Hollie Doyle has described her sense of honour to finish on the podium at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony – and to do so “for the horse racing industry, not just myself”.
Doyle capped her memorable 2020 by taking third place behind Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton – who won the award – and runner-up Jordan Henderson at MediaCityUK in Salford on Sunday evening.
It marks another huge achievement for the record-breaking jockey, with deserved wide acclaim as she raised the profile of her sport with such a strong showing in the public vote.
Afterwards, she said: “It felt unbelievable (to finish third) – but it felt like I was picking it up for the horse racing industry, not just myself.
“I always thought that good things like this don’t happen to people like me, but I’m just honoured to be where I am.”
The BBC award has gone to racing just once in its long history, when Sir Anthony McCoy won in 2010. Doyle’s third matches that of Frankie Dettori, in 1996.
It has been a remarkable 12 months for the 24-year-old, who was joined at the BBC’s ceremony by her partner and fellow jockey Tom Marquand.
In 2020, she broke her own best for the most winners in a calendar year by a female jockey, and pulled off a brilliant Champions Day double at Ascot – including her first Group One aboard Glen Shiel in the British Champions Sprint.
Doyle also claimed her first Royal Ascot success on Scarlet Dragon, and rode fives winners on a card at Windsor in August. She has since taken part at the Breeders’ Cup in America and became the first female to ride a winner in the Longines International Jockeys Championship in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago.
Her outstanding achievements had already been recognised with several awards – as the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, the Sports Journalists’ Association Sportswoman of the Year and Flat Jockey of the Year at the HWPA Derby Awards.