AP McCoy's businesswoman wife Chanelle McCoy set to breathe fresh fire into Dragons' Den
Chanelle McCoy, the wife of legendary jockey AP, is tipped to be the new dragon on RTE's Dragons' Den, the Sunday Independent can exclusively reveal.
Businesswoman Chanelle, who has been married to AP for 11 years, is set to be unveiled as the new dragon at the show's launch in the coming months.
The mother-of-two will breathe new fire into the den, alongside Gavin Duffy and Barry O'Sullivan. She will replace dragon Eamonn Quinn, son of Fergal Quinn, who cannot take part due to a conflict in schedules.
Dragons' Den was due to be filmed in January but had to be delayed until this month. Eamonn, the former marketing director and deputy chairman of Superquinn and the son of Ireland's most famous shopkeeper, has commitments in the US so cannot continue in his role.
While known in social circles as the wife of the national hunt's most celebrated jockey, in the business world Chanelle's main job is director of Chanelle Medical, a pharmaceutical company with 350 employees and an €93m annual turnover.
Although the firm carries her name, it was set up by her father Michael Burke in the 1980s and Chanelle joined 16 years ago.
The Galway woman has also opened her own boutique, Mojo & McCoy, near her home in Hungerford, Berkshire, England, along with several of her friends, including Laura Lopes - daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall - and Emily Hambro, a member of the banking dynasty.
The businesswoman now spends much of her time travelling across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and is so dedicated to her work that she was back at the helm a mere nine weeks after her second child, Archie, was born.
Last year, her company won the prestigious Pharma Project of the Year - Small award at Ireland's Pharma Industry Awards.
The honour was in recognition of the development of a drug treatment which treats musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis, in horses.
Chanelle Medical spent five years developing the product in granule format, which was a world first for the equine market.
Now, after years cheering on her husband in the world of racing, Chanelle is focusing on her career while AP gets used to playing a more supportive role.
He recently told reporters: "I have achieved the things I wanted to, so it is easier for me to live like that now."
Chanelle meanwhile was said to have been an influence in AP's decision to call it a day as a jockey.
A year before he retired, she expressed her hopes that her husband would retire soon. "I'd like to get him out in one piece," she said. "I want him healthy. He's a dad and I want him to be there for the children."
Chanelle met AP at Punchestown, in Co Kildare, in 1996. They married in 2006 and have two children - daughter Eve, who was born in 2007, and Archie, who was born in 2013.
AP, whose real name is Anthony Peter, retired in April 2015, just days before his 41st birthday.
It was his 20th consecutive season as champion jockey - the rider with more wins than any other. He collected a British knighthood list in 2016 after being named in the New Year's Honours list.