Tribute has been paid to national hunt jockey Tony McCoy who has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, by Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.
The jockey from Moneyglass in Co Antrim has ridden over 4,300 career winners and has been champion jockey 19 times.
Paying tribute to ‘A.P.’, Minister Ní Chuilín said: “There have been many great Irish sportsmen and Tony McCoy has reached a pedestal which will match any of them.
“The word ‘legend’ is sometimes used liberally but in the case of Tony McCoy there is no dispute – he is a true legend of his sport.
“He has set a record of career wins that may never be beaten and I was honoured to welcome him to Stormont last year. He is an incredible sportsman who has made many sacrifices and sustained more than his fair share of injuries.
“He has given many people countless hours of enjoyment and the sport of horse racing will be that bit poorer without him.
“He has been champion jockey every year since 1996, the year he turned professional. This is a truly remarkable achievement and one from which he can take immense pride.”
The Culture Minister wished Mr McCoy well for the remainder of the season and said she hoped he would stay injury free.
“I’ve no doubt however that he will be paying another visit or two to the winners enclosure before he finally hangs up the saddle,” she added.
Following the announcement there has been a massive move on him to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, according to BoyleSport.
The 19 time champion jump jockey was a 40/1 outsider for the award, but after the news broke that he would be retiring the money came quick and fast and he is now the 3/1 favourite.
Previous favourite, Rory Mc Ilroy is now second in the betting at 6/1, with Lewis Hamilton next at 7/1 and Andy Murray priced at 8/1 for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.