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Statue of Sir A.P. McCoy to be unveiled at Cheltenham
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Statue of Sir A.P. McCoy to be unveiled at Cheltenham
on 17 February 2017
On the opening day of the festival, the lifesize statue will be situated on the Best Mate Plaza

Cheltenham Racecourse will unveil a bronze statue of Sir A.P. McCoy on Tuesday, March 4th, the first day of the Festival.

The lifesize bronze of the record-breaking legendary jockey will be situated on the Best Mate Plaza by the north entrance to the racecourse.

It was crafted by Dublin-based sculptor Paul Ferriter, who boasts an extensive portfolio including the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition and leading golfers.

Ferriter also produced the statue of jockeys Martin and Tim Molony, which is situated at Limerick Racecourse.

McCoy, who retired from the saddle at the end of the 2014/15 season, was the most successful jockey jump racing has ever known.

He was champion jump jockey in Britain a record 20 times, taking the title every season between 1995/96 and 2014/15, and partnered an incredible 4,358 jump winners during his career.

His 31 successes at the festival included two Cheltenham Gold Cups (1997 Mr Mulligan & 2012 Synchronised) as well as three Champion Hurdles (1997 Make A Stand, 2006 Brave Inca & 2010 Binocular).

He is now a pundit for ITV Racing and remains a member of owner J.P. McManus's team.

McCoy said: "I last saw Paul's work about seven weeks' ago, just before it was about to get bronzed and it look very, very good. I took some videos and showed them to friends who agreed that Paul has really captured my likeness.

"Some of my friends were wondering whether the statue was going to be the old or new me - the 10 stone one or the 12 stone one! Paul has done really well in sculpturing me as a jockey and it was a very enjoyable working with him.

"His dedication to getting it right was really outstanding, from measuring me to videoing me and when I was standing for him.

"I thought most people got a statue when they were dead! I guess it will give the birds somewhere to sit."

Ferriter commented: "A.P. was very easy to work with and very likeable. For me, as a sculptor, he was a brilliant subject. A.P. has a really great face with incredible cheekbones, a great jaw and chin as well as really good hair."

"He is also a really funny guy and was incredibly obliging throughout the process. In terms of the piece, what I really wanted to try and capture was the kind of intensity that A.P. has, his total dedication."

"I have basically produced the classic A.P. pose - standing with his arms folded and the whip under his arm, with an intense look on his face. It is a pre-race pose, lost in maybe that pre-race anxiety and always looking to the future."

"I met A.P. a few times and went over to his house to take some videos and measurements. I actually produced the sculpture at Croke Park, as that is where my studio is situated. A.P. also gave me a set of his silks which I took back to the studio and set up on a mannequin."

"A.P. came over at Christmas to look at the clay model I had produced. He liked what he saw. He was followed by Ian Renton from Cheltenham, who also liked what he saw. It is important for me to get the green light from the client at the clay model stage before I cast it up."

"I started out by making a smaller two-foot version, which I then enlarged to life size for the final product.

"One challenge I did have was the fact A.P. has changed a lot since he stopped riding. So I had to go over old images and photos - I really wanted to get the look he had when he was a jockey and at his racing weight. All of us change over time!"

"It was a six-month project from start to finish. I will be at Cheltenham for every day of the festival and am very much looking forward to the statue being unveiled on Champion Day."

RUBY WALSH INTERVIEW AND GORDON ELLIOTT STABLE TOUR IN THE IRISH FIELD THIS WEEKEND

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