Sir Michael Stoute received the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit in London on Tuesday evening.
The 10-time champion trainer in Britain has been a master of his profession for the past five decades.
Stoute, interviewed by ITV Racing's Ed Chamberlin on stage, commented: "It is very touching and I am delighted to receive this award. Thank you Cartier.
"I was an also ran in trying to become a television presenter and I was ordinary as a cricketer, even though I loved it.
"Pat Rohan (who trained in Yorkshire) was the one that took me in and probably had the biggest influence on me. He was very kind to me as I went to him in my late teens when I was pretty green.
"He opened up some doors for me and was a great influence on me along with his head lad Bobby O'Ryan, Tom and Robin's father. I used to spend my evenings talking with Bobby about the game - he was very knowledgeable.
"It is hard to have one favourite memory. I think the one-two in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Turf (Pilsudski beat Singspiel) at Woodbine is very close to being my top memory as we had been frustrated at the Breeders' Cup before and it hadn't worked well for us. We are fortunate that there have been so many good days.
"Shergar was my best middle-distance horse, Marwell was the best sprinter and I think Zilzal was the best miler.
"I have had a lot of great jockeys ride for me. The first one that we retained was Walter Swinburn. Walter had such natural talent and as a 19-year-old we drove him to Shergar's Derby and he slept in the car until we arrived at Epsom. Walter loved the big days and they brought out the best in him.
"Then there was Kieren Fallon. He had a unique style, but could motivate his horses and won races he shouldn't have won. Walter Swinburn rung me one evening and said 'what would you give to have a jockey with my hands and Kieren's legs?'
"Ryan Moore is the complete jockey. He is ultra-professional and always prepared. I owe him a lot, I really do. After what he said in the video, I probably owe him more than a lot!
"Mick Kinane and Johnny Murtagh have filled in when my retained men have been injured and we have had some wonderful success worldwide. Johnny occasionally reminds me of how very good he was!
"Frankie Dettori has had some very good days for us as well. A Japan Cup, a Breeders' Cup and he won us a St Leger.
"We had had six seconds in the Leger and couldn't win the race. Frankie had the booking and came into the ring at Doncaster and with the Weinstock camp and said 'this man has had Fred Archer, Gordon Richards and Charlie Smirke try to win this Leger and now he has got to depend on me!'
"The fire still burns for me and watching the show tonight reminds you how lucky we are to have owners that are sending us horses of that calibre. Long may it continue.
"God knows what Pat Rohan would have said about me winning this award. Before I leave, I must thank the team at home - a really talented and dedicated bunch. They adore their horses and nothing is too much trouble for most of them. They make these horses."
READ MORE ON THE CARTIER AWARDS IN THE IRISH FIELD THIS WEEKEND