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Second Riders Title for Barry O Neill

Second Riders Title for Barry O Neill

(Barry O'Neill accepting his award from Leo Powell)

THE IRISH FIELD Champion Rider- Barry O’Neill

The 2017/18 season saw 106 riders ride winners with 17 over 10 winners and five over 20.

This year’s winner Barry O’Neill recorded his second consecutive title having broken the 13-year stranglehold on the championship set by Derek O’Connor and Jamie Codd last season.

A dual novice Champion in the 08/09 and 09/10 season, O’Neill previously came fourth twice, third five times and second once in the riders title.

Barry O’Neill and Jamie Codd shared the lead in the rider’s title for the first month. Codd then went in front for one week after second week in November before O’Neill regained the lead the following week and remained there until Easter weekend where Codd levelled with O’Neill on 34 winners apiece.

This year’s champion went in front again the following weekend and remained in front for the rest of the season.
Runner-up, Derek O’Connor went into second spot after the first weekend in May having had five winners between Dromahane and Dawstown.

Going into the final weekend O’Neill was in front by 56-47 and even though having recorded a treble at Kinsale O’Connor was unable to close the gap.

From 263 rides, O’Neill enjoyed 58 winners on 41 maidens which gave him a third best strike rate for his career of 22.1%.

He rode on every day there was pointing this season which was 60 days and had winners at 42 meetings with his best support coming from Colin Bowe who supplied him with 25 winners, followed by David Christie with 10.

O’Neill rode four treble’s and eight doubles this season.

His first point-to-point winner came in 2007 at Horse & Jockey in March 2007 on Viking Rebel and has enjoyed notable winners under rules including Shantou Flyer in the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase in 2015, Askanna in the Grade 2 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle in 2011, Coeur Du Lion in the Goffs Landrover Bumper in 2016 and Commander Of Fleet in this year’s Goffs Landrover Bumper.

O’Neill is also the Champion Eastern rider this season with 27 winners and Champion Northern rider with 16 winners.

Having ridden 481 point-to-point winners to date, he is the fourth winning most rider in point-to-points.

The top five riders this season were:

Barry O'Neill 58
Derek O'Connor 50
Rob James 42
Jamie Codd 39
Johnny Barry 27


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