O'Brien and Magnier the latest recipients of the 2018 Award of Merit
Aidan O'Brien paid tribute to John Magnier as the pair were the latest recipients of the 2018 Longines and International Federation of Horseracing Authorities International Award of Merit at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin's city centre on Tuesday.
The prestigious award, which recognises distinguished horsemen and horsewomen for lifelong contributions to thoroughbred racing, has an illustrious list of previous recipients including Jim Bolger, Yutaka Take, the Romanet family, Alec Head, Seth Hancock and the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio.
O'Brien said: "John is one of the most special men we've ever met in our lifetime. His knowledge and wisdom drives us all every day.
"It's unbelievable really and something we could never have even dreamed about – to have so many special people in our lives on a day-to-day basis.
"Our thanks to the Magnier family, the Smiths and the Tabors for helping to make Ballydoyle what it is today. We're privileged to be associated with such wonderful people who leave no stone unturned as we try to get the best out of every horse."
Aidan was joined at the ceremony by his wife Annemarie, sons Joseph and Donnacha and daughters Sarah and Ana, while Pat Smullen, married to Annemarie's sister Frances, was also in attendance.
MV Magnier accepted the award on behalf of his family.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com