Laureus Ambassador and Britain’s most successful National Hunt jockey, AP McCoy rode his final race at Sandown Park following a record-breaking career spanning 20 years.
Two, third-place finishes at Sandown Park over the weekend in front of a crowd of 18,000, brought an end to the greatest racing career in history.
The Irish legend finished with a total of 4,348 winners over the jumps, and rode a record-breaking 289 winners in one season.
Over the weekend, McCoy was handed the Champions Jockey trophy for the 20th time. “Since the age of 13, all I have wanted to do is be a jockey. That remains true to this day, and retiring is undoubtedly the toughest thing that I have had to do” said McCoy in an interview after the race.
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, who presented him with the champion jockey trophy on Saturday, said: "AP McCoy is made of something else altogether. For 20 years he has been at the top of his game, riding winners, week in week out. I can think of no other sportsman or woman who can match his record. Like the Arsenal team of 2003-04, he's proven that he truly is an invincible. It was an incredible honour to award him with his trophy for the final time on the day he retires."
McCoy claimed his first Champion Jockey title in 1995/6 and, as of 2013/14, has won 19 consecutive Champion Jockey titles, beating the previous record of seven consecutive titles set by Peter Scudamore. McCoy has won almost every big race there is to win. His most high profile winners include the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, King George VI Chase and the 2010 Grand National, riding Don't Push It.
McCoy rode his first steeplechase winner in 1992, when he was 17. Since then he has not only won every big race on the jumping calendar but has also become one of Britain’s most popular sporting heroes.
On becoming a Laureus Ambassador back in 2010, he said: “There is nothing more important for a successful sportsman than to be able to give something back to society and to people who are less fortunate. I have no plans at the moment to stop racing so I still lead a busy schedule, but I will be doing all I can to support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation."