It is probably something to do with the danger, highlighted by the shout out to Graham Lee at last night’s Horse Racing Ireland Awards, but every year this is a special gathering of people in the sport celebrating their own.

The night started with a Lifetime Contribution Award for trainer Jessica Harrington and finished with the Racing Hero Award going to Davy Russell, two characters that had the room on its feet.

Wesley Joyce was a popular winner of the Flat Racing Achievement Award having bounced back from a horror fall at Galway in 2022 to resume his career this season.

Youth was also to the the fore in Amy Jo Hayes winning the Ride of the Year and John Gleeson, son of TV presenter Brian winning the Emerging Talent award.

There was a strong connection to John Kiely at the other end of the experience scale , who won the National Hunt Achievement Award and had JP McManus in the room to help pay tribute.

The Flat and national Hunt Awards went to Aidan O’Brien and Paul Townend, leaders not only in Ireland but on the world stage.

O’Brien celebrated his 100th European Classic this summer when Auguste Rodin completed the Epsom and Irish Derby Double and he himself was a deserving winner of the Horse of the Year.

Barry O’Neill won the Point to Point Award and Ballinrobe took away the Racecourse of the Year accolade.

There was a strong oireachtas group present including Minister Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State Martin Hayden, the former paying heed in his opening remarks about the €76 million of Government investment in the sport and the industry generating direct and stimulated expenditure in the economy of €2.46 billion, and maintaining 15,000 full time and 15,000 part time jobs, mainly in rural areas.

There will be challenges coming in terms of legislation impacting the ability of betting companies to promote their services having an impact on their presence at and contribution to the sport but the arguments will be given a fair hearing at least and HRI CEO Suzanne Eade and Chair Nicky Hartery were keen to stress the sport’s support of positive legislation, just taking care that it was not so restrictive as to drive money out of regulated promotion and underground to overseas service providers.

There will be some sore heads this morning from those who did not have to head home for morning gallops, but they are entitled to that in a rare night of coming together to celebrate the sprit and camaraderie in the sport.