Lesters nominations revealed

The nominations for the Stobart Lesters 2016 – horse racing's 'Oscars' – were announced on Thursday December 1.

Richard Johnson has received two nominations

The prestigious accolades will be awarded at the Stobart Lesters ceremony at its fantastic new venue three days before Christmas.

The glittering awards night celebrating the achievements of Jockeys from Britain will take place at the Ricoh Arena in the Midlands – home of Wasps Rugby Union team and Coventry City Football Club – on Thursday 22nd December in front of a host of sporting stars and celebrities.

The event will look back on the 2016 Flat racing season when Jim Crowley was crowned Stobart Champion Flat Jockey for the first time, as well as the Jump racing season of 2015/16 when Richard Johnson won the Stobart Champion Jockeys' Championship, also for the first time.

It is the 26th anniversary of the Lesters, first held in 1990 and named in honour of Lester Piggott.

Four jockeys have received two nominations each: Richard Johnson for Stobart Jump Jockey of the Year and ARC Jump Jockey Special Recognition; Frankie Dettori for Racing Post Flat Ride of the Year and All Sport Insurance Flat Jockey Special Recognition; Josephine Gordon for Great British Racing Lady Jockey of the Year and the Jockeys Employment and Training Scheme Apprentice Jockey of the Year and Ryan Hatch for Racing Excellence Conditional Jockey of the Year and AtTheRaces Jump Ride of the Year. First time Stobart Champion Flat Jockey Jim Crowley is nominated as Stobart Flat Jockey of the Year.

The late and much missed racing broadcaster and jockey coach, Tom O'Ryan, who passed away over the summer, also has two nominations in both the All Sport Insurance Flat Special Recognition and Arena Racing Company Jumps Special Recognition awards. These are the only two Lesters that can be awarded to those who are not current members of the Weighing Room.

Voting for seven of the Lesters awards is by ballot among members of the Professional Jockeys Association. The Flat Ride of the Year has been chosen by readers and users of the sponsoring Racing Post. Likewise, the Jump Ride of the Year, sponsored by At The Races, has been decided by votes on the TV channel's website. Both polls are now closed.

Stobart Group, the leading infrastructure and support services company, is headline sponsor of the Lesters for the sixth successive year as part of its wider sponsorship and support of the PJA and its members.

Paul Struthers, Chief Executive of the PJA, said: "Jockeys live for riding winners and for riding good horses, yet ask any jockey that has won a Lester and they will admit that there is no greater recognition than that of their peers and the public, which is what makes winning a Lester so special.

"It is an achievement in itself to be nominated and we warmly congratulate all of those jockeys who have been the short list. It is also poignant that Tom O'Ryan has been nominated for the Special Recognition Award by jockeys of both codes, which is testament to the regard in which he was held."

FULL LIST OF NOMINATIONS (in alphabetical order)

Lady Jockey of the Year:

Hollie Doyle

Josephine Gordon

Lizzy Kelly

Rachel Richardson

Apprentice Jockey of the Year:

Josephine Gordon

Tom Marquand

Adam McNamara

Kevin Stott

Flat Ride of the Year:

Frankie Dettori on Galileo Gold at Royal Ascot on 14th June

Josephine Gordon on Dltripleseven at Lingfield Park on 16th July

Graham Lee on Areen Heart at Beverley on 20th September

Robert Winston on Librisa Breeze at Ascot on 1st October

Flat Jockey Special Recognition:

George Baker

Connor Beasley

Frankie Dettori

Tom O'Ryan

Conditional Jockey of the Year:

Tom Bellamy

Ryan Hatch

Craig Nichol

David Noonan

Jump Ride of the Year:

Ryan Hatch on Millicent Silver at Newton Abbot on 5th April

Colm McCormack on Fiddler's Flight at Sedgefield on 9th February

Jamie Moore on Mountainous at Chepstow on 9th January

Emma Sayer on Silver Shuffle at Aintree on 10th June

Jump Jockey Special Recognition:

Richard Johnson

Jason Maguire

Tom O'Ryan

Andrew Thornton

Stobart Flat Jockey of the Year:

Jim Crowley

Ryan Moore

Paul Mulrennan

Oisin Murphy

Jump Jockey of the Year:

Aidan Coleman

Noel Fehily

Brian Hughes

Richard Johnson

Read More at Sporting Life

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