Rhode jockey Pat Smullen named the Offaly Person of the Year

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Pat Smullen is in the running to be crowned Offaly Person of the Year 2017

He will be given the award at a gala dinner in April

Rhode man and horse racing great Pat Smullen has been named the Offaly Person of the year for 2016. Pat was the sole sporting nominee on the shortlist and his nomination came on the back of huge success. He was crowned champion flat racing jockey for a record ninth time in 2016, and this award is testament to teak tough jockey's consistency.

He continues to be a great ambassador for Irish racing, and rode Harzand to success in both the Irish and Epsom Derby in 2016 for trainer Dermot Weld.

Pat will be presented with his award as the 29th annual Offaly Person of the Year at a Gala Function in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, on Saturday, April 1.

The selection committee, which is a sub-committee of the Offaly Association, consisted of Liam Fleury (chairperson), Connie Hanniffy (secretary), Ann Carey (treasurer), Ger Scully (PRO), Peter Carter and Pat Teehan.

They have now completed their search and deliberation and have chosen Pat Smullen because he is a man "who has brought immense honour to his home vilalge or Rhode," Chairperson Liam Fleury said. "He is a very deserving winner," Fleury added.

He follows in the footsteps of previous esteemed winners, such as Shane Lowry (2010), Brian Cowen (1993) and Dr Philip Brady (2002).