Jack Kennedy Takes Tight Jockeys' Race As Irish NH Champions Crowned At Punchestown

Jack Kennedy earned his first title | HRI

The 2023/2024 Irish National Hunt champions were crowned at Punchestown on Saturday, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) announced.

After a close tussle, Jack Kennedy earned his first Irish Champion Jockey title, just edging out Paul Townend, who was aiming for his seventh year-end award. The full list of champions for the 2023/2024 National Hunt season are as follows:

  • Champion Owner: JP McManus
  • Champion Trainer: Willie Mullins
  • Champion Jockey: Jack Kennedy
  • Champion Conditional: Danny Gilligan
  • Champion Amateur: Patrick Mullins
  • Champion Lady Amateur: Jody Townend

HRI chief executive, Suzanne Eade, said, “It has come down to the final day of the season but we now have our six champions confirmed and many congratulations to JP, Willie, Jack, Danny, Patrick and Jody. Jack and Paul served up a thrilling finale to the jockeys' championship and their tussle certainly added to the excitement of the concluding weeks of the season. I recognise that there are many thousands working behind the scenes and away from the limelight, and I thank them so much for their efforts that keeps the show on the road.”

Kennedy said, “It's an unbelievable feeling to have won the championship. Paul got close enough in recent weeks to give me loads of sleepless nights but I'm delighted to have hung on. I've had a great 12 months, leading the championship for much of the way and riding over 100 winners in a season for the first time in my career.”

Added Mullins, “It's fair to say that this has been our best season at home and abroad, and it is a credit to our hardworking and dedicated team that we are celebrating again today. Congratulations to all champions today, especially Jack on winning his first champion jockey title.”

McManus said, “It's such a great honour to win this title and I feel so lucky. My sincere thanks to all the trainers, jockeys, stable staff and all who contributed so much to my success. I have had wonderful days out with my family, grandchildren and friends and the season has given me memories which I will greatly treasure.”

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