Twenty-year old jockey Mark Enright from Castlemahon, Newcastlewest, was crowed Irish Champion Conditional jockey at the final day of the Irish National Hunt Festival at Punchestown Racecourse on Saturday before a near record attendance of almost 25,000 patrons.
Enright, who was presented with his award by Minister Simon Coveney, said: "It has been a really great season, and riding 35 winners was something I never expected. I got great support from by boss Dessie Hughes to whom I am very grateful, and to many other owners and trainers who supported me during the season. I suppose winning the Leopardstown Chase was the highlight of the whole season. It was a big race to win, and get good exposure from."
Also in attendance were Mark's parents Jerry and Catherine, and his sister Lorraine.
"Current Irish Champion jockey Davy Russell has been a great influence on his career," Jerry said "as he shared accommodation with him in Clonmel for over 18 months, and always advised him well."
Mark's mother Catherine was also thrilled, exclaiming: "We are all very proud of him, and it has been a great achievement for him to win the national conditional title. It will be a great boost to his future career." His sister Lorraine added: "I am very proud of my brother and delighted he has won the title."