The April 2019 winner of the Talbot Collection Cork Community, Business and Sports Awards is Mr. Paul Townend, Champion Jockey, who recently won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Willie Mullins’ trained Al Boum Photo. This month’s award falls under the Sports Award category.

The Awards Scheme is sponsored by Talbot Collection Cork along with Award Sponsors AIB Midleton & Ballincollig and media partners RedFM.

Paul Townend, a native of Walshtown, on the outskirts of Midleton, completed his studies in 2007 at Midleton CBS and subsequently embarked on a career as a jockey with the all-conquering Willie Mullins stable.

Paul’s talents were evident from an early age on the on the pony racing circuit and when the opportunity arose to make the move to Closutton the youngster didn’t think twice.

As an apprentice he enjoyed multiple successes on the flat and at just 17 the teenager would travel to Ballybrit and win one of the feature races of the Galway festival, the Galway Hurdle, aboard Indian Pace. It was only his 20th ride over jumps, a victory that really put Townend’s name in many notebooks.

In 2010 Ruby Walsh suffered injury, as is part of the National Hunt game. Mullins put mighty faith in the 20-year-old Townend and he duly obliged. It was a golden year and provided him with his first Champion Jockey title.

Read more inside this week’s Midleton & District News.