The nominees for the 2014 annual Horse Racing Ireland Awards were announced today, with 25 Irish trainers, jockeys and horses in contention. Newstalk presenter and racing enthusiast Ivan Yates will be master of ceremonies for the awards, which take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Monday December 8
Awards are presented in seven categories: Flat Racing, National Hunt Racing, Point-to-Point Racing, Horse of the Year, Contribution to Industry, Outstanding Achievement and Racecourse of the Year.
The Contribution to Industry Award will be announced by HRI Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh. The award is HRI's recognition of an individual or entity whose overall work and achievements have made a lasting positive impression on racing and breeding in Ireland. Previous winners include Jim Bolger, Moyglare Stud, Dermot Weld, Colm Murray and Mick Kinane.
The winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award is selected by the general public through a dedicated HRI awards app or through forms available from HRI.
The nominees for 2014, selected by the Irish racing media, include three trainers, two jockeys and one horse. The trainers are Jim Culloty, Tom Hogan and Willie McCreery; the jockeys are Wayne Lordan and Davy Russell and the horse is six-time OLBG Mares Hurdle winner Quevega.
The Racecourse of the Year Award is decided by the Racegoers Consultative Forum, with sub-category awards for 'Best Information Services', 'Best Entertainment', 'Best Catering' and 'Most Family-Friendly'.
The remaining four category winners are decided by a ballot of the Irish Racing Media.
The Horse of the Year award includes nominations for dual Derby winner Australia; Cheltenham and Punchestown Champion Hurdle winner Jezki; 20-time Grade 1 winner Hurricane Fly; Lord Windermere, winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and both Eddie Lynam's dual Group 1 winners, Slade Power and Sole Power.
The nominees in theNational Hunt category are Barry Geraghty, Jessica Harrington, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
The Flat nominees are Eddie Lynam, Aidan O'Brien, Pat Smullen and Dermot Weld.
The Point-to-Point category is made up of Jamie Codd, Brian Hamilton, Derek O'Connor, James Smyth and Robert Tyner.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI said: "Once again, the HRI Awards will give us the chance to celebrate and acknowledge the extremely high standards across all sectors of Irish racing. Each of the nominees announced today deserve to be recognised for their achievements throughout the year and all categories are very competitive."
The dedicated HRI awards app, which will be available for download from iTunes and Google Play next week, contains information about the awards and each of the nominees, an image gallery, all the latest news and will also provide a live stream of the awards on December 8