Apprentice jockey shortlisted for young sports personality award

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  • Champion apprentice jockey Tom Marquand has been shortlisted for the BBC young sports personality of the year award.

    The 17-year-old has been named alongside nine athletes from gymnastics, cricket, athletics, diving, freestyle skiing, weightlifting, para-athletics and para-swimming.

    The top three will be announced on 10 December on Blue Peter with the overall winner announced live at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015 awards on 20 December.

    Tom is a graduate of pony racing and this year won the champion apprentice title.

    Last year’s award winner was gymnast Claudia Fragapone, and the title has previously been won by Andy Murray and Wayne Rooney.

    The award ceremony will be held in Belfast for the first time this year.

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    Nominations for the main BBC Sports Personality of the Year award have not yet been announced.

    In 2010 AP McCoy became the first jockey to win the award — the year in which he won the Grand National on his 15th attempt aboard Don’t Push It.

    He secured more than 40% of the votes ahead of darts player Phil Taylor and heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

    In 2013 he finished third in the SPOTY race, behind tennis star Andy Murray and rugby player Leigh Halfpenny.

    AP is one of just four equestrians to have won the award — David Broome in 1960, Princess Anne in 1971 and Zara Phillips in 2006.

    Charlotte Dujardin finished fourth last year, despite a huge push by the equestrian industry and an army of dressage fans.

    The 2014 award was won by Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, with golfer Rory McIlroy in second and athlete Jo Pavey was third.

    Charlotte gained 75,814 votes from the public, 12.2% of the total placed.

    Earlier this showjumping fans started campaigning for Scott Brash to be named the sports personality of the year following his historic win in the Rolex Grand Slam this year.

    Scott picked up a €1m (£730,000) bonus when he completed the hat-trick of grands prix — Geneva, Aachen and Spruce Meadows.

    A page was set up by Amy Dennison from Stafford Barton Stud on Facebook and more than 17,000 people had liked the page.

    “I was so sick and tired of other sports receiving all the recognition, and equestrianism isn’t getting what it deserves,” she told H&H. Whether Amy’s efforts will prove successful only time will tell.

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