Nina Carberry won Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars competition on Sunday evening, mesmerising the judges, as she has done over the past 12 weeks.
Carberry, who won the Irish Grand National with Organisedconfusion in 2011, had her rivals in a spin with her elegant dancefloor moves in the RTE programme.
One of the most successful amateur jockeys of her time, recording 423 winners, she partnered Pasquale La Rocca, who was winning the show for a second successive season.
“I can’t sum it up. This is an incredible show and I was delighted just to be part of it,” Carberry told RTE.
The Cheltenham Festival-winning jockey received the glitterball trophy after starting the evening with a perfect 10 from all three judges for her Viennese Waltz.
After the victory, La Rocca turned to Carberry and admitted: “You are a dream woman and I was honoured and privileged to dance with you.”
Judge Brian Redmond said her Viennese Waltz performance “was like a vintage fine wine. It was fantastic”, with fellow judge Arthur Gourounlian adding: “Out of all the people in this competition, you have surprised us the most with your dancing. You never had any dance training and you have come here week after week, dance after dance, and you have provided the dancing and the entertainment on a golden platter.”
Three-time champion jockey Richard Dunwoody, one of the few racing celebrities to appear on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, was quick to pay tribute to Carberry.
He said: “It is a fantastic achievement. Huge congratulations to her, it takes a serious amount of work and she is very talented.
“Sadly I don’t think she will be my dance partner any time soon – I was kicked off after two weeks! It shows that some jockeys can dance, but Nina appears to be in a league of her own.”