The 2018 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit was given to the Magnier family and trainer Aidan O’Brien, the driving forces behind Coolmore and the Ballydoyle Racing Stable, in Dublin on Tuesday.
The ceremony was held at an event coinciding with the launch of the 2018 Longines Irish Champions Weekend, which will take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Saturday 15th September and the Curragh Racecourse on Sunday 16th September.
Since its creation, the award honours distinguished personalities for their lifelong contributions to the world of horse racing.
Previous recipients of this honour include Jim Bolger, leading Irish trainer, owner and breeder; France’s Alec Head, past champion trainer and patriarch of prominent stud farm Haras du Quesnay; Seth Hancock of historic Claiborne Farm in America; the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio, former chairman of the South American Organization for the Promotion of Thoroughbreds (OSAF); the Romanet Family, long renowned leaders in both the French and international world of horseracing; and Yutaka Take, legendary Japanese jockey.
The International Award of Merit was created by Longines and the IFHA in order to honour public figures for their outstanding contribution to the world of horse racing. As Official Partner and Official Watch of the IFHA, Longines additionally awards several other prizes in recognition of excellence in this discipline in collaboration with the IFHA. The winners are honoured throughout the year in ceremonies attended by representatives from across the entire profession.
At the International Award of Merit ceremony, Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, stated: “Today, we rewarded the lifetime dedication to horseracing of an illustrious family and a trainer, the Magnier Family and Aidan O’Brien. Our brand, and myself personally, have had the pleasure to witness a great number of their exceptional performances and to reward them very often with Longines timepieces. It is an honour to host this ceremony in a country where horse is king and where the horseracing industry has such an important impact on its economy, culture and history.”
Louis Romanet, IFHA Chairman, commented: “The Magnier family and trainer Aidan O’Brien have built a stunningly powerful partnership on a truly global scale. The success of the Coolmore and Ballydoyle team is so ubiquitous in both Ireland and abroad that it would be impossible to list all of their accomplishments here today. It has been a privilege to have both the Magnier and O’Brien families here as we celebrate their contributions to horse racing.”