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Sir Anthony McCoy

We look at the career of Sir Anthony Peter McCoy as he receives a knighthood for his services to horseracing


  • Sir Anthony McCoy
    The greatest jump jockey in the history of horseracing has been knighted in The Queen's New Year's Honours list. We look back at some of the key moments in his racing career:


    First of many: 
    Riszard becomes Tony McCoy's first winner over jumps at Gowran in 1994. He won his first ever race on Legal Steps at Thurles two years earlier.


    Champion performance: McCoy celebrates winning the 1997 Champion Hurdle on Make A Stand after an enterprising ride.


    Gold Cup glory: The 1997 Cheltenham Festival was a memorable one for McCoy, who also landed the Gold Cup on Mr Mulligan.


    Partners in Crime: During the early part of his career, McCoy teamed up with trainer Martin Pipe (pictured right) to record many wins. They were a formidable duo.


    Record breaker: McCoy celebrates passing Sir Gordon Richards' record of 269 winners in a season. He went on to win 289 races in the 2001-02 season. He regards it as his greatest achievement.


    No pain, no gain: McCoy's pain threshold was legendary. The rider suffered many injuries and broken bones during his career.


    Never-say-die: McCoy's attitude in races won him many contests that seemed hopeless. His win aboard Wichita Lineman at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival was among his finest rides.


    At last: The Grand National had eluded McCoy throughout his astonishing career. However, he was able to celebrate success in the race for the first, and only, time on Don't Push It in 2010.


    Star name: McCoy's win on Don't Push It in the Grand National brought him into the view of the wider public and he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010. He is the only rider to receive the award. He picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award in Belfast this year.


    Tony McCoy OBE: The jockey received his honour from The Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2011.


    Record keep tumbling: McCoy became the first, and so far only, jockey to reach 4,000 winners when he steered Mountain Tunes to victory at Towcester in 2013. He was sprayed with champagne by his weighing room colleagues.


    One last time: Having shocked the racing world by announcing his retirement in February, McCoy rode at the Cheltenham Festival for the final time in March. He steered Uxizandre to glory in the Ryanair Chase, his 31st and final win at the meeting.


    Exiting the stage: McCoy is the centre of attention as he enters the weighing room for the final time at Cheltenham in March.


    Top 20: McCoy, an avid Arsenal FC fan, receives his 20th, and final, jump jockeys championship trophy from former Arsenal striker Ian Wright in April.


    Salute to the crowd: McCoy says his thanks to the packed crowd at Sandown on his final day in the saddle...BUT WAIT


    The final one: McCoy celebrates after coming out of retirement for the one and only time to ride in the Leger Legends race at Doncaster, which he won on Gannicus. McCoy rode in the race as a favour to charity fundraiser Jack Berry (right, red shirt).
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  • Arise, Sir Anthony Peter McCoy OBE

    TONY McCOY is to become Sir Anthony McCoy OBE after being awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list in recognition of his services to horseracing, writes Richard Birch.

    McCoy, who re-wrote the record books during an extraordinary 23-year career in the saddle, on Wednesday spoke of his knighthood as being "the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon you."

    McCoy, only the second jockey in history to have been awarded a knighthood after Sir Gordon Richards in 1953, said: "This is the pinnacle in terms of awards. It's a great honour for me, and for my family. Mum and Dad are very proud.

    "It is also great for the sport, and great for jockeys. I know quite a lot about Sir Gordon Richards - I did get a bit obsessed with him for a period of time during my career - and it just goes to show what jockeys can achieve."

    Unmatched achievements
    McCoy, 41, retired at the end of the last jumps season in April with a career tally of 4,348 jumps winners, comprising 4,204 in Britain and 144 in Ireland.

    He also won ten races on the Flat, including the 'Leger Legends' race aboard Gannicus at Doncaster in September - his farewell in the saddle and for which he came out of retirement temporarily as a favour to charity fundraiser extraordinaire Jack Berry - resulting in a final overall total of 4,358.

    His first winner was aboard Legal Steps on the Flat at Thurles in 1992, and his first triumph over jumps was recorded on Riszard at Gowran Park two years later.

    During a career of relentless, phenomenally high achievement, McCoy amassed 31 Cheltenham Festival winners, including two Gold Cups via Mr Mulligan (1997) and Synchronised (2012), and three Champion Hurdles, courtesy of Make A Stand (1997), Brave Inca (2006) and Binocular (2010).

    He also memorably landed the world's most famous race, the Grand National, aboard Don't Push It for his boss JP McManus and trainer Jonjo O'Neill at Aintree in 2010 after 14 previous attempts had ended in disappointment.

    McCoy was crowned champion jockey for 20 consecutive seasons - in every season after he became a fully fledged professional in 1995-96. This easily eclipsed the old record of eight titles (including one shared) by Peter Scudamore between 1981-82 and 1991-92.

    Prolific
    Perhaps most renowned for his partnership with trainer Martin Pipe, he enjoyed his most prolific campaign in 2001-02, when his total of 289 winners in a British season beat Richards' record of 269 on the Flat, set in 1947, and meant he finished an astonishing 157 winners clear of perennial runner-up Richard Johnson.

    The trophy for champion jockey was decommissioned and awarded to McCoy permanently on his retirement on bet365 Gold Cup day at Sandown.

    McCoy secured another piece of history in 2010 when he became the first jockey to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and he also recently received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in Belfast.

    Elite band
    McCoy joins an elite band from racing who have been awarded a knighthood, comprising Richards, Sir Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, Sir Noel Murless, Sir Peter O'Sullevan and Sir Henry Cecil.

    Sir Michael Stoute was also knighted in 1998, but he received the honour in recognition of his services to tourism in his native Barbados, rather than for racing. Sir Mark Prescott is a hereditary baronet.

    McCoy was appointed MBE in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours and OBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours list for his services to racing.
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