Smullen Receives Cartier Award Of Merit

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Pat Smullen with AP McCoy and Sheila Lavery after the Champios Race at the Curragh | Racing Post

LONDON, UK—Multiple Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen was presented with the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit during the 29th annual Cartier Awards at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Tuesday evening.

During a career spanning more than 20 years, most of that time spent as stable jockey to Dermot Weld, Smullen was crowned champion jockey in Ireland on nine occasions, most recently in 2016, the year he won the Derby aboard the Aga Khan's Harzand (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). That was one of his 11 Classic winners, which included Irish Oaks heroine Covert Love (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}), 2000 Guineas winner Refuse To Bend (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) and the four-time Irish St Leger winner Vinnie Roe (Ire) (Definite Article {GB}).

Smullen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March of last year and announced his retirement from the saddle this May. He was recently at the forefront of a major fundraising effort as ambassador for the Longines Irish Champions Weekend. Charitable events surrounding the two days of racing and including the Pat Smullen Champions Race, in which nine of his retired weighing-room colleagues returned to the saddle, raised more than €2.5 million for Cancer Trials Ireland.

Since his retirement, the 42-year-old has joined the team at Eva Bucher-Haefner's Moyglare Stud, for whom he rode many major winners, and has written a popular weekly column for the TDN during the Flat season. He has also recently been appointed honorary president of the International Federation of Jockeys Associations.

Paying tribute to Smullen's achievements, Harry Herbert, racing consultant for Cartier, said, “Pat Smullen is an inspirational figure. As well as his brilliance in the saddle, his dedication to help others who face the same health issues tells us what an outstanding human being he is.”

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