ICONIC jockey Sir Anthony Peter McCoy is the second-most decorated rider ever to grace the sport in the UK and Ireland.
The Northern Irishman has rode a record 4,358 winners and was a jump racing champion jockey every year that he competed as a professional.
That led him to being knighted on January 2016, having dedicated his life to horse racing.
Here is his life and journey and what he is doing now…
Who is AP McCoy?
Tony McCoy or AP McCoy was born in Moneyglass, County Antrim which is one of six former counties and two county boroughs that formed Northern Ireland.
The legendary jockey has two children named Eve and Archie, with long-term wife Chanelle McCoy
Tony is noticeably taller than most jockeys – standing at 5ft 10in, which meant that he had to maintain a suitable racing weight.
McCoy is a huge Arsenal fan and a friend of Gunners legend Ray Parlour who played a part in the naming of a successful race horse, The Romford Pele.
He rode the first winner of his career in a flat race at Thurles racecourses in Ireland at the age of 17, but McCoy suffered a leg break shortly after, and his recovery period saw him hit a growth spirt, forcing McCoy into the transition of becoming a jump jockey.
In 1994, the highly decorated horse rider secured his first jump win and by the end of the decade, McCoy had set a new National Hunt record for winners in a season (253), having joined forces with Martin Pipe in 1997.
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Since then, McCoy went on to secure a Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, King George VI Chase, and the Grand National.
But one of his most treasured accomplishments, is when Tony sealed his 4000th career win, riding the Jonjo O’Neill trained Mountain Tunes in the Weatherbys Novices’ Hurdle at Towcester.
In 2010, McCoy was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year becoming the first jockey to win the award and he secured the RTE Sports Person of the Year three years later.
What does he do now?
Since AP McCoy’s retirement in 2015, he has joined the BBC Radio 5 Live horse racing punditry panel before making the switch to ITV in 2017.
As for his wife, Chanelle McCoy, she was unveiled as the new dragon in RTE’s Dragons Den that same year.
In 2020, Tony said that he would have been happier if he was still riding and admitted that retiring from the sport was a bitter pill to swallow.
McCoy said: “The Sunday or Monday after retiring, you’re putting your racing gear in the loft and you’re looking at it thinking ‘that’s it’.
“That parade – the last six weeks, that probably annoyed the hell out of most people – actually helped me.
“Like a heroin addict getting off it, you need a period of detoxing.
“Am I happier than I’ve been in my life? No, I’d be really happy if I was 28 again and trying to break Sir Gordon Richards’ record.”
McCoy released a film in 2015 called ‘Being AP’.
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