The National Stud’s Chief Executive, Anna Kerr, has been appointed to the judging panel for the 2024 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards – which this year marks its 20th anniversary of honouring British racing’s heroes.
Sponsored by Godolphin and organised by the British Horseracing Authority, in association with the Racing Post and Racing TV, the Awards shine a spotlight on the skill, passion and dedication of the remarkable individuals who look after our horses and support our people.
The 12-strong judging panel is chaired by award-winning broadcaster, Nick Luck, and is comprised of prominent figures from British racing and breeding, all bringing a wide range of knowledge and expertise.
With extensive experience working across thoroughbred racing and breeding in both Britain and Ireland, Anna Kerr joined The National Stud in 2020 as Chief Operating Officer, prior to being appointed Chief Executive in May 2022.
During her time at The Stud, Anna has overseen the further development of its education programme – which offers specialist mentoring, training and career development for stud staff – and management of the stallion roster, including seven-time Group 1 winner, Stradivarius.
As is traditional, the 2024 judging panel will feature last year’s Employee of the Year, Sarah Guest, who scooped the Leadership Award and took home a total of £30,000 in prize money for herself and the team at John O’Shea Racing.
The 2024 Awards will also see 2022 Employee of the Year and Johnston Racing stalwart, Paddy Trainor, returning to the panel for the second consecutive year; a new approach that will invite the overall winner to serve an extended two-year stint as a judge.
Former Perth Racecourse Chief Executive, Hazel Peplinski, and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s Claire Sheppard, have both decided to step down as judges, having been valued members of the panel since 2017 and 2021 respectively.
Nominations for the 20th renewal of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards will formally open in early September 2023, with the prestigious in-person ceremony due to take place at the end of February 2024.
Nick Luck, Chair of the judging panel, said:
“The consistently high-quality nominations we receive every year for the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards makes the judging process incredibly tricky, but thankfully we’ve always been extremely fortunate in the exceptionally high calibre of our panel.
“Anna’s intimate knowledge of British racing and breeding and her passion for our people are invaluable attributes that will undoubtedly make her a wonderful addition to the team. While former winners like Sarah and Paddy bring such a unique and valuable perspective, having experienced and been successful in the process themselves.
“I’d also like to thank and pay tribute to Hazel Peplinski and Claire Sheppard, who have made a significant contribution during their time on the panel, not just in terms of the judging process, but as unwavering supporters of and advocates for the Awards.”
Commenting on her appointment, Anna Kerr said:
“I’m thrilled to be joining the judging panel for the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards. And it’s particularly exciting to do so this year, as the Awards marks 20 years of celebrating the very best of British racing and breeding.
“The Awards present a wonderful opportunity to honour and reward the exceptional people who make such a positive difference to the lives of our horses, people, and the local communities in which we operate.
“I will be doing everything I can to encourage nominations, especially from within the breeding sector, where there are so many worthy individuals deserving of recognition. I can’t wait to get started!”
For more information about the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, please visit: thoroughbredawards.co.uk.