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Barry O'Neill named point-to-point winner at the HRI Awards

Barry O'Neill named point-to-point winner at the HRI Awards

Reigning champion jockey Barry O’Neill has been unveiled as the winner of the point-to-point award at the 2017 HRI Awards.

The 2016/17 point-to-point season saw O’Neill end the 13-year stranglehold on the national rider’s championship which had been held by Derek O’Connor and Jamie Codd, as he finished the season with 66 winners from a total of 295 rides.

The Wexford native, who has built-up a close association with Colin Bowe, went to the top of the riders title in Tinahely in October, and from that early point of the season, the former dual novice champion, held on to his lead, although he was pushed all the way by Jamie Codd.

A thrilling final weekend of the season at Kinsale and Ballingarry captivated the point-to-point and wider racing world as the outcome of the title was decided in their very last race of the season, the winners’ race at Ballingarry, where victory for Pass The Ball, sealed victory for O’Neill.

Receiving his first HRI Award at the ceremony which was presented by RTÉ Broadcaster Des Cahill in Leopardstown Racecourse on Tuesday, O’Neill beat off stiff competition from fellow nominees Jamie Codd, Liz Lalor, Denis Murphy and Colin Bowe.

Presented with his award by Richard Pugh, O’Neill follows in the footsteps of previous winners, including Jamie Codd, Derek O’Connor, Enda Bolger, Colman Sweeney, John Thomas McNamara, and Liam Burke.
 


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