Hollie Doyle’s remarkable year continued as she took top honours at the 2020
Lesters Awards, including the Flat Jockey of the Year title, the first female jockey to do so.
Doyle was nominated for four ‘Lesters’ as the Professional Jockeys Association joined forces with Sky Sports Racing to host a live broadcast of the awards.
She also claimed the Female Jockey of the Year prize and the Flat Jockey Special Recognition award and becomes only the second jockey ever to win three Lesters in a single year, after Paul Hanagan achieved the same feat in 2010.
Speaking about her Flat Jockey Special Recognition award, she told Sky Sports Racing:” This means a lot to me this one because I know all the other lads have been behind me to get me to win it, so I’m just really grateful that everyone’s got my back.”
Doyle adds the titles to the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award as well as a third-placed finish at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.
It was a day to remember for the 24-year-old, who had earlier secured her 150th winner of 2020 aboard Darwell Lion at Lingfield.
After the race, she told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s great to get to 150. To get the 100 up was a relief, but to get 150 is different class. I didn’t think it would happen this year.”
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the PJA, also paid tribute to Doyle’s achievements, saying: “Hollie’s achievement in becoming only the second jockey in Lesters history to win three awards in a year, and becoming the first female jockey to be crowned Flat Jockey of the Year, should not be downplayed.”
Brian Hughes, who won his first jump jockeys’ championship in 2020, was chosen as the Jump Jockey of the Year award recipient, 12 years on from receiving his first Lester for conditional jockey of the year in 2008.
Cieren Fallon and Jonjo O’Neill Jnr received their second career Lesters for Apprentice Jockey of the Year and Conditional Jockey of the Year respectively, each for the second year in a row, following on from becoming champion apprentice and champion conditional.
Sky Sports Racing viewers chose Jack Tudor’s determined ride on Potters Corner in the Welsh National at Chepstow as their Jump Ride of the Year, while Racing TV viewers voted for Dylan Hogan’s audacious front-running ride on Wanaasah at Wolverhampton back in January for the Flat Ride of the Year.
The Jump Jockey Special Recognition award was presented to stalwart of the weighing room and dual Grand National winner Leighton Aspell, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
The final award of the year saw a rare honorary Lester presented to Dr Jerry Hill, the BHA chief medical adviser.
Covid restrictions meant the awards were a virtual affair, with the winners unable to receive their coveted trophies in the studio.
Paul Struthers added: “The Lesters are always a special occasion and in the absence of being able to hold an actual ceremony, we can’t thank Sky Sports Racing enough for agreeing to host this live special as well as Racing TV for assisting us with the rides of the year footage.
“We’re delighted for all the winners and hope it clearly demonstrates to them the regard and esteem in which they are held by their peers.”