Rhode man and nine-time Irish champion flat jockey, Pat Smullen, has been honoured with a top racing industry award.
He was confirmed as the recipient of the 2019 Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit on Tuesday, November 12.
Smullen was forced to retire back in May on medical advice after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018.
He embarked on a fundraising mission this year to help others with the disease and to fund research. His efforts amassed over €2.5 million and culminated in a charity race at the Curragh which saw Paul Carberry, Ruby Walsh and AP McCoy briefly come out of retirement.
What an honour to receive the Cartier Award of Merit last night. Many Thanks to @Cartier and @Telegraph. I feel like I’m accepting it on behalf of Irish Racing for what was achieved over Champions Weekend. @HRIRacing @IrishChampsWknd pic.twitter.com/VaSeqUUtd8— Pat Smullen (@patjsmullen) November 13, 2019
The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to reward excellence in European horseracing.
There are eight equine awards, ranging from the Cartier Horse Of The Year to the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt and Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly.
In addition to the equine awards, the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit goes to the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 16-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done the most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.
Previous winners include Aidan O'Brien, Sir Michael Stoute and henry Cecil.