Two of Ireland’s greatest jockeys, Johnny Murtagh and Ruby Walsh chose six nominees in this category and it was up to racing fans to decide on the winner. The nominations for this brand-new award were jockeys Colin Keane, Kevin Manning, Davy Russell, Danny Sheehy, Paul Townend and winner Derek O’Connor.

    Derek O’Connor is the winner of the inaugural Ride of the Year Award which was determined by a public vote. Derek’s winning ride came in Ireland’s premier steeplechase, the Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, on the second day of the Dublin Racing Festival which he won on Edwulf. Derek brought the unconsidered 33/1 chance from well off the pace, timing his run to absolute perfection to get up the line to pip Outlander. 

  • Alpha Centauri 770x424px

    2018 Winner - Alpha Centauri

    Alpha Centauri was crowned 2018 Horse Of The Year 

    Alpha Centauri, owned by the Niarchos family, was the deserving winner of the Horse of the Year Award.

    The Four-time Group 1 winner trained by Jessica Harrington won the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes, the Prix Jacques Le Marois and the Falmouth Stakes before having to be retired after suffering an injury in the Matron Stakes in September at Leopardstown. 

  • Donnacha O'Brien

    2018 Winner - Donnacha O'Brien

    Donnacha was crowned champion jockey for the first time with a total of 111 winners and won his first Classics in 2018 in both Ireland and England when taking the English 2,000 Guineas on Saxon Warrior and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Latrobe, trained by his brother Joseph. He also landed the Epsom Oaks on Forever Together and further Group 1 successes with two-year-olds Ten Sovereigns, Fairyland and Magna Grecia.  


  • Patrick Prendergast...

    The Flat Achievement Award went to Curragh trainer Patrick Prendergast. He enjoyed a memorable season with Skitter Scatter, which rose through the ranks to land the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Longines Irish Champions Weekend. This Dundalk maiden winner went on to land the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown and Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh before her high-profile end of season success. Cedars Of Lebanon was a three-time winner for Patrick during the year and enjoyed a notable success when taking the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final at Naas in October. 

  • Willie Mullins..

    2018 Winner- Willie Mullins

    Another remarkable year saw Willie Mullins maintain his grip on the Irish National Hunt Trainers’ Championship with a record total of 212 winners. He saddled a record 18 winners at the Punchestown Festival alone (including a remarkable six out of seven on the Wednesday) and has saddled 16 Grade 1 winners in Ireland since December 1st last year. He became the winning-most trainer in the history of the Cheltenham Festival with 61 winners, seven of which came last March, and achieved a personal milestone of 3,000 career winners when Timi Roli won at Wexford in June. 


  • Rachael Blackmore is the winner of the National Hunt Achievement Award. She regained her lead at the head of the jockeys’ championship at last weekend’s Fairyhouse Winter Festival, maintaining her sensational winning form. Her success on Patricks Park at the Dublin Racing Festival and three winners at the Punchestown Festival kept her name in lights, as did her unprecedented treble at Tipperary in July becoming the first female rider to complete such a feat. In more recent times, Bedrock has been a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 winner for her.  

    National Hunt Achievement Award Winner
  • Hero Award Winners

    Irish Racing Hero Award winners Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry retired as two of Irish racing’s most celebrated amateur riders at the Punchestown Festival in April. They both enjoyed stellar careers, becoming household names by riding winners on the biggest stages in Ireland and Britain, as well as Australia, France and Germany. They each graced the winners’ enclosure at the Cheltenham Festival on multiple occasions, they won an Irish Grand National apiece and countless other races on the Flat, in bumpers, over hurdles and over fences. 

  • 2018 Winner - Barry O' Neill

    The Point-to-Point Award goes to County Wexford for the second year running as Barry O’Neill adds to his 2017 success.  The 2017/18 season saw Barry defend the national riders’ title thanks to a total of 59 winners on 53 different horses with an impressive strike rate of 22%. Barry rode four trebles at Oldcastle, Monksgrange, Loughrea and Borris House which helped him not only retain his eastern rider’s title but also claim a first title in the northern region. On the track, O’Neill teamed up with point-to-point recruit Commander Of Fleet to win the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at the Punchestown Festival.


    Point to Point Winner
  • Contribution to the Industry Award Winner

    2018 Winner - Dr Adrian McGoldrick

    Dr Adrian McGoldrick, who retires this year as chief medical officer of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, was presented with the Contribution to the Industry Award. The Newbridge-based GP has held the position since 2007 and was universally acclaimed for his efforts in improving jockeys’ safety and has been hailed for his research into areas including athletes’ dehydration, concussion, nutrition and mental health. Dr McGoldrick served as racecourse doctor at the Curragh for over 30 years. 


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