Oisin Murphy and Richard Johnson crowned at Lesters

James Bowen and Jason Watson among others to win

  • Saturday 22 December
  • News
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Oisin Murphy and Richard Johnson won the top awards at the Stobart Lesters in a ceremony held at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.

While National Hunt champion Johnson was winning the award for the third successive year, Murphy was honoured by his colleagues for the first time at the annual event on Saturday night, following a campaign which harvested more than 200 winners worldwide and included nine Group Ones.

Current champion conditional jockey James Bowen won his first Lester, awarded the Racing Excellence Conditional Jockey of the Year – and quickly followed up when he was presented with the At The Races Jump Ride of the Year title for his ride on Raz De Maree in the Coral Welsh National.

In only his second season as a professional, Jason Watson won the Weatherbys Bank Apprentice Jockey of the Year award – having begun the year with just 41 rides under his belt.

He also provided the retiring Luca Cumani with his final Group One when God Given won in Italy.

Nicola Currie was another to ride out her claim and was the most successful lady rider, while Flat Ride of the Year went to Eoin Walsh for his effort on Storm Lightning at Wolverhampton in September.

Both George Baker and Andrew Thornton won special recognition awards for their respective careers in the saddle over Flat and Jumps.

Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, said: “It was a truly fantastic night, and I’m sure all of our winners will treasure their awards.

“It was fantastic to see our younger members dominate proceedings, and the amount of young talent in the weighing room bodes well for the future of the sport.”

He added: “I know everyone in the room was delighted to see George and Andrew pick up their respective Special Recognition awards. Any of the nominees would have been worthy winners, but I doubt anyone would have begrudged the result.

“Each has given so much to the sport already and will continue to do so, both as PJA directors and IJF (Injured Jockeys Fund) trustees. It has and continues to be an absolute privilege to work with them.”

Oisin Murphy and Richard Johnson crowned at Lesters
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