The Lesters 2023 awards were presented during a special live show on Sky Sports Racing on Thursday 21st December.
Lesters 2023 Report
Named after the iconic jockey Lester Piggott, the Lesters are renowned in the racing industry as the annual awards voted for by jockeys for jockeys and as such are hugely coveted.
Traditionally they have been presented at a glamorous awards ceremony but unfortunately, due to the ongoing challenging economic climate following the Covid 19 pandemic, the awards were instead presented on Thirsday 21st December 2023 during a live broadcast on Sky Sports Racing.
William Buick won his third successive Flat Jockey of the Year Lester, confirming the high regard his weighing room colleagues have for him. Brian Hughes was also victorious for the third time in the Jump Jockey of the Year category after picking up the same award in 2020 and 2022.
Young sensation Billy Loughnane won Apprentice Jockey of the Year, capping an incredible year after only having his first ride in October 2022. Conditional Jockey of the Year went to the current champion Luca Morgan, especially poignant as weight issues have recently forced Luca to retire from race riding.
Jet setting jockey Tom Marquand’s ride on Desert Hero at Royal Ascot 2023 was chosen by the Racing TV viewers as the Flat Ride of the Year winner. The Sky Sports Racing viewers selected Derek Fox’s ride on Corach Rambler at the Cheltenham Festival on 14th March 2023 as the Jump Ride of the Year, his second career Lester having picked up the Conditional award in 2005.
Welsh jockey Alan Johns, another member of the weighing room clearly held in high regard by his colleagues, was chosen as the winner of the Jump Jockey Special Recognition award. The recently retired Paul Hanagan, a stalwart of the northern racing scene, received the Flat Jockey Special Recognition award. Paul was champion apprentice in 2002 and went on to be champion jockey in both 2010 and 2011. His daily presence on the racecourse will be missed by his friends and colleagues, but it’s fantastic to see him still involved in the sport.
Winners of the Lesters 2023
- Apprentice Jockey of the Year: Billy Loughnane
- Flat Ride of the Year: Tom Marquand, Desert Hero, Royal Ascot, 22nd June 2023
- Flat Jockey Special Recognition: Paul Hanagan
- Conditional Jockey of the Year: Luca Morgan
- Jump Ride of the Year: Derek Fox, Corach Rambler, Cheltenham, 14th March 2023
- Jump Jockey Special Recognition: Alan Johns
- Flat Jockey of the Year: William Buick
- Jump Jockey of the Year: Brian Hughes