Having received a landmark number of nominations and after a highly competitive judging process, the finalists have today been announced for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards by the Judging Panel.
After two thorough judging stages the 12-strong Panel has whittled the 200-plus nominations down to three finalists in each category. All the finalists are now guaranteed a share in the £120,000 prize money, with every penny they win being matched and shared amongst their yard by sponsors Godolphin.
Brough Scott, Chairman of the Judging Panel said:
“Judging these awards is an inspiring exercise and one I am proud to be a part of. Talking to the individuals on the short lists restores the faith in what racing means to those closest to the horses. It is such a difficult job to pick just three finalists out of so many deserving nominations, inevitably we cause disappointment but it’s worth pointing out that the finalists this year have received 18 previous nominations, which reflects the highly competitive nature of the Awards as well as the fact that perseverance pays off.
“All the judges would like to send their congratulations to all those people nominated and recognised for the work they put in and wish the best of luck to the 15 finalists. I hope everyone in racing will continue to welcome what these awards represent and show their support for them.”
The finalists are now invited to meet with the judges in London on Monday 23 February for the third and final stage of judging, where the winner in each category will be decided. The winner of the Employee of the Year award will then be decided by the judges from the winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories.
All the winners will be announced later that evening during the awards ceremony, hosted by Clare Balding with guest presenter Ryan Moore, at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London.
The winner of the Administration Award has already been selected by the judges and is invited to attend the awards ceremony in London along with the other finalists.
The finalists are:
Joanne Fowles (Roger Varian)
Kevin Mooney (Charlie Hills)
Richard ‘Johnson’ White (Philip Hobbs)
Dedication to Racing Award
Clifford Marsden (Luca Cumani)
Robynne Watton (Mark Johnston)
Lesley White (Mick Channon)
Stud Staff Award
Dale Clements (Cheveley Park)
Jessica Fortt (Dunraven Stud)
Ron Lott (Shadwell Stud)
Simon Archer (Sir Mark Prescott)
Steve Nicholson (Ed Dunlop)
Martyn Peake (Lady Cecil)
David Nicholson Newcomer Award
Tegan Clark (Olly Stevens)
Charlotte Clayton (Rae Guest)
Kevin Eggleton (Seamus Mullins)
Notes to editors:
1. The Awards are generously sponsored by Godolphin and run by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) with support from the Racing Post.
2. The winners of the Leadership, Rider Groom, Stud Staff and Dedication to Racing categories will receive a prize of £5,000 with an additional £5,000 also being awarded to the winner’s yard or stud. The two runners-up in these categories will win £2,000 each, with the same amount going to their year or stud.
The winner of the Administration Staff Award will receive £5,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud.
The winner of the David Nicholson Newcomer Award will receive £2,000, with the same amount going to their yard or stud, while two runners-up will receive £1,000 each, with the same amount for their yard.
The Employee of the Year will receive an additional £15,000, with the same amount awarded to their yard or stud.
3. The Judging Panel is: Judith Allen, Sally Aston, Ian Balding, Mark Bradburne, Dale Gibson, Dawn Goodfellow, Matt Mancini, Leanne Masterton, George McGrath, Dinah Nicholson, Brough Scott (Chairman), Peter Scudamore.
4. The geographical and Flat/Jump divide of this year’s finalists mirrors that of the total nominations received. This year 72% of the total nominations received came from Flat yards and 78% of all nominees are based in the South. This is reflected in the spread of the finalists, with the Southern Flat yards being well represented.