The nominees for the 2022 Horse Racing Ireland Awards have been announced.
In all, 36 nominations across seven categories have been revealed with Carlow and Kilkenny well represented, thanks in no small part to achievements within the Mullins and Hanlon camps this year.
Per HRI, two horses from the flat and four from the national hunt sphere make up the nominations for the Horse of the Year award with world champion Kyprios and the much-travelled State Of Rest joined on the list by the unbeaten Champion hurdler Honeysuckle, Cheltenham Gold Cup hero A Plus Tard and multiple Grade 1 winners and fellow Cheltenham Festival heroes Allaho and Energumene.
Trainers Henry de Bromhead and Willie Mullins and jockeys Rachael Blackmore, Paul Townend and Patrick Mullins are the five nominated in the National Hunt Award category. There are also five nominees for the Flat Award: jockeys Colin Keane and Billy Lee, and trainers Paddy Twomey, Aidan O’Brien and Piltown-based trainer Joseph O’Brien.
In the Flat Achievement Award category, there are six nominees: Willie Browne for his exploits with Spirit Gal; Dylan Browne McMonagle for his breakthrough Group 1 success; Nathan Crosse for celebrating a listed winner soon after riding out his claim; Brian Duffy for his memorable win with Magic Chegaga at the Galway festival; Ado McGuinness for his Galway festival hat-trick in the ‘Ahonoora’ Handicap with Current Option, and Mikey Sheehy, who followed up on losing his claim with a notable Group 3 win.
The five nominees for the National Hunt Achievement Award are: Paddy Corkery who joined an illustrious list of Grade 1 winning trainers; John “Shark” Hanlon for his most notable hat-trick of wins with Hewick; Tony Martin for saddling Tudor City to become the first horse to win the Guinness Galway Hurdle for the second time in almost 40 years; Dermot McLoughlin who became the first trainer in almost 50 years to win back-to-back renewals of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National with two different horses; and Emmet Mullins who hit the big time with his Aintree Grand National success in April.
The Point-to-Point category is made up of Colin Bowe, David Christie, James Hannon, Liz Lalor and Barry O’Neill while the nominees for the Emerging Talent Award are jockeys Jake Coen, Sam Ewing, Michael O’Sullivan and Jamie Powell.
The winners of each category – Horse of the Year, National Hunt Award, National Hunt Achievement Award, Flat Award, Flat Achievement Award, Point-to-Point Award and the Emerging Talent Award – will be decided by a ballot of the Irish racing media.
Separately, a public vote will decide the outcome of the 2022 Ride of the Year with the contenders, as chosen once again by Fran Berry and Davy Russell, to be announced shortly.