition through the season and consistently received very positive reviews from trainers and jockeys which is testament to the hard work and dedication of the Curragh team. We now look forward to staging the first our 18 races days in 2018 next May."
He added, "Our re-development project is on schedule and the racecourse is currently a hive of activity with contractors working on the construction of the new racecourse complex and upgrade of the stable yard, while we have also commenced further training ground improvement works, with the refurbishment of the Stepaside Gallop."
Curragh Racing Award Winners 2017
Special Achievement Award in association with Kildare Village presented by Maureen Bergin - Takashi Kodama
Special Achievement Award in association with the Irish Daily Mail presented by Sharon Keville - Cian MacRedmond
Leading Owner presented by Curragh Board member Stephen Collins: Mrs Sue Magnier received by Christy Grassick
Leading Trainer presented by Curragh Board member John Byrne : Aidan OBrien
Leading Jockey presented by Curragh Board Manger Joe Osborne: Ryan Moore received by Aidan O'Brien
Leading Riding Performance presented by Ger Humphreys of Tipperary Crystal:
Seamus Heffernan for Capri in Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
Leading Training Performance presented by Padraig McManus, Chairman Curragh Racecourse:
Winner Denis Hogan for two Curragh Premier Handicaps winner Tithonus