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Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

New McCoys awards celebrate south-west jumping

Paul Nicholls: among award winners
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Jump racing in the south-west of Britain was celebrated on Friday evening when trainers, owners, jockeys and horses were among those recognised at The McCoys South West Jump Awards.

Held at Cheltenham racecourse, the inaugural McCoys celebrated achievement at all levels, including leading jockey, leading trainer and ride of the season.

The qualifying period for the awards was between September 2016 and May 25 this year, and focused on meetings held at Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton.

McCoy was part of the judging panel, as was Cheltenham's clerk of the course Simon Claisse.

Some of the categories were divided, as Paul Nicholls won the leading trainer award for more than 40 horses, while Nick Williams claimed the same category for less than 40 horses.

Adrian Heskin's effort aboard Sir Valentino in the Haldon Gold Cup was deemed ride of the season by the judges, while Grand National hero One For Arthur, who won Warwick's Classic Chase before his Aintree triumph, was crowned horse of the season.

There was also an outstanding contribution award, which was given to former jump jockey Ollie McPhail. After retiring from the saddle in 2008, McPhail joined the Racing To School charity as a lead education officer, and has worked with around 40,000 young people, introducing the majority to the sport.

McPhail said: "I have been very fortunate to retrain for a second job that I love. The work we do offers real value to young people and promotes so many positive aspects about racing – as a sport and a potential employer.

"I enjoy challenging the schoolchildren, and their teachers, to tune into everyday racing activities like checking a jockey's weight or working out race distances as a way of improving their maths skills. Many of them want to learn more and say that they want to come back."

The McCoys award winners

Frequent runner 
Paul Nicholls (more than 40 horses)

Jeremy Scott (less than 40 horses)

Leading owner
JP McManus (four or more horses)

Colm Donlon and Adrian Doyle (three or fewer horses)

Leading trainer 
Paul Nicholls (more than 40 horses)

Nick Williams (less than 40 horses)

Leading jockey
Noel Fehily (professional)
Harry Cobden (conditional)
Page Fuller (amateur)

Horse of the season
Wholestone (novice hurdler)
Sceau Royal (hurdler)
Only Gorgeous (novice chaser)
Dance Floor King (chaser)

Ride of the season
Adrian Heskin (Sir Valentino)

Horse of the season
One For Arthur

Horse performance of the season
Many Clouds (Cotswold Chase)

Pony racing achievement of the season
James Bowen

Stable person of the year
Seanie Mulcaire

Judges' choice
Sizing John (Gold Cup)

Outstanding contribution
Ollie McPhail

I have been very fortunate to retrain for a second job that I love
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