Hollie Doyle defends title at prestigious racing awards

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  • Hollie Doyle, Will Buick and Harry Skelton are among the names to be celebrated at the annual Professional Jockeys Associations’s (PJA) Lesters awards.

    The awards, which recognise the achievements of jockeys over the previous 12 months, took place on 25 February, with nine accolades being presented.

    Hollie successfully defended her female jockey of the year title after another outstanding year. By July she had reached 100 wins, in a personal record time – and in October she broke her own record for the most wins achieved by a woman during a calendar year in Great Britain, with her 152nd victory.

    William Buick, who won the apprentice Lester in 2007 and 2008, was crowned Flat jockey of the year. In 2021 he rode nine Group One winners and was the leading jockey at the Goodwood Festival, with seven wins.

    Champion jockey Harry Skelton took the jumps jockey of the year award, Danny McMenamin took the conditional title and Marco Ghiani was crowned apprentice of the year. The Flat ride of the year, voted by Racing TV viewers, went to Ray Dawson for his performance with Marshall Dan at Sandown on 10 September and Sean Quinlan and Jim took the jump ride of the year honours, voted for by Sky Sports Racing viewers, for Hexham on 9 October.

    Four-time Champion jockey Richard Johnson, who retired in April 2021 aged 43, took the jump jockey special recognition award – and his seventh Lester. Richard rode 3,819 winners during his career, which spanned almost 30 years.

    “The annual Lesters awards are always entertaining and a reminder to viewers of the special talent that jockeys possess. Receiving an accolade remains a highlight for any jockey, especially when the award is voted for by your colleagues,” said PJA interim chief executive Dale Gibson.

    “We congratulate all the winners, especially those in receipt of their first trophy. Once again, many thanks, as ever to Sky Sports Racing for their continued support in hosting the event.”

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