Sports Personality contender: Jockey AP McCoy

AP McCoy "proud" of 4000 wins

During the countdown to the 60th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday, 15 December, we will be looking at each of the 10 shortlisted contenders.

Jockey AP McCoy passed the unprecedented mark of 4,000 jump racing winners as he added another chapter to his record-breaking career in 2013.

The 39-year-old Northern Irishman reached the landmark on Mountain Tunes at Towcester racecourse in November.

His ride that day typified many of his victories - a gutsy performance as he galvanised his mount from a difficult position to pass the winning line first.

McCoy has been champion jockey 18 years consecutively, every year since he has been a professional rider, but perennial runner-up Richard Johnson bears no ill will to his weighing room rival.

"His hunger for riding winners, whether it's a Monday or a Saturday hasn't changed. He's as determined as ever and still hard to beat," said Johnson, who has been second in the title race 15 times.

"He's viewed in the weighing room as a nice person probably as much as he is a brilliant jockey. You don't hear him shouting or squealing - he doesn't think he's better than anyone else."

McCoy has done it the hard way in a risky sport where an ambulance follows every race.

He began the 2013-14 season having just left hospital after a spell in intensive care following a fall at Cheltenham, and is now on course for a 19th championship.

During a career of more than 20 years he has broken both collarbones, shoulder blades, his lower and middle vertebrae, ribs, cheekbones, a leg, ankle, arm and wrist. He has punctured his lungs, chipped teeth and dislocated his thumb.

Sports Personality: Vote for McCoy

McCoy, from County Antrim, was voted Sports Personality of the Year in 2010 after winning the Grand National at Aintree on Don't Push It, his first victory in the race at the 15th attempt, but was particularly pleased with passing the 4,000 mark.

"There is a sense of relief, no doubt, but for the first time in my life I feel a sense of pride of what I've achieved," he said.

"The horse was fantastic. You can't win any horse race without their help and I've ridden some fantastic horses."

The latest landmark comes in a career of setting new goals. In the 2001-02 season, he beat the legendary flat jockey Sir Gordon Richards's record for winners in a season, which had stood for 55 years, by clocking up 289 victories in one campaign.

McCoy is teetotal and keeps his weight down with a punishing regime of hot baths and saunas which affected his fertility, although he and wife Chanelle now have two young children.

While McCoy prefers not to think about retirement, he does have one eye on future projects.

His first novel Taking The Fall, on a racing theme but with some racy scenes, was well received and publishers have asked him for a second book.

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