AP McCoy ‘very honoured’ to receive knighthood

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  • AP McCoy received his knighthood for services to horse racing at Buckingham Palace this week (22 June).

    The 20-time champion jockey was presented with the honour by Princess Anne.

    He said he was “very honoured” to receive the title and dedicated it to all those involved in horse racing.

    Sir Tony is the second jockey in history to receive a knighthood, the last being Sir Gordon Richards in 1953.

    The 42-year-old jockey retired last year, having ridden 4,348 winners from 17,546 rides, including the 2010 Grand National on Don’t Push It (pictured below).

    1 Dont push it

    Having dominated the sport for two decades, he rode his last race in front of a sell-out crowd at Sandown Park on 25 April 2015.

    “I always dreamed of getting out while I was still performing well. I’m going to miss what I do…. What I did,” he told H&H after his last ride.

    The knighthood puts McCoy alongside other sporting greats including Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Steve Redgrave.

    Last December, he said he would use his title only among friends.

    “They came to the conclusion that Sir Anthony sounded best,” he said.

    “It’s only my close friends who I’m going to make call me Sir Anthony. I think everybody else can call me Tony or AP or whatever they like.”

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    Sir Tony rode his first winner on the Jim Bolger-trained Legal Steps in a Flat race in Ireland aged 17.

    When riding for Bolger as an apprentice he broke his leg and by the time it had mended had grown taller, so it was decided he should become a jump jockey.

    He began riding in England in 1994 and his first win came at Exeter that year, riding the Gordon Edwards-trained Chickbiddy.

    Sir Tony set a new record of 289 winners in the 2001-2002 season, which counts, he has said, as his greatest achievement.

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