Two Northern Irish nominations for 2014 Horse Racing Ireland Awards

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Downpatrick-based Trainer Brian Hamilton and Banbridge Jockey James Smyth are both nominated in the Point-To-Point category for the 2014 Horse Racing Ireland Awards.

Newstalk presenter and racing enthusiast Ivan Yates will be master of ceremonies for the awards, which take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Monday December 8th.

Brian Hamilton was previously a well-known and successful amateur rider, riding for many top trainers including Paddy Mullins, Martin Pipe and Aiden O’Brien.

As a trainer, Hamilton has excelled with much success both on the track and at point-to-points and last season, he trained eight winners from just 39 runners.

His handling of Warne since he arrived in his yard has been exceptional, guiding his gelding to victory in the Foxhunters Chase at Aintree in April.

Jockey James Smyth realised his dream this year when steering Tammys Hill to victory in the Cheltenham Foxhunters Chase. This was a wonderful family story as Tammys Hill was bred by his father Patsy and owned by his uncle Seamus.

Furthermore James was a significant part of this horse’s training programme with trainer Liam Lennon.

Tammys Hill won ten of his fifteen point-to-points and was second three times. On the track he has also won eight more races.

At Cheltenham, James got everything right and once jumping to the front at the top of the hill he lead home a famous one-two for Northern Ireland-trained runners with Carsonstown Boy second for Colin McBratney.

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI said: “The HRI Awards will give us the chance to celebrate and acknowledge the extremely high standards across all sectors of Irish racing.

“Each of the nominees announced today deserve to be recognised for their achievements throughout the year and all categories are very competitive.”

Once again, members of the public will again have an opportunity to vote on the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ category, through the HRI Awards app, which will be available for download from iTunes and Google Play next week. Forms will be available at Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) reception for those without a smart phone.

The Awards App contains information about the awards and each of the nominees, an image gallery, all the latest news and will also allow members of the public to watch the awards live.