PAUL Townend was guest of honour at the annual launch of the Laytown Races colouring competition at Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh in the Co Meath seaside village last Friday.

This year entrants are being asked to colour in a specially designed drawing by renowned horse racing cartoonist Darren ‘Birdie’ Bird.

Two groups of approximately 100 students listened to the six-time champion jockey speak about how he got involved in horse racing and what it means to him.

A terrific round of questions followed, from which they learned that his favourite horse is State Man, his most memorable win was the Randox Grand National which he won this year aboard I Am Maximus.

He was even asked how many winners he had needed to afford the Porsche car he had driven up in, to which he answered that it was a treat to himself after a very successful year.

Laytown Races manager Jessica Cahalan said: “Paul was just brilliant with the kids. He spoke to them about how he is currently suspended from racing, reminding them of the importance of following the rules.

“Also getting across to them that they need hard work and dedication to succeed in whatever they might be interested in. They all seemed keen to get involved with the colouring competition and we can’t wait to see the entries on display at the Laytown Races on Monday, September 16th.”