Irish Champion Hurdle
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The Irish Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Ireland which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Leopardstown over a distance of about 2 miles (3,219 metres), and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in late January or early February.
The event was established in 1950, and it is now one of two Irish races, along with the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, which can be seen as equivalents of the Champion Hurdle in England. The most recent winner of the Leopardstown version to win the Champion Hurdle in the same season was Hurricane Fly in 2013. The Irish Champion Hurdle was sponsored by AIG Europe from 1993 to 2008, and by Toshiba in 2009 and 2010. The race has been sponsored by BHP Insurance since 2011 and is now part of the Dublin Racing Festival weekend.
Most successful horse (5 wins):
- Hurricane Fly – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Most successful jockey (6 wins):
- Charlie Swan – Nordic Surprise (1991), Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), Like-A-Butterfly (2003)
- Ruby Walsh – Brave Inca (2009), Hurricane Fly (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Faugheen (2016)
Most successful trainer (6 wins):
- Willie Mullins – Hurricane Fly (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), Faugheen (2016)
- amateur jockey
- The 1995 running took place at Fairyhouse