Here's how Sports Personality of the Year would go with animals instead of humans

Sure, Sports Personality of the Year is fun and all, but at no point during the ceremony does the animal contribution get a fair shake.

We're here to put that right, with a list of some of the greatest sporting animals of the year. Which of these giants of the animal and sporting kingdom will win our prize?

Cristiano Ronaldo's moth

When Cristiano Ronaldo took to the pitch for Portugal's Euro 2016 final against France, he'd have been forgiven for thinking his day might pass without a moth stealing his limelight.

Sat injury-stricken on the ground in the first half, Ronaldo began to tear up - it was at this point a moth made its way to Ronaldo, and perched on his face.

Some say he drank Ronaldo's tears; others say it was Lionel Messi in moth form. Whatever its purpose, the moth's presence was a strangely poignant one, as Ronaldo's dream of guiding his team to international glory disappeared in a haze of moth Twitter accounts.

Ronaldo summoned the strength to see his side over the line from the technical area, and the moth was never seen again. It will always have a place in our hearts however, as well as a small footnote in the history of football.

Alexis Sanchez's dogs

The feel-good story of the year is Alexis Sanchez and his dogs, Atom and Humber. Just a couple of good doggies, the pair have captured Sanchez's heart to the point where he has gifted them their own Instagram account.

And what's not to love? The pair have charisma, and that's currency in the showbiz world - just check out this advert featuring the famous duo.

What a year they've had. Could they win our award?

Mongooses on the golf course

There were plenty of contenders for this nomination, with golf courses unsurprisingly playing host to a number of creatures. We had alligators and owls at the golf, and a dog at the cricket, but we like this gaggle of mongooses.

Scampering across the green in tidy fashion, these furry trespassers earned our respect when, after a quick inspection, they decided to leave the balls well alone.

Excellent sportsmanship all round.

Seagull takes it on the chin

This seagull takes his place in the list after a hairy moment in Australia's FFA Cup final between Melbourne City and Sydney.

The incident came about after a square ball, played in good faith we presume, took out the unfortunate feathered flier, leaving it worse for wear.

Fortunately the safe hands of Danny Vukovic were on hand to carry the bird to safety, where seconds later it's shown to be making a decent recovery by the look of it. Outstanding courage in the face of what must have appeared like a giant football.

A word for those we've lost this year

Well, just one creature really. The butterfly Andy Murray took out on the way to losing his Australian Open final clash against Kei Nishikori.

Murray takes one swipe before switching to his backhand and cruelly knocking the butterfly out of the way. The one blot on his copybook this year.

The butterfly was reportedly taken out of the building and released, but we can't be sure of the state of its health. Sad times.

All the horses

Great Britain's Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro - (David Davies/PA)
(David Davies/PA)

Most of us will have seen a bit of the equestrian stuff at the Olympics, whether it was Nick Skelton's miraculous gold medal or Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro the horse.

You'll have seen the medals dished out to the riders, but what of the animals they rode upon? Nobody's going to watch a rider with no horse, you'd look foolish at best - the show jumping would just be novelty hurdles.

So this nomination's for the four-legged heroes, who jump, run and dance weirdly to odd music - we recognise your efforts, horse community.

And the winner is... Ronaldo's moth!

He did it on the biggest stage, and created one of the most iconic moments of the year. It had timing, it had finesse - everything you want to see from your Animal Personality of the Year.

It also proved the catalyst for some great tweeting.

Always room for a bit of Pokemon-based humour.

The reason there were so many moths about that day, all joking aside, was because someone apparently left the lights on in the stadium the previous night.

Here we thought it was simply drawn to the bright lights of Ronaldo's winning smile. How wrong we were.

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