Irish jockey Tony McCoy must be used to winning by now, but when he was announced as RTE’s Irish Sports Personality of the Year at the end of December, there was a great sense of consensus for the decision.
The 18 time champion jockey has been a powerful ambassador for Irish sports and horse racing throughout his 22 year career, but back in November 2013 he rode his 4000th win! Riding Mountain Tunes at Towcester in the UK, the Antrim native took a moment to contemplate his successful career:
‘It really was the first time that I felt really proud and happy for what I’d achieved and felt brave enough to say that I was proud of what I’d achieved’
This 4000th win rocketed him into the public eye and he soon won nominations for the RTE and BBC Sports Personalities of the Year, awards that recognise the skill and determination of sportsmen. He came third in the BBC contest (won by tennis player Andy Murray), but a week later he won the Irish award.
‘It’s great,’ he said, ‘and a fantastic honour to win such a prestigious award here at home’
But like The Wild Geese before him, this level of success does not mean an easy ride from here on out. His 4000th win and the Sports Personality Award have exhilarated him and he’s now set his sights on 5000 wins going into 2014! His ambition is unyielding. Just like Wild Geese throughout the centuries.