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Tony McCoy kept Queen waiting a year over his MBE ceremony

By Jane O'Faherty

Published 07/04/2016

Tony McCoy with wife Chanelle and daughter Eve after receiving his OBE in 2011
Tony McCoy with wife Chanelle and daughter Eve after receiving his OBE in 2011

Racing legend AP McCoy kept the Queen waiting for almost a year when he was awarded an MBE.

The monarch bestowed the honour on McCoy in 2002, but the champion could not make the official ceremony because of his hectic racing schedule.

In an interview with Great British Racing, the Co Antrim man said he was first chosen to receive the title after breaking English jockey Gordon Richards' record of 269 winners in a racing season.

But all the dates McCoy received for an award ceremony at Buckingham Palace always clashed with racing days.

"It went on for 10 months or a year, and in the end they got fed up and said, 'We're out of dates'," McCoy said. "I never actually went."

The same problem popped up again when he was chosen for an OBE in 2010.

"The first six or seven months, there was racing on all the dates," the former jockey said.

"I was thinking, 'God, this is going to happen again... they're not going to be happy'.

"Eventually, after about 10 months, there was a date when there was no racing."

The 20-time Champion Jockey recalled: "All the Queen said to me was, 'Oh, hello. It's nice of you to show up'.

When the champion jockey apologised for the delay, the Queen - a keen horse racing fan herself - said: "I know. I keep an eye."

McCoy also insisted that he would definitely attend the official ceremony for his recent knighthood in the near future.

In an informal interview, carried out in McCoy's car as he drove around London, the sporting hero also belted out one of his favourite anthems - Mr Brightside by The Killers.

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