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Left to right: Massiyn - Aiken - Royal Diamond - Brown Panther - Irish St Leger - Curragh 2012

Tommy Carmody, trainer of Royal Diamond (red and white quartered cap), and jockey Niall McCullagh both picked up awards at the IRTA event

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Hogan and Carmody pick up prizes at IRTA awards

TOM HOGAN and Tommy Carmody, who both enjoyed Group 1 success for the first time last year, were among the trainers honoured for their 2012 achievements at the Irish Racehorse Trainers' Association awards on Monday.

Hogan, well into the veteran status in the training ranks, trained Gordon Lord Byron landed the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, while the Carmody-trained Royal Diamond took the Irish St Leger.

Royal Diamond's rider, Niall McCullagh, was also given a special award, honouring his first Group 1 winner as a rider, while there were awards for David Nagle (Maarek), Muredach Kelly (My Girl Anna) and Pat Shanahan (My Special J's), all of whom trained their first pattern-race winner in 2012. 

Aidan O'Brien was presented with the champion trainer award by HRI chairman Joe Keeling, while Derek Smyth of Coolmore accepted the top owner's gong. Champion rider for the first time, Joseph O'Brien, and top apprentice Ronan Whelan also received awards.

Connections of all 14 Irish-trained winners at Cheltenham were present, with Noel Meade telling those in attendance that the Flat trainers would have to ensure their part in 15 Royal Ascot winners, so as to keep up with their jumps counterparts.

Jim Kavanagh, who left his role as chief executive of the IRTA last year, was given a special presentation, as was commentator Des Scahill as reward for his services to racing over the years. Mick O'Toole, for whom Scahill served as a jockey at the start of his career, presented his former employee with his award.

Ambassadors from Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and Ethiopia were in attendance, as was Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Hayden.

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