2012 is the eighth year in which Godolphin has sponsored the Stud and Stable Staff Awards. There are six different awards, all designed to recognise high achievement in the range of skills required for the effective care of horses and the smooth operation of stud or stable.
Over the last couple of weeks Brough Scott, chairman of the judging panel and his colleagues have been sifting through the entries and they've now come up with three finalists in each category. These are listed below along with the employer. Scott said, "These are the awards that renewed faith in the dedication and talent in the heart of the game. Being a judge is not just a pleasure – it is an inspiration."
The six Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards are:
1) David Nicholson Newcomer Award: for those who have displayed a desire to improve, have progressed their skills and knowledge and become an integral part of the team while employed in the industry for less than three years.
Christopher Lynn Ferdy Murphy
Robyn Gray Dianne Sayer
Katy Tyler Mark Johnston Racing
2) High Achiever Award: for those managing two or more staff who have displayed leadership qualities among their colleagues and peers, a desire to succeed in the industry and strong mentoring skills that have been to the benefit of those around them.
Clifford Baker Paul Nicholls
Andrew Bottomley Mark Johnston Racing
William Reddy Eve Johnson Houghton
3) Rider/Groom Award: for those who have shown talent for horsemanship, consistency and reliability in and out of the saddle.
Charlotte Cox Henry Candy
Peter Johnson Johnson Racing Limited
Zafar Abbas Godolphin - Mahmood Al Zarooni
4) Stud Staff Award: for those who have shown expertise, dedication and reliability, excellent horsemanship, adaptability and teamwork while employed within a stud.
Graham Nicklin Julia Scott, Glebe Stud
Frances Eilbeck Minster Stud
Gordon Laing Fittocks Stud
5) Dedication to Racing Award: for a long-serving member of staff who has been employed for at least 10 years within the industry and is an integral part of the team, offering a wealth of experience, knowledge and dedication to their job.
Willie Cowe James Ewart Racing
Burney Hutchinson David R.Lanigan Limited
Lenny Brinkley Roger Varian
6) NASS Special Merit Award: for a National Association of Stable Staff member chosen on the basis that they deserve special recognition for their work within the industry and have acted in a manner to be regarded as a role model for stable staff.
The winner of the NASS award is decided by the NASS Executive Council and will be announced later.
The 15 finalists will all visit the British Horseracing Authority headquarters in London for a judging day on 26 February. The following day they will all attend the awards ceremony. Champion flat jockey Paul Hanagan will present all the finalists with an award and announce the winners in each category as well as the winner of the "employee of the year" title.
Each category winner receives £5000 and the two runners-up receive £2000. The yard employing them will receive the same amounts. The member of staff who takes the employee of the year award will also win £15,000 for themselves and £10,000 for their yard, along with the Godolphin Trophy.
Setting out the reasons behind Godolphin's sponsorship of the awards, racing manager Simon Crisford said, "Sheikh Mohammed has always believed it is important to recognise the huge contribution made every day by stable stud staff – they are the backbone of the racing bloodstock industry."