On Monday night the Rous society provided us a fascinating talk with the most successful jockey of all time and delved into just what made him the sportsman he is. Mr McCoy told us that, despite not coming from a horse-riding background, it had been his dream since he was 10 to become a racing jockey. This started to become a reality when he left his home in Northern Ireland to come to England when he has 15, and under the careful tutorage of Martin Pipe, whom he described as paying careful attention to the finer details of the sport, he achieved an incredible 74 winners in his first year. He also told us about his hunger for success which fed his motivation, and how he had to learn how to deal with the mental and physical pain of the many injuries he suffered. This helped him throughout his career, particularly in 2010, which he described as his most enjoyable year, when he received a plethora of awards including the Grand National and the sports personality of the year, as well as the Gold Cup two years later, having already broken the record for the most winners in a season in 2001/2002. He finished by saying that he still misses the feeling of racing, but that he was immensely proud of what he had achieved and did not have any regrets.

Shaun Johnson