VIP guests from the world of horse racing were out in force on Monday night for the annual Curragh Racing Awards in association with Kildare Village and Tipperary Crystal.
RTÉ's racing pundit Tracy Piggott – no stranger indeed to the world of fashion – was MC on the night which was attended by trainers Willie McCreery, Aidan O'Brien and Dermot Weld.
Guests at the intimate event included Maria McGovern (director, Kildare Village), Evan Arkwright (The Curragh), Declan Fearon (owner, Tipperary Crystal) and his super glamorous wife Camilla, Henry Beeby and Eimear Mulhern of Goffs, and Curragh chairman Gerry Magee with his wife Aileen.
It was a night of equestrian success stories and celebration mixed with Italian cuisine and fine wines at the quintessentially Italian restaurant L'Officina in Kildare Village.
Guests dined on a menu of antipasto boards with an assortment of the finest Villani Emilia Romagna charcuterie and pastas with locally sourced salmon and Kildare Hereford beef. They even found room for some tiramisu.
Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning were the big winners of the evening as they were given the Training and Riding Perfor-mance of the Year Award after a memorable win with Trading Leather at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh, one of the major highlights of the flat racing year.
Special Merit Awards were presented to Curragh-based trainer Willie McCreery for his magnificent successes with Fiesolana, a winner of five races this year including the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Newmarket recently, while David and Sabina Power accepted a Special Merit Award on behalf of their horse, Slade Power, which won two of the Curragh's top sprint races this year.
Father and son pride radiated from Aidan O'Brien and his son Joseph who were crowned the leading trainer and jockey of the Curragh season. Take a bow: Aidan recorded 34 winners and his son piloted 30 winners at the Co Kildare venue.