Leopardstown Racecourse today announced that while Hurricane Fly may not be seen at this year's Christmas Festival, he will be returning to the Foxrock venue next year. The Boyd and Creighton families who own Hurricane Fly have commissioned internationally renowned artist, Siobhan Bulfin, to create a bronze statue of Hurricane Fly which will be erected in Leopardstown. It is expected that it will be completed in time for the 2016 Christmas Festival.
Hurricane Fly holds the world record of 22 Grade 1 races. He won the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham twice, no fewer than eight Grade 1 races at Punchestown and another two at Fairyhouse. However, he always saved his best performances for Leopardstown, where he was unbeaten in ten starts at Grade 1 level. He won the Istabraq Hurdle in 2012 and the same race again in 2013 and 2014 when it became the Ryanair Hurdle. One of Hurricane Fly's finest achievement was winning five successive BHP Irish Champion Hurdles from 2011 to 2015.
Pat Keogh, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse , said: "Christmas won't be the same without Hurricane Fly this year as he has become a part of the family here at Leopardstown. But Santa has come early this year and we are delighted that thanks to the generosity of the Boyd and Creighton families, Hurricane Fly will be coming back to Leopardstown and his statue will be there to remind us and future generations of his wonderful achievements."
A spokesperson for the Boyd and Creighton families said: "We are delighted to provide a wonderful statue of the champion Hurricane Fly for Leopardstown Racecourse. Year after year the "Fly" gave so many great and thrilling moments, winning in his own way and the affection and support of the Leopardstown racegoers was unique. We would like to thank Pat Keogh for coming up with the concept and we are honoured that the people's champion will have a permanent base at Leopardstown and will always be part of the Leopardstown story."